The staggered rollout of online sports betting operators continues in Virginia.
The Virginia Lottery website lists Golden Nugget Online VA LLC, Bally’s Corp. and Penn Sports Interactive LLC (parent of Barstool Sportsbook) as approved for temporary mobile sportsbook licenses in the state as of March 17. It’s uncertain when the sites will launch in Virginia, but it’s unlikely to be in time for the start of March Madness this week. Barstool has been agressive in rolling out new states and could be live before the end of the NCAA Tournament.
Golden Nugget President of Online Gaming Thomas Winter said in a news release that “we will be working hand in hand with the regulators over the next couple of months to complete all of the required and standard platform testing so that we will be in a position to start taking bets this summer.”
Virginia now has nine approved operators with the addition of Golden Nugget, Bally’s and Barstool.
"Bally's is pleased to receive the temporary sports wagering permit from the Virginia Lottery," George Papanier, president and chief executive officer of Bally's Corp., said in a news release. "This represents another step in our evolution to become the leading omnichannel gaming provider in the U.S., and we look forward to providing a first-class experience for sports fans across Virginia."
Legislation passed this month in the General Assembly to add more operators and to allow wagering on the Olympics. The legislation also would allow for wagering on Olympic sports. It is awaiting Gov. Ralph Northam’s signature, and would go into effect July 1.
There were 25 applications for online sports betting licenses, Virginia Lottery deputy director Gina Smith told the board at its February meeting.
January Launch for Online Sports Betting in VA
The General Assembly approved Virginia online sports betting in April 2020. The legislation went into effect July 1, 2020, and applications began to be approved in January. FanDuel was the first to launch on Jan. 21, followed by DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers and William Hill — all live before the Super Bowl.
WynnBet was the most recent to launch, going live March 12.
Strong Start to Virginia Sports Betting
The Virginia Lottery reported that bettors wagered about $58.9 million in the first 11 days of online sports betting. The next financial report will be available after March 20.
Winter also said in the Golden Nugget release that the online sportsbook would share its revenues with Virginia’s historically Black colleges and universities but offered no further details.
HBCUs in the commonwealth include Hampton University, Howard University, Virginia Union and Norfolk State. The Norfolk State men’s basketball team made the NCAA Tournament field’s First Four and plays Appalachian State for a 16 seed on Thursday.
It is illegal to wager on Virginia college sports in the state.