The Virginia sports betting market has officially launched, but thanks to a Washington Football Team deal, only one operator is currently licensed and taking wagers.
FanDuel Sportsbook, one of the largest operators in the US, on Thursday officially began taking wagers from bettors located within VA borders.
With the launch, Virginia becomes the 19th US state (plus Washington, DC) to have legal sports betting operational within its borders.
So how did FanDuel, which is now taking bets in 11 of those states, become first to market in Virginia?
Thanks to the Washington Football Team partnership, the Virginia Lottery gave “substantial and preferred consideration” to the sportsbook. However, other sportsbooks should be online in time for SuperBowl LV on Feb. 7, a spokesperson told PlayVirginia.
How to get started at FanDuel Virginia
As of roughly 2 p.m. local time, FanDuel Sportsbook is now live in the commonwealth and taking bets. If you want to get in on the action, you have a couple of options.
First, you can always just open your desktop and laptop, create an account, and bet on your browser.
However, most people in Virginia are probably more interested in betting on their phones. The FanDuel app is available for both iOS and Android. If you are looking for the app for your iPhone, it is available in the App Store. If you are looking for the Android version, the Play Store is not where you will find it. Google does not allow gambling apps in the store. Instead, head on over to FanDuel’s website on your phone’s browser. There should be a prominent link to download the app from there.
If you want to take advantage of a great sign-up offer, be sure to sign up using our link to get a risk-free bet up to $1,000. The promotion is available to new customers. How it works: you need to place a single bet with a wager of up to $1,000. If your bet wins, congratulations, you’re off to a great start. If you lose, FanDuel will refund that bet and give you another shot at it.
In order to make sure everyone is betting legally within the state, the app will need your permission to use your phone’s location technology before you can bet. If you live right on the state line, there is a chance your phone may have a little trouble accurately locating. Should you have trouble locating, drive a little further into the state and try again.
If you’ve already downloaded the FanDuel app to bet in another state like West Virginia or Tennessee, you don’t need to download the app again. FanDuel has a universal app that works in every state where it offers sports betting. Not every sportsbook has a universal app, so as others launch, you may need to download a Virginia-specific app for operators like BetMGM.
FanDuel’s competitive advantage in Virginia
FanDuel beat 24 other recent applicants to the Virginia market with Thursday’s launch.
John Hagerty, a spokesperson for the VA Lottery, pointed to the Virginia General Assembly’s sports betting legislation as the reason why. Even though the team plays in Maryland and bears the name of Washington, DC, the team’s home offices are located in Virginia.
However, despite FanDuel’s head start, Hagerty told PlayVirginia that other operators should be online and taking bets in the next two weeks:
“The first mobile sports betting permit has been awarded to FanDuel through its partnership with the Washington Football Team, which was granted ‘substantial and preferred consideration’ by the Virginia General Assembly. Decisions on additional permit awards are imminent, and we anticipate more than one sportsbook will be in position to begin accepting legal wagers from Virginians in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.”
In other words, FanDuel’s head start will amount to a matter of days, not weeks.
The VA General Assembly legalized sports betting in July 2020. Lawmakers then put in a regulatory framework that should create a robust and competitive market.
Initially, the Virginia Lottery planned on licensing up to 12 sportsbooks for online wagering. However, that number could swell to 19, based on new proposed legislation that clarifies language in the original bill.