What’s Next in Virginia Sports Betting? SI Sportsbook, Betway Poised to Launch in Q1

What’s Next in Virginia Sports Betting? SI Sportsbook, Betway Poised to Launch in Q1
By Ron Fritz

After receiving approval for Virginia sports betting in late November, SI Sportsbook and Betway said they planned to go live in 2022. We now know a little more about the two sportsbooks’ launch dates.

During a gaming update presentation at the Virginia Lottery board meeting Wednesday, the following was released: “Temporary permits were awarded to Digital Gaming Corporation VA, LLC (11/24/2021) and VHL, VA LLC (11/25/2021). These operators are expected to launch sometime in Q1 2022.”

That would put Betway (Digital Gaming’s sports betting brand) and SI Sportsbook/888 (VHL, VA) live before April. You would expect that both operators to want to be up in Virginia before the Super Bowl on Feb. 13 or at least before March Madness.

Betway is live in five states — New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa and Indiana.

Sports Illustrated and 888 announced a partnership in June to bring the SI Sportsbook to the U.S. sports betting market. Colorado was the first state live with the SI Sportsbook and there are plans to launch in New Jersey (888 was previously live there), Iowa and Indiana, in addition to Virginia.


PointsBet Launched in December

The most recent sportsbook to launch in Virginia was PointsBet VA. On Nov. 24, PointsBet had its temporary supplier license approved by the lottery and the operator went live in Virginia less than a month later.

PointsBet VA became the 11th operator in Virginia. It has a partnership with Colonial Downs Group. Colonial Downs is the only licensed gaming company operating and headquartered in the state, according to a news release on the launch. CDG also operates Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums there — in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent County, Dumfries, Collinsville and Vinton. It also has the Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County.

Before PointsBet went live, Bally Bet launched just before Thanksgiving, giving Virginia bettors another option for the NFL’s big holiday games.


Virginia a Strong Betting Market

In November, Virginia sports betting set a record for revenue ($29.9 million) and fell just short of its record for handle, which was set in October. The November sports betting handle, with 10 operators live, was $420.6 million. The record for handle is $427.3 million.

The Virginia sports betting market is currently all online and it is coming up on its 1-year anniversary (Jan. 21 when FanDuel Virginia went live in 2021). It expects to have retail sportsbooks in the four casinos that are approved and scheduled to open at least temporary facilities in 2022 or early 2023.

December sports betting figures for Virginia should be released on or around Feb. 1.

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Ron is managing editor of BetVirginia.com. He spent nearly 13 years at The Baltimore Sun, including 12 as sports editor. He previously was sports editor at The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, for nearly eight years after serving as a news editor there for four years.

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