Barstool Sportsbook Is Live As 8th Virginia Sports Betting Operator

Posted on August 10, 2021

It’s official: Barstool Sportsbook Virginia is live as of Tuesday, Aug. 10, marking the eighth operational sportsbook in VA.

The Barstool mobile sports betting app and its desktop version went live in Virginia on Tuesday afternoon.

Over the weekend, officials from the Penn National Gaming property announced they planned to go live in Old Dominion the day after Monday’s launch in Colorado.

The Virginia Lottery actually issued Barstool a sports-betting permit way back on March 15, but it took five months for the company to finally accept its first wager here.

So, what can new Barstool bettors expect from the newest Virginia sportsbook? A special $1,000 risk-free bet, for starters.

An offer for Barstool Sportsbook in Virginia

It’s been a big week for Barstool Sportsbook and Penn National, which recently agreed to purchase Score Media and Gaming for $2 billion. The deal was more about owning its own tech instead of acquiring new customers.

On that front, Barstool Virginia is relying on a tried-and-true method: promotions!

For its launch in VA, the sportsbook has a handsome free-bet offer.

New customers can get a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. If your first bet loses, you’ll get it back – up to $1,000. Just keep in mind that you have to first make a deposit, and has to be at least $5.

Once you sign up for an account, you’ll also receive a $10 registration bonus. It doesn’t even require a deposit to receive it, so it’ll give you a free way to give the site and app a test run.

Of course, expect additional promos and bonuses as the fall football season approaches. After all, NFL and NCAA college football usher in sportsbooks’ busiest time of the year.

Barstool’s long climb ahead

With this week’s addition of Colorado and Virginia, Barstool Sportsbook is now available in six states. The sportsbook previously launched in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

However, in Virginia, it faces an uphill climb. First-to-market FanDuel (49.5%), DraftKings (25.4%), and BetMGM (16.4%) combined account for more than 90% of the Virginia sports-betting market.

Caesars Sportsbook (formerly William Hill) has a not-insignificant share of 7.1%. But BetRivers, WynnBET, and Unibet each have just 1% or less.

SportsbookPermit approval dateLaunch date
FanDuel1/20/20211/21/2021
DraftKings1/24/20211/24/2021
BetMGM1/24/20211/27/2021
BetRivers1/26/20211/27/2021
Caesars (formerly William Hill)1/27/20212/2/2021
WynnBET3/4/20213/11/2021
Unibet4/21/20214/28/2021
Barstool3/15/20218/10/2021
Golden Nugget3/15/202110/13/2021
Bally's3/15/2021TBA

However, those books lack something that only Barstool has: the ultra-loyal “Stoolies” fan base. Barstool fanatics have helped the sportsbook achieve a hold of more than 9%, well above FanDuel and DraftKings. That’s due in part to lower marketing costs due to easier, organic customer acquisition from the longtime sports blog’s existing audience.

Barstool also has a younger customer base. And it gravitates toward parlays, “Odds Boosts,” and other specialty markets that usually mean a bigger hold and more profits for the sportsbook.

Will it be enough to make a dent in Virginia? Barstool Sportsbook now has its opportunity to find out.

Photo by Dreamstime / Jruffa
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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