In a Virginia General Assembly meeting last month, Virginia Lottery Director Kevin Hall confirmed he’s shooting to launch sports betting in the commonwealth in early 2021.
The lottery received 25 sports betting applications, but Virginia law only allows a maximum of 12 licenses to be awarded. The law also specifies a minimum of four licenses must be awarded.
The NFL's former Washington Redskins and D.C. United (MLS) have either practice facilities or administrative headquarters in Virginia. Major U.S. player WynnBet anticipates stock car racing venues fit the legal designation of "professional sports facilities."
WynnBet has existing partnerships with Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway.
VA Sportsbook applicants come in the wake of four major casino projects approved in the commonwealth last month, including a Caesar's casino resort here in Danville.
Caesar's Entertainment has already partnered with William Hill online sportsbook, which is slated for a go-live date around Jan. 29 — just a week before Super Bowl LV.
Virginia will become the seventh state to host a partnership between William Hill sportsbook and a brick-and-mortar casino. Since just September 2018, William Hill has made partnerships with Monmouth Park and Ocean Casino Resort (N.J.), Mountaineer Casino (W.Va.), Grand Victoria Casino (Ill.), Isle Casino/Lady Luck (Colo.), Tropicana Evansville (Ind.) and Prairie Meadows (Iowa).
Given that the lottery has 90 days to approve sports betting applications with an application window that closed Oct. 31, Virginians should be able bet on the 2021 Super Bowl, including a hometown partnership with online sports betting long before the Danville Caesar's resort will open its doors.
DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, WynnBet, PointsBet and other major American sportsbooks are vying for the remaining slots in Virginia's sports betting lottery.
Along with the Caesar's/William Hill partnership, other newly-approved Virginia casinos have established sports betting partnerships as well.
Hard Rock has its own sportsbook, which will serve the upcoming Hard Rock casino hotel in Bristol. BetRivers has partnered with the Rush Street Gaming Casino in Portsmouth, marking the sportsbook's fifth partnership since June 25, 2019.
BetRivers Sportsbook was first available at Rivers Casino (Pittsburgh, Pa.), then at French Lick Casino (Ind.), and in 2020, JP McGill's Hotel & Casino (Colo.) and Rivers Casino (Des Plaines, Ill.).
There is no news yet about the approved casino in Norfolk.
"The high level of interest by national and international sports betting operators validates Virginia’s efforts to strike an appropriate and responsible balance in its regulatory program for legalized sports betting,” Hall said in a statement. “We are confident that the deliberative review process we are undergoing now will result in a successful program that protects consumers, athletes, and taxpayers."