Two UK-based sportsbooks, bet365 and Betfred, have launched this week in Virginia.
The pair became the state’s 14th and 15th online sportsbooks after bet365 launched on Tuesday, and Betfred followed suit on Wednesday.
They also joined a market where two years after five of their biggest competitors did the same — BetMGM Sportsbook, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel had all accepted their first wagers in Virginia by February 3, 2021, according to records from the Virginia Lottery.
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Eight other online sportsbooks — Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, Betway, Hard Rock Sportsbook, PointsBet, SI Sportsbook, Unibet, and WynnBET — are also live in the state.
Golden Nugget still holds a license in the state, but it halted its operations in May 2022 after DraftKings closed on its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG).
The Virginia Lottery could potentially award the Golden Nugget license to another operator — otherwise, it may not have any additional licenses to award. It is authorized to issue up to 19 online sportsbook licenses, including 12 mobile licenses and five for operators that partner with a land-based casino.
Virginia is Fourth US State for bet365
Bet365 launched its mobile sportsbook in Virginia on Tuesday through a partnership with the NFL’s Washington Commanders.
Virginia becomes the fourth US state for bet365. The brand soft-launched in New Jersey in August 2019, then followed up with a launch in Colorado in September 2021. Bet365 was among the first sportsbooks to launch in Ohio on New Year’s Day — through a partnership with MLB’s Cleveland Guardians.
“Fresh off the heels of a successful launch in Ohio, we are thrilled to launch the world’s favourite online sports betting brand in Virginia,” a spokesperson for bet365 said, according to reports. “With a growing community of sports betting fans, the launch into Virginia marks a milestone for bet365 as we continue our US expansion.
“The Commanders are an iconic NFL franchise with a dedicated and loyal fan base, and we’re excited to work closely with the team to give back to the fans.
Ryan Moreland, chief partnership officer for the Commanders, called the partnership with bet365 “an exciting time for our fans — and all sports fans — in Virginia. We are excited to partner with bet365 to engage our fans across multiple platforms.”
With its launch on Tuesday, bet365 became the state’s 14th online sports betting platform.
Bet365’s presence in North America continues to grow. It entered the Ontario sports betting market in April 2022, and secured market access in Pennsylvania last month through an agreement with Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI).
Under the agreement with CDI, bet365 will replace TwinSpires as the online sportsbook tied to the Presque Isle Downs & Casino.
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Betfred Partners With Loudoun United
On Wednesday, Betfred announced that it had launched mobile sports betting operations in Virginia, becoming the state’s 15th mobile sportsbook.
Betfred enters the state through a partnership with Loudoun United FC, a professional soccer club based in Loudoun County that plays in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.
“We are excited to finally begin online operations in the Commonwealth of Virginia and look forward to activating our partnership with Loudoun United,” said Bryan Bennett, COO of Betfred USA Sports.
“This is the ideal time to launch sports betting with several major sporting events happening over the coming weeks and months, and of course, with the USL Championship season kicking off soon.”
Doug Raftery, executive business officer for Loudoun United, said fans of the team could “expect to see a prominent presence from Betfred at home games and various online club channels. We look forward to a fantastic 2023 season and helping to scale our business together.”
The Old Dominion is Betfred’s ninth US state, but it plans to enter a tenth state, Nevada, later this month when it opens a retail sportsbook inside the Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotel Las Vegas.
Betfred runs mobile sportsbooks in five other states — Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Pennsylvania — with plans to launch mobile in Maryland in the near future. It also runs retail sportsbooks in Louisiana, Maryland, and Washington.