First days of legal sports betting generate about $29K in tax


CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) — The West Virginia Lottery says the first official tax week of legal sports betting in the state will yield around $29,000 in tax revenue.

Acting Lottery Director Doug Buffington’s office said in a news release that the first three days of operation at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races showed taxable revenue of more than $295,000.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the West Virginia Gaming and Racing Association president, John Cavacini, says even more bets are expected to be placed this weekend when professional football season starts.


“Widely available legalized sports betting means big money for sports leagues like the NFL,” said Sara Slane, of the American Gaming Association.

Cavacini says Hollywood Casino was the first to begin legal sports betting. He says other venues will follow suit this month.

He says revenues will likely increase when mobile betting apps are up and running.

West Virginia has an advantage in attracting people across state lines to place bets because neighboring states aren’t taking up the issue, and there’s a significantly higher tax in Pennsylvania, Cavacini said.

“That’s what happened when we introduced slots and table games, because none of the other states had it,” Cavacini said. “For many years, we benefited from that.”

He said at some point neighboring states will likely legalize sports betting.

“But for now, we have a free run at it,” Cavacini said.


Daniella Hankey

Good Morning West Virginia! Daniella Hankey is the Morning and Noon newscast Anchor. Daniella joined Newswatch as a Multi-Media journalist and quickly moved her way up to an Anchor. Before landing in the beautiful Mountain State, Daniella called her home Orlando, Florida. Armed with a major in Communications and Media Studies and a minor in Education, Daniella relocated to further her career. During her time at Stetson, she covered several big stories on and off campus including the June 2016 Pulse Night Club shooting and Hurricane Matthew. She worked as a news anchor and reporter for her college news station and enjoyed an internship in productions at PBS. Her love for journalism started in high school when she was selected as a Bright House Varsity Reporter as well as the school anchor. When Daniella is not working, you can find her exploring West Virginia especially the Greenbrier and engaging with community members. As a morning anchor, Daniella loves putting a smile on viewers faces in the morning and informing them of community events. If you have any story ideas or news tips, please email Daniella at You can also follow Daniella on Facebook at DaniellaHankeyTV.