• Virginia now has eight licensed sports wagering operators in the Commonwealth.
  • The Golden Nugget Online and Bally’s have been given temporary licensure to open their mobile sportsbooks but each will likely launch in the summer rather than for March Madness.
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam currently has legislation on his desk that would expand the mobile sports wagering cap as it presently stands at twelve.

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia sports betting industry just got bigger times two with the addition of two licensed sportsbooks to their already six operator roster making for a total of eight.

Bally’s and the Golden Nugget Online (GNO) have accepted temporary licensure by the Virginia Lottery to go live with their applications. The two big named operators join BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, and WynnBET who are already up and running for sports bettors in the Old Dominion.

Although they have been given the approvals to rollout their legal sports betting platforms, both operators will not be launching any time soon. It’s expected that they will both go live by the summer when all of the kinks for entering a new market have been ironed out.

Virginia Sports Betting

Virginians looking to get action in on March Madness will have to stick to the six sportsbooks they’ve become familiar with since January. For the 11 days that the industry was live in its debut month, it saw $58.9 million wagered on sports matchups. Should betting lines for the big NCAA basketball tournament not be what Virginians are looking for from these platforms, legal online sportsbooks are still open to sports bettors in the state as well.

But because the market launched with such a bang, it has led lawmakers to want to increase the cap for sports betting licenses for mobile operations from the twelve that the current law allows.
There is currently legislation in the forms of House Bill 1847 and  Senate Bill 1254 on the desk of Governor Ralph Northam that would expand the number of licenses allowed to be handed out by the Virginia Lottery.
The skins from casinos against the 12 allowed do not count, but he has not yet signed off on either, having until the end of March to do so.

For the small window given for applications, the Virginia Lottery received 25 operators wanting to open their sports wagering businesses in Virginia. These operators have gone unnamed by the lottery and they’ve since been very tightlipped as to who they’re looking into for licensure.
These two new licenses will take up five of the 12 mobile sports betting licenses allotted by the Virginia Lottery.

Both Bally’s and the Golden Nugget are also in the news as each is vying for the Richmond land-based casino sportsbook location, submitting their individual proposals to the state. Richmond is the last location available for a brick-and-mortar sports wagering venue for legal sports betting in Virginia as the other locations have been taken.
Bally’s has a $650 million plan for a venue while the Golden Nugget has a $400 million plan for their retail sportsbook if approved.

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