The company that owns the two West Virginia casinos that shuttered its sportsbooks earlier this month told state lottery officials it did not learn about the cause of the suspension until after the fact.
In a letter dated March 19, Delaware North Companies President E. Brian Hansberry told John Myers, the director of the West Virginia Lottery, that the problem with the sportsbooks at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino and Resort stems from an infringement dispute between Miomni Gaming and Enterg Software Solutions Limited, better known as Entergaming.
That dispute forced the closure of the sportsbooks on March 6.
Delaware North holds two of the five licenses for sportsbooks in the state. The issue also affects the company’s online application, BetLucky.
State Del. Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio) posted the letter on his Twitter account earlier this week. He told Casino.org he acquired it through a Freedom of Information Act request to lottery officials.
Miomni, Entergaming Make Accusations
In the letter, Hansberry told Myers Delaware North started an investigation after the sportsbooks went offline. After the investigation started, Hansberry said Miomni provided details regarding the dispute. Namely, Entergaming alleges Miomni did not properly acquire the rights to use their back-end sports betting platform and needs to purchase additional rights.
Prior to the interruption, (Delaware North) was unaware of any challenge to the intellectual property use or ownership rights of the platform technology that Miomni claimed to possess,” Hansberry wrote. “Under the contract where Miomni is required to provide the Platform, Miomni was required to identify any portions of the Platform that included or otherwise required the use of another party’s intellectual property.”
Miomni disagrees with Entergaming’s stance, according to the letter. Further, Miomni claims Entergaming acted inappropriately in prematurely disconnecting the platform.
However, in the letter, Hansberry stated the Entergaming owns the platform.
Hansberry added that Entergaming gave Miomni a termination notice in late February and advised the company it should notify Delaware North. That did not happen until after March 6, he said.
Calls to Miomni and the West Virginia Lottery were not returned.
Entergaming’s Web site states the company serves as a software developer serving clients in gaming, automation/security, and retail sales. Founded in Greece 15 years ago, the company licenses products and services worldwide.
For gambling, the company provides artificial intelligence algorithms for risk management. Among the business-to-business partnerships listed on the site includes Miomni for the American market.
Working on a Resolution
The closure comes at an inopportune time as it kept Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras from taking bets on NCAA Basketball Tournament games. Delaware North regrets the loss of revenue for the state and the disruptions for its employees, Hansberry said. Last year, its casinos produced more than $71 million in taxes for the state last year.
Delaware North is working with both sides to resolve the dispute. Hansberry told Myers the company expects to provide another update soon.
“(W)e are evaluating our options,” Hansberry said.
On Wednesday, a Delaware North spokesman told Casino.org the company did not have any new information.
Hansberry also said the company will work with the lottery to guarantee the sportsbook relaunches happen in compliance of West Virginia laws and all private-party agreements.
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In Letter, Delaware North President Explains Sportsbooks Closures to West Virginia LotteryMarch 29, 2019