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Virginia approves Betway and 888 for sports betting licenses

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The Virginia Lottery has approved two more sports betting operators to launch in the state, leaving only two mobile licenses unannounced.

The regulator awarded temporary permits to Digital Gaming Corporation VA and VHL, bringing the total number of approved operators in the state to 13. Digital Gaming Corporation is the trade name for Betway, while VHL represents 888 Holdings.

The companies were among 18 entities competing for the five remaining mobile betting licenses in Virginia.

The first of these permits went to Colonial Downs Group, which will be partnering with PointsBet for its online sportsbook operations. With Betway and 888 Holdings now approved to operate in the state, the VA Lottery has just two licenses to award in order to fill in the available slots.

888 to launch SI Sportsbook in Virginia next year

In its statement about the approval by the Virginia Lottery, 888 Holdings said that it was delighted to be awarded a provisional sports wagering license in the Old Dominion and that it was looking forward to introducing its SI-branded sportsbook to bettors in the state.

The brand, which is a result of a partnership between 888 and sports media brand Sports Illustrated, made its debut in the US sports betting market in September when it launched in Colorado. Sports Illustrated is owned by Authentic Brands Group.

“We are delighted to have been awarded our provisional license by the Virginia Lottery. This is an important milestone for 888 which enhances our foothold in the US online sports betting and iGaming market,” said 888 Holdings’ Senior Vice President and Head of US operations, Yaniv Sherman.

“There is a growing sports betting fanbase in the state and I firmly believe that SI Sportsbook, supported by our partners at Sports Illustrated, will offer a unique and differentiated experience to our customers which will be well-received.”

The rollout of the SI Sportsbook in Virginia is expected to take place in early 2022.

VA sports betting continues to grow

In other news, bettors in Virginia have one more mobile betting app to choose from following the rollout of Bally Bet in the state last week. The brand went live on Thanksgiving eve, marking the tenth sportsbook to enter the state’s market.

Bally Bet received its license from the VA Lottery in March, but it had to delay its launch by several months as its parent company, Bally’s Corporation, worked on completing its acquisition of Gamesys. The merger deal with the UK-based online gaming operator was finalized in early October.

The sportsbook now joins nine other operators in the budding Virginia sports betting market, which kicked off on January 21. The other betting apps available to bettors in the Old Dominion are FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, Caesars Sportsbook, BetRivers, WynnBet, Barstool Sportsbook, Unibet, and Golden Nugget.

Five more apps, including PointsBet, Betway, and SI Sportsbook, are expected to join the state in the coming months.

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