Online sports betting in Virginia is getting the attention of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which has launched an online sports betting show for the region.
The two-hour “By The Book” will be shown on MSE Network’s website and mobile app 5-7 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays, and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays and Sundays, according to a news release.
It launched April 1, and is targeted to the Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland markets.
The live show and podcast is being hosted by sportscaster Michael Jenkins and co-hosted by Washington Mystics and Capital City Go-Go play-by-play announcer Meghan McPeak and basketball analyst and sports reporter Monica McNutt, the release said.
The focus of the show is on the data behind sports betting odds and features guest experts on what is happening in the sports betting landscape.
Virginia launched online sports betting in January, after legislation passed in 2020 paved the way for applications from online vendors.
Since its launch, there are nine approved operators in Virginia, with six of them live. The handle for February from the five sportsbooks then in operation topped $265.8 million.
In its first 11 days in operation in January, $58.9 million was wagered in Virginia.
Recent legislation, set to begin July 1, will allow for 12 online sports betting licenses, and allow wagering on Olympic sports. It separates out the licenses for casinos, which were all lumped together under the initial interpretation.
Monumental Owns Capitals, Mystics, Wizards
MSE is the ownership group of the Washington Capitals, Mystics and Wizards, and Capital One Arena. Its deal with sportsbook operator William Hill — which is licensed to operate an online book in Virginia — was the first in-arena sportsbook in North America at Capital One Arena.
“The market has responded with record-breaking numbers of fans placing legal bets — and so we launch ‘By the Book’ to provide insight and lively dialogue catering to first-time bettors and long-time gamers alike,” Zach Leonsis, MSE’s senior vice president of strategic initiatives, said in the release.
Virginia also is home to several Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, which host Historical Horse Racing machines, in Dumfries, Hampton, Richmond, Vinton and at Colonial Downs horse racing track in New Kent County. More locations, including in Emporia and a larger resort in Dumfries, are being considered.
Live horse racing is set to begin July 19 at Colonial Downs, with the headlining Virginia Derby scheduled for Aug. 31.
Casinos Next for Virginia
Casinos also are on the horizon in Virginia. Four operators are due to submit applications for casino construction in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth this month to the Lottery Board. Those cities all passed referendums in November in favor of casino development.
Richmond is currently narrowing down its casino proposals and will select one this summer. That will go on the referendum for this November.
“I am so honored to join this effort by Monumental Sports & Entertainment and the Monumental Sports Network to break down all aspects of sports betting and providing unique takes on the daily odds and match ups from across the sports world,” Jenkins said in the release. “Fans want to know who to pick, and we are going to do our best to help them out – and we really think they will have a great time in the process through our informative format and fun conversation.”