With Sports Betting Still Offline, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack – and West Virginia Coffers – Missing Out on March Madness
WHEELING — Sports wagering through the Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack remains offline, and no betting is happening there as “March Madness” — the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament — takes place at arenas across the nation.
Wheeling Island and its sister track, the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort near Charleston, are missing out as sports wagering is shut down at both casinos and on their “Bet Lucky” apps while their management services provider continues to negotiate a contract with a third-party technology vendor.
The state of West Virginia also is losing tax revenue as a result.
The Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras facilities both are owned by Delaware North
“We are closely monitoring the situation as the parties involved continue to work toward a solution,” West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said Monday in a news release. “Discussions are ongoing and we are hopeful that an agreement between the provider and its vendor will be reached that will allow the sportsbooks at Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island to reopen soon.
“However, it is now apparent that wagering will not resume at these locations in time for the early rounds of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.”
“March Madness” involves 68 men’s basketball teams. The tournament began Tuesday, with a full-slate of early round games taking place today.
Matchups continue through the championship game slated for April 8 in Minneapolis.
The West Virginia Lottery Commission advised patrons with questions to contact Wheeling Island at 866-807-4007 or Mardi Gras at 866-797-5306. Dial “0” at the message to speak with a representative.
Calls to the Wheeling Island facility Wednesday were greeted with a message that the phone system was experiencing a larger-than-usual number of calls, and callers were encouraged to leave their name and number for a callback. Carrie Scanlon, regional director of marketing for Delaware North, said through employees working at Wheeling Island’s check-in desk that she had no additional comment on the situation.