During the week of Thanksgiving, the Virginia Lottery posted approvals for two new mobile-only sportsbook operators — Digital Gaming Corporation VA and VHL, VA. Digital Gaming Corporation is the corporate entity for the sportsbook Betway, while VHL VA is the listed holding company for 888 sportsbook.
With two new licenses officially posted, the state of Virginia has two more sportsbook operators licenses available.
Sportsbook Licenses in Virginia
The Virginia Lottery is inching closer to awarding all of its available sportsbook licenses ever since launching sports betting in January of 2021. In November, PointsBet announced that it became the first operator to partner with the Virginia Lottery for its lottery-regulated market license award. PointsBet partnered with Colonial Downs to help further its application.
Colonial Downs operates a handful of Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums throughout Virginia, which offer slot games, horse racing, and simulcasting. Colonial Downs locations include Richmond, Hampton, and Collinsville Virginia.
Other Sportsbooks Operational in Virginia
In addition to PointsBet, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers, DraftKings, Unibet, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook, Golden Nugget, and Bally Bet all can operate in Virginia via temporary licenses that were granted earlier in the year. Per the recent news over Thanksgiving, you can add 888 and Betway to the list of sportsbooks available in Virginia.
With 888 and Betway receiving their official sportsbooks licenses from the state this leaves two mobile-only licenses remaining but there is more in store for sports betting in Virginia.
What’s Next for Sports Betting in Virginia?
Mobile sportsbooks have been operational for nearly a year, and retail sportsbooks aren’t too far behind. One reason why they aren’t live yet is that the state only just approved casinos last year.
In November 2020 the General Assembly approved casino gaming which furthered development plans for casino and retail sportsbooks across Virginia. Additionally, voters in the state decided on the locations for the casino sportsbooks through 2020 referendums.
Locations include Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Unfortunately, voters in Richmond rejected plans to develop a casino in the capital city.
In Bristol, voters approved plans for a Hard Rock Casino, however, Hard Rock does not have a mobile sports betting license. The same is true for the Pamunkey Indians who are the main developers for the casino project in Norfolk.
Danville and Portsmouth casinos should be able to leverage their mobile sportsbook licenses to offer both retail and mobile sports betting as the casino projects are backed by Caesars in Danville and BetRivers in Portsmouth, respectively.
Overall, the Virginia sports betting market is maturing at a rapid pace, and residents are reaping the benefits of choice, particularly just in time for the Super Bowl in February 2022 and the 2022 March Madness Tournament.