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Sportsbooks may be unwise to ban sharps; West Virginia sports betting to launch Sept. 1

Some sportsbooks operators have opted to ban or limit sharp bettors, but others say there’s an advantage in not denying sharp action.

Not every sportsbook in Nevada takes a hardline approach to dealing with sharp bettors. Some Vegas veterans believe it is part of their responsibility as a bookmaker to accept decent-size wagers — anywhere from $500 to $2,000, for example — from any bettor in good standing. Some even welcome wiseguys, to an extent.

“We like having wise-guy action,” said Chris Andrews, sportsbook director at the South Point Casinos and a nearly 40-year Nevada bookmaker. “You can use their information if you manage them properly, and it will help your bottom line.”

West Virginia will officially be able to take legal bets starting on Sept. 1.

Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races will open its sportsbook September 1, according to its owner, Penn National. The launch will make West Virginia the fifth state to offer legal sports betting and the fourth to start after the repeal of PASPA in May.

William Hill will operate the sportsbook at Charles Town, as Legal Sports Report confirmed last week. The bookmaker previously announced a mystery partner in West Virginia sports betting whose identity is now confirmed.

DraftKings CEO Jason Roberts said sports betting will be bigger for the company than daily fantasy sports in two to three years.

“It’s probably some time in the next 2-3 years, would be my guess,” says Robins. “It all depends how quickly the states roll out. That’s really the variable… After you see 10-12 of them doing it, at that point you’ll start to see the lines cross.”

Monmouth Park was a pioneer when it came to sports betting’s legal expansion and became the first legal sportsbook in New Jersey, but now it’s lagging behind others on online offerings.

With Labor Day weekend marking the traditional start of the college football season, with a full slate of NFL games set for Sept. 9, Monmouth Park still does not have an online gaming presence.

Meanwhile, the DraftKings Sportsbook, which is based at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, has been online for three weeks. On Wednesday, MGM Resorts International, which owns the Borgata in Atlantic City, became the second sportsbook in the state to begin accepting wagers online, before SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino, associated with the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City, went live Thursday.

So when will Monmouth Park, which saw numbers slump in its sportsbook in July, be joining the fray?

“I’m fairly confident we can get open by the start of football season,’’ said Dennis Drazin, the chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park.

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Each Friday, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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