Virginia Lottery awards mobile sports betting licenses to 888, Betway, PointsBet
the Virginia Lottery awarded three mobile sports betting licenses to Betway, Points bet and the United Kingdom 888 Holdings at the end of November, bringing the total number of operators authorized to operate in the Old Dominion to 13.
888 has formed a joint venture with the parent company of Illustrated sports (SI), Authentic Brands Group (ABG), in June. The partnership was designed to launch a SI-themed bookmaker in the United States.
Virginia will be the second US state with SI Sportsbook, after its launch in Colorado in September.
“We are delighted to have obtained our license from the Virginia Lottery,” said Yaniv Sherman, senior vice president and director of the United States of 888 Holdings. “This is an important step for 888 as it strengthens our presence in the US online sports betting and iGaming market.”
“There is a growing sports betting fan base in the state and I have a firm belief that SI Sportsbook, supported by our partners at SI, will provide a unique and differentiated experience for our customers that will be well received. »888 Plans To Launch SI Sportsbook In Virginia One Day in 2022.
The Lottery could award one or two more mobile sports betting licenses before the end of the year.
With the addition of Betway, PointsBet and 888, the Virginia Lottery has now authorized 13 sports bets to operate in the Old Dominion. Ten of the operators are currently live.
Four other operators, WynnBET, Golden Nugget, Bally Bet and Barstool Sportsbook, obtained licenses in March and were followed by Unibet in April. The group launched at different times between Super Bowl LV and early 2021 NFL season: WynnBET in March, Unibet in April, Barstool in August, Golden Nugget in October and Bally Bet in November.
A changing regulatory landscape
Sports betting became legal in Virginia in April 2020, after the General Assembly passed legislation allowing the Virginia Lottery to regulate the practice. The lottery initially received 25 applications of sports betting operators for the licenses, but did not disclose who the operators were. VA online sports betting was only launched in January 2021.
The original 2020 legislation allowed the lottery to award a minimum of four mobile-only licenses and a maximum of 12. The 2020 legislation also stipulated that four physical casinos under construction in Virginia, Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth – could also be granted mobile licenses, and that these four licenses would not be taken into account in the minimum of four imposed by the State. But the 2020 legislation established that all assigned mobile licenses would be counted against the cap of 12.
Operators have also been allowed to partner with major league racetracks and sports franchises that are either headquartered in the state or are building a new stadium in Virginia. The 2020 legislation said the latter partnerships would also not count towards the 12 mobile-only sportsbook cap.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed revised legislation in March 2021 that removed verbiage where mobile sports betting licenses for land-based casinos were deducted from the cap. The Lottery received 18 more applications in May 2021. At the time, the Lottery said it could add up to five more licenses in 2021, meaning that one or two could still be awarded in December.
Hard rock is developing a casino in Bristol, while Caesars built a casino in Danville. Meanwhile, the parent company of BetRivers, Rush Street Gaming, built the Rivers Casino Portsmouth and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe developed the HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk. While it’s unclear who the Pamunkeys would partner with for an online sportsbook, Hard Rock is likely to develop its own in-house.
FanDuel is in partnership with the Washington football team, while PointsBet is in partnership with Colonial Downs Group, which operates the Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent.
Although the Virginia Lottery has not identified any of the operators who applied for licenses, Regulatory registers of the town hall of Virginia display three additional operators – Handle 19, the bet on the score and Realization of books in the United States – submitted public comments on the state’s gambling regime in September 2020. All three operators are still likely to be interested in obtaining a license in the Old Dominion.
Record catch in October
Lottery data shows Virginians wagered a record $ 427.3 million in October, up 45% from September. The lottery said the record was linked to five college football weekends and NFL action during the month. Since the start of the year, the amount totaled about $ 2.4 billion, according to the Lottery.
After subtracting gross player earnings, along with the costs of bonuses and promotions, adjusted gross income was around $ 9.8 million in October. Year-to-date adjusted gross revenue totaled $ 90.8 million. Operators spent $ 15.8 million on bonuses and promotions in October, and $ 90 million so far, almost the same amount operators have made in adjusted gross revenue.
Virginia levies a 15% tax on sports betting activities, of which 97.5% of tax revenue is deposited into the general state fund while the remaining 2.5% is allocated to its processing and processing fund. problem gambling support, which is administered by the State Department of Behavioral Health.
According to the lottery, the state collected $ 1.7 million in tax revenue from online sports betting in October, of which about $ 44,000 is for the problem gambling fund. Since the start of the year, online sports betting has generated $ 14.4 million for the state, including $ 359,000 for the problem gambling fund.