FanDuel to handle West Virginia bets

By John Raby

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia resort owned by Gov. Jim Justice has chosen FanDuel to handle sports betting by its customers in the fantasy sports company’s first such wagering arrangement.

The Greenbrier announced Tuesday that New York-based FanDuel will provide retail, online and mobile sports wagering services for the resort in White Sulphur Springs.

West Virginia lawmakers this year approved sports betting at the state’s five casinos and on approved mobile apps, shortly before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal law that had banned most sports betting.

The NFL, NBA and others want Congress to set uniform, nationwide rules on sports gambling for all states, saying the integrity of athletics is at stake.

The West Virginia Lottery Commission approved rules governing sports betting last week. The rules spell out what information casinos have to supply to the Lottery and what they need to do to stay within compliance. The goal is to let the betting begin by the start of football season in September.

Conservative estimates are that the law would generate state revenue of about $5 million in its first year.

Justice allowed the sports betting bill to become state law without his signature. Before he became governor, Justice named his daughter, Jill Justice, as president of the resort, which her father bought out of bankruptcy in 2009. His son, Jay Justice, now handles his coal and agriculture operations.

Jill Justice said in a statement the Greenbrier is “excited to be able to offer this service to those guests who are interested.”

FanDuel spokeswoman Emily Bass said in an email it’s the company’s the first sports betting arrangement with a U.S. resort. FanFuel merged this year with European bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair, which has similar deals with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and Tioga Downs in New York.

Earlier this month FanDuel rival DraftKings signed a deal with an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino to offer sports betting in New Jersey.

“We are equipped to take on the opportunity to get a sports betting license in every market and are taking the appropriate steps to do so,” Bass said.

The NFL’s Houston Texans are holding their training camp at The Greenbrier starting in late July. Next week the resort will host the PGA Tour’s A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, formerly known as The Greenbrier Classic.

The Greenbrier’s onsite betting will take place at an underground casino open only to resort guests and event participants, golf and tennis members and Greenbrier Sporting Club members.

“As we work towards building out a top sports betting product for the upcoming NFL season, we look forward to bringing West Virginia residents, sports fans, and visitors to The Greenbrier the best interactive sports experience on the market,” FanDuel CEO Matt King said in a statement.

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