Six Sportsbooks to Additionally Launch Online Betting in Virginia
US Sports Betting Industry Expert
As the calendar flipped to 2021, Virginians cheered for the official legalization of online sports betting. Unusually enough, online sports betting arrived in the commonwealth before retail sports betting. Since then, Virginia has seen numerous sportsbook operators launch mobile apps, and there are more to come. FanDuel was first to the party in January of 2021 and has since been joined by:
In March of 2021, Bally Bet’s sports betting application was approved, but there have been numerous delays in the launch process due to its recent acquisition of Gamesys. On their Q3 2021 earnings call, Bally’s CEO, Lee Fenton, stated that the company hopes to launch Bally Bet in Virginia “in the coming months.”
The app will likely launch in beta first as the company is focused on developing a 2.0 version of its app during the first part of 2022.Along with Bally Bet, Virginians can expect five other operators to launch their online sports betting apps in the next several months. The Virginia Lottery has selected five applicants from a pool of 18, but the names have not yet been announced.
Gina Smith, Deputy Director of Gaming Compliance for the Virginia Lottery, stated that some of these prospective operators want to go live before the end of 2021, while others have their sights set on early 2022. Based on that sentiment, there could be as many as 15 online sportsbooks available to Virginians by 2022 March Madness. Virginia’s online sports betting launch hasn’t come without hiccups, however. Two unnamed online Virginia Sportsbooks were fined a few months after launch due to issues surrounding geo-location tracking and responsible gaming.
Kevin Hall, Executive Director of the Virginia Lottery, explained that one sportsbook’s geo-location screen had been in test mode after going live, allowing some bettors to place wagers without physically being in Virginia. The result was a $150,000 payment from the operator to the Virginia Lottery Fund.
The other operator’s mishap allowed people on a self-exclusion list to place bets. Self-exclusion involves an individual voluntarily excluding themselves from betting activity. They are typically unable to place wagers, collect winnings, recover losses, or accept gifts and bonuses. In this instance, the offending operator paid $10,000 to the Literary Fund and another $10,000 to the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling.
Both operators self-reported.
Virginia reported the 8th-highest betting handle and 6th-highest revenue of any state in September of 2021. If Virginia does in fact launch Bally Bet and five other operators in the next several months, those figures could climb higher.
As of now, Virginia has no plans to lift its ban on placing wagers on Virginia-based college teams. Some believe lifting that ban could result in a higher handle and larger revenue, but sports betting leader New Jersey actually has the same ban in place.
Going forward, look for several new sportsbook apps to launch in Virginia, and be sure to take advantage of their bonus codes and welcome offers.
Written by Nick Makowitz, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.