The FanDuel sportsbook, this one associated with the Greenbrier Casino, finds itself on the hot seat. Up until Tuesday evening, the Greenbrier Sportsbook was accepting bets through their app on the presidential 2020 election.
The election had some major news reported on Tuesday, when Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, saying he had no chance of getting the nomination. That announcement resulted in several thousand new bets on the sportsbook app.
West Virginia Governor James Justice has a little bit of egg on his face today. The Greenbrier Casino and Hotel is owned by the family of Governor Justice. The 63-year-old Republican, who has been the Governor since 2017, addressed the issue of sports betting on the election on Wednesday.
Justice and his team have been giving a daily briefing on the status of the coronavirus in his state. It didn’t take long before the press pool started peppering the Governor with questions on the election bets.
Justice claimed he had no prior knowledge of the sportsbook accepting bets on the outcome of the presidential election, calling it ludicrous.
Governor Claims No Prior Knowledge
Justice has a portfolio from coal mining and agriculture and casinos worth almost $2 billion. Reporters quizzed the Governor about his prior knowledge of the West Virginia Lottery Commission granting the Greenbrier Sportsbook permission to accept bets on the 2020 Presidential Election.
A few persistent questions seemed to imply that there is no way Justice didn’t know about the election bets when he owns the casino. The Governor was visibly irritated at the non-stop questions and said, “To be honest, I did not know anything about these election bets until 15 minutes ago. As soon as I found out, I put an end to it immediately.
“Not only is it highly inappropriate, it’s illegal in all states to place bets on any election.”
FanDuel came under fire for taking election bets at its vendors in West Virginia. They put out a press release indicating that West Virginia was the first state in the U.S. to take election bets. The app was pulled offline on Tuesday morning by the Lottery Commission.
Other Election Bets Taken Before Being Shut Down
Governor Justice also said on Wednesday that the Greenbrier and other casinos in the state had been closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. There are questions still being raised about the entire election betting fiasco.
The Lottery Commission did have their regular meeting on March 25 in person or remotely. That has led many to speculate that the approval must have been granted more than two weeks ago to take election bets in the state.
On Wednesday, Lottery officials were remaining silent and saying “the matter is under review, and right now, there are no comments.”
Governor Justice said more than once on Wednesday that he had no knowledge of the election betting, and that his holdings in the casino had been placed in trust shortly before he took office. He explained he has no input in any day-to-day business operations of the casino.