Associated Press Published

First Days of Legal Sports Betting Generate About $29,000 in Tax

People wait in line to bet on the NCAA college basketball tournament at the Westgate Superbook sports book Thursday, March 15, 2018, in Las Vegas. Sports Betting.

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.