Australian online bookmaker BlueBet Holdings has announced that it was withdrawing its application for a Virginia online sports betting license “on advice from the regulator,” the Virginia Lottery. The company’s application fees will be refunded and it can re-apply in the future, BlueBet reported.
BlueBet is a publicly traded company on the Australian Stock Exchange and has a U.S. sports betting license in Iowa.
Recently, BlueBet lost a bid to partner with Native American partners in Arizona when the group, the Colorado River Indian Tribes, was unsuccessful in its application for a sports betting licensing. In that state, there were more Native American groups interested in sports wagering licenses than there were licenses available for tribal organizations.
Meanwhile, for Virginia gambling, there are 18 applications for just five available permits, according to BlueBet.
Online sports wagering is already ongoing in Virginia and for July, there were seven operators included in the commonwealth’s report of sports wagering activity.
Sportsbooks Launching in VA
Barstool Sportsbook VA has joined the market, launching in August.
Other sports licenses have already been approved, including Golden Nugget, but have not launched.
During the application process in Virginia, the BlueBet board received advice from the regulator that licenses would, “at this stage, be granted to operators which had experience in other states and have equity interest owned by Minority individuals or Minority-owned businesses.”
BlueBet has what it describes as a two-stage U.S. entry strategy for pursuing licenses. Following Iowa, the company reports that its current target jurisdictions are Colorado, Tennessee and Maryland. As BlueBet mentioned in its Virginia announcement, it also still has the option of re-applying in the commonwealth.