Sports Illustrated launched its mobile Virginia sports betting app on Monday as the NHL and NBA playoffs, along with MLB games, are being played every night.
The Virginia sports betting app is known as SI Sportsbook and it is the 13th sportsbook live in the Virginia online market.
In June 2021, 888 Holdings announced a strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of the iconic brand Sports Illustrated. Combining 888's technology with a trusted name in sports media, SI Sportsbook was unveiled in Colorado in September 2021. SI Sportsbook is planning to launch in multiple states in the coming months.
SI Sportsbook launched in Virginia after receiving a permit from the Virginia Lottery Board in November. In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to legalize sports betting and create the process for the Virginia Lottery to grant online sports betting licenses.
During a board meeting April 27, a presentation from the Virginia Lottery indicated that SI Sportsbook was scheduled to launch that day, but that didn’t happen.
“Sports betting is not just about finding the best odds, but also knowing who to put your hard-earned dollars on,” the SI Sportsbook website says. “That’s why our sportsbook offers you access to the latest sports news, picks, tips, information, and much more. We are constantly improving our sportsbook.”
After registering on SI Sportsbook, a bettor can make their first deposit and claim $50 in free bets after a bet of $10, according to a welcome email announcing that the sportsbook was live.
The email also talked about features like Bet Builder, an in-house parlay builder that makes betting parlays easier; Perfect 10 — pick all 10 games correctly and win up to $10,000; Three and Win — when you win a parlay, you can win even more with this promo.
Under New Management
In early April, 888 announced the appointment of Howard Mittman as the group’s new president of 888 U.S. Mittman is responsible for 888’s U.S. operations, including its strategic partnership with ABG and growth of SI Sportsbook.
“We have established a platform for strong growth in the U.S. through our world-class technology and operational expertise, with the Sports Illustrated brand, and the appointment of Howard,” Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said in a news release at the time.
Expanding the Sports Betting Market
SI Sportsbook is joining a Virginia sports betting market that reached nearly $3 billion in handle during its first year, 2021. The app will join a market alongside FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, Unibet, BarStool Sportsbook, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Bally Bet, PointsBet and Hard Rock Sportsbook.
Hard Rock was the last sportsbook to launch, going live on March 31.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming announced last week that it will discontinue its online sportsbook in Virginia as a result of the company being acquired by DraftKings Sportsbook. A Virginia Lottery spokesperson said the license would not be available for another sportsbook.
Betway is expected to be the next sportsbook to join Virginia's market on May 18. Betway received their permit from the Virginia Lottery at the same time as SI Sportsbook.