Early Thursday morning, BetMGM became the second operator to offer legal online casino games to West Virginia residents and visitors.
Roughly six weeks ago, DraftKings was the first to do so, unveiling its casino app in a partnership with the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.
Despite DraftKings’ head start, BetMGM – through its partnership with one of America’s most elite resort casinos, The Greenbrier – hopes to catch up as the state grows more reliant on Internet-based play during the current pandemic.
Of course, that might be a tough sell.
While BetMGM is a reputable and reliable online casino product seeing good success in the New Jersey Market, its West Virginia launch leaves a lot to be desired compared against the competition.
Per MGM’s press release:
”BetMGM Casino will launch with 30 games ranging from best-in-class Blackjack and Roulette games to a host of slots, including West Virginia’s online online progressive jackpot-linked games with the potential for huge payouts with every spin.”
BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt added to the statement:
“The addition of the leading iGaming offering in West Virginia is a powerful differentiator for BetMGM. With the largest slate of casino games in the state, we’re confident that our superior offering will quickly become the online gaming destination of choice for players.”
Unfortunately, there’s a bit of salesmanship muddying the waters, here.
To be absolutely clear, the BetMGM West Virginia online casino does not offer “the largest slate of casino games in the state.”
At launch, it offers 30 slots and table games. That’s it.
The WV DraftKings Casino app, on the other hand, has over 350 different games currently on offer, with nearly 20 live dealer games, as well. Meanwhile, the BetMGM app has no live-dealer support whatsoever.
Right now, in West Virginia, the BetMGM app is a complete and utter joke. Worse, Greenblatt et al. are literally lying to their potential customers, who would do well to stay potential customers – and not actual customers – until MGM gets its act together.
That said, assuming MGM’s online WV casino eventually matures to match its New Jersey app, the tables might get closer to turning.
That app offers over 300 slots and table games, as well as a small section for live dealer play. Still, the UI is buggy on iPhone, and it’s not the most responsive app in the world. The DraftKings experience remains superior by every single metric.
Frankly, the only thing these two services have in common is that, due to West Virginia gambling laws, players must be 21 or older before they can sign up for either.
Of course, the DraftKings app – as good as it is, and as much as it trumps the pitiful BetMGM offering – isn’t even in the same ballpark when it comes to the best online casino apps legally available to West Virginia gamblers.
Those are actually the web-app experiences offered by offshore gambling sites.
Operators like Bovada, Slots LV, Ignition, and others all have more games to choose from, more live tables, and more betting markets.
Bovada in particular is a behemoth of a betting site, with support for hundreds of RNG slots and table games, live dealer tables that are open 24/7, full international sports betting, virtual sports betting, horse racing betting, and both small- and large-scale tournament poker.
DraftKings pales in comparison, and BetMGM is practically transparent.
The best part, of course, is that these overseas operators actually allow young adults in WV to bet legally and safely online.
Players aged 18-20 who wish to gamble over the Internet for real money can do so at any of the most reputable 18+ online casinos operating outside of US jurisdiction, giving them a solid three years on the local “competition.”
Once you turn 21, of course, you will be free to use the BetMGM or DraftKings online casino apps, but honestly, why would you?
They don’t even take Bitcoin, for heaven’s sake.
Source: PR Newswire