Virginia joined Michigan in the final days of January as the nation’s latest legal sports betting states, with the Old Dominion State beginning with just two sportsbooks in FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings in operation.
In that environment, Virginia’s sports bettors welcomed two more quality online sportsbook operators launching with open arms, as BetMGM and BetRivers gained regulatory approval and brought the number of operators in the state to four.
About BetMGM and BetRivers
BetMGM became the third operator to launch in the state after becoming the first of the two new operators to obtain a permit to start accepting wagers, bringing BetMGM’s total number of states with an online presence to ten. With the launch, BetMGM is now the third largest operator in the United States behind FanDuel and DraftKings.
As part of the BetMGM Virginia offering to the state’s sports bettors, customers will gain access to the MGM Resorts M life Rewards loyalty program. The company is reported planning to scale up its operations nationwide throughout 2021 and the recent decision to do a deal with the neighboring Washington Nationals is evidence of that.
More immediately, the BetMGM online sportsbook is now up-and-running in Virginia and the company’s CEO, Adam Greenblatt is delighted;
“We’re ecstatic that BetMGM is one of the first mobile sports betting platforms to launch in Virginia. Virginians are passionate sports fans, and we’re thrilled to provide them a user-friendly sports betting experience. BetMGM Virginia customers can earn benefits and will soon enjoy innovative experiences planned with MGM National Harbor in Maryland and the Washington Nationals.” Greenblatt said.
Rush Street Interactive’s (RSI) BetRivers online sportsbook brand launched in Virginia through its license agreement with the Rivers Casino Portsmouth and will also operate the land-based sportsbook once that property is able to open its doors. In addition to the usual range of betting markets, BetRivers will be offering live streaming of certain sporting events to its registered users. With the online sportsbook launch in Virginia, RSI will now have online sites live across eight different states operating under the BetRivers or SugarHouse Sports brand names.
RSI President Richard Schwartz could not contain his excitement hide when it came to describing adding another state to the company’s resume’ of legal states;
“Our leadership position in the markets in which we operate, including the two largest states with legalized online gaming, Pennsylvania and Illinois, where we were #1 in 2020, is a testament to the strength of the BetRivers.com brand and betting platform” Schwartz said.
More sportsbooks set to launch in Virginia
In the state of Virginia, more online sportsbooks are on the burner for launch as the Virginia Lottery can eventually issue licenses for up to 12 online operators. While the state may not get more operators live and online before the Super Bowl on February 7, it could possibly be beneficial for the Old Dominion State to have as many sportsbooks as possible for the next biggest sport betting event, the College Basketball showcase that is “March Madness”. The state regulator, the Virginia Lottery, has not provided any clear timeline to date as to when the online sportsbooks would be able to launch.
A new sports wagering bill that was introduced to allow for more licenses in Virginia has been met with initial endorsement, however, the earliest that could possibly take effect, if eventually passed by the state’s lawmakers, is July 1.
If the bill is eventually successful, a total of 17 licenses would be available for operators in Virginia, in addition to those coming into the state’s sports wagering system through partnerships with the local sports franchises.