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More national sportsbooks coming to Virginia

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(© Wojciech Kusiak – stock.adobe.com)

A brand new national online sportsbook is coming to Virginia. Reports emerged last week that PointsBet would be joining the nine other legal betting sites in the Old Dominion. This is part of the Virginia Lottery’s plan to expand legal sports betting within the state.

The Virginia Lottery has been granted the right to award five more licenses to applicants who wish to operate online sportsbooks in the state. Such licenses are essential for an operator to act legally when it offers bets on sports over the internet.

The fact that PointsBet is coming to Virginia marks just how serious national gambling brands are getting about this fledgling market. There have been a reported $2 billion in sports bets already put down within the state.

Already several heavyweight brands featured on resources like https://www.captaingambling.com have staked their claim to cater to Virginia’s vast sporting audience. These include some famous fantasy sports brands, as well as some big names from America’s casino gaming industry.

There is no indication as to when PointsBet might be up and running in the state, but the approval page on the Virginia Lottery site showed that the sportsbook had been granted a temporary license. PointsBet already operates in many other US states such as New Jersey and has recently been awarded one of just nine mobile betting licenses in New York.

Interestingly, this could be just the start of a significant upgrade in the number of online sportsbooks operating in Virginia. Reports indicate that there could be anywhere up to six more legal sports betting sites operating within the state by the early part of 2022.

Nearly 20 gambling brands applied for a Virginia Lottery license in 2021, and it remains to be seen who else will be entering the fledgling market. Bally Bet has already won an application to operate in Virginia, but teething problems in its operations have delayed its launch until later in the year.

The rapid rise of sports betting in Virginia

It’s easy to forget that legal sports betting in Virginia has only really been operational since January 2021. The fact that Virginia actually legalized sports betting is a remarkable turnaround considering that there are no bricks-and-mortar casinos or gambling establishments in the entire state. As such, the current law only permits online sports betting over the internet.

However, things could soon be changing as a 2020 referendum gave the green light to build physical casinos in Virginia. These have been approved for development in locations such as Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth. However, plans to build a casino in Richmond have hit some setbacks in recent months.

This would potentially open the door to actually being able to physically bet on sports in these gaming establishments. Plus there is every chance that some of Virginia’s racetracks could be given betting licenses should physical sports betting become legalized.

There have even been ongoing rumors that Virginia is planning a stadium to potentially cater to an expansion of teams within the MLB. If this came to light, it could lead to another avenue in which people could place their bets in person.

Virginia legalized many forms of sports betting including live betting. However it is still illegal to bet on Virginia’s college football team who receive a huge amount of support within the state.

Above all, the overall picture is that things are speeding up fast for legal sports betting in Virginia. With the addition of new operators and greater competition, it can only be good news for sports fans within the state.

Story by Sam Forrest