Virginia has slowly started to launch sportsbooks in the state since the form of gambling launched on January 21st. The state of Virginia is taking a conservative approach when it comes to sportsbook providers.
Background of Virginia Sports Betting
Virginia launched sports betting on January 21st. The state legalized the form of gambling in 2020 after an extensive legislative process. Sports betting is only available in a mobile format, but landlocked sportsbooks will open in the future.
Multiple sports betting apps are in the process of being approved by the Virginia Lottery. However, the state is moving much slower than expected in the sportsbook approval process. Virginia law will allow 12 sportsbooks to operate in the state when the list of providers is full.
The Launch of Sports Betting in the State
The Virginia Lottery oversees sports betting in the state. The launch on January 21st was met with a lot of excitement from bettors in the area. More than two dozen sportsbooks have applied to operate in the state of Virginia.
Some of these providers will be denied because of the sports betting regulations. FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook were the first two books to launch in VA. FanDuel launched on opening day.
DraftKings was slightly slower to release their sports betting platform. DraftKings Sportsbook became available to people in the state on January 24th. BetRivers and BetMGM followed three days later, on January 27th.
FanDuel earned the exclusive opening day rights by partnering with the Washington Football Team.
Virginia’s Slow Sportsbook Roll Out
State law reveals that only 12 mobile operators can function in Virginia. There is a loophole in this rule. Industry experts believe there could be upwards of 20 books in Virginia’s sports betting future.
The five proposed casinos and two current sports teams without books aren’t counted towards the minimum at this point. Virginia law states that licenses awarded to pro teams and venues or casinos would not count toward the minimum, and licenses awarded to pro teams and venues would not count toward the maximum.
Even though Virginia can implement many books in the state, the process has been extremely slow. The Virginia Lottery has kept the process quiet by not letting the public know much information.
William Hill will be the next sportsbook to launch in the state. Caesars Casino in Virginia received the permit authorizing their platform provider, William Hill, to go live in the state. The mobile app should be available in the coming days, but nothing has been set in stone.
Some other sportsbooks that will likely join the Virginia market in the future are 888Sport, Barstool Sportsbook, FOX Bet, PointsBet, Unibet, and WynnBet.
If the beginning of sports betting shows anything, it could indicate that it will be an extensive period of time before Virginia has double-digit sportsbooks operating in the state.