With PointsBet Virginia Launch, VA Sportsbook Market Gets Even More Crowded

Posted on December 15, 2021

With the PointsBet Virginia launch, Virginians have one more option where they can place a legal sports bet.

The latest VA sportsbook made a quiet debut on Wednesday, Dec. 15.

The Virginia sports-betting market formally launched on Jan. 21 with FanDuel Sportsbook as first-to-market. Since then, many other mobile sports betting operators have made their debut in Old Dominion.

Now, with the PointsBet VA launch, Virginia has 11 operators in all.

A PointsBet Virginia launch with local ties

We knew the PointsBet Virginia launch was coming. We just weren’t sure when.

But it became a foregone conclusion last month. That’s when PointsBet VA announced it had teamed with Colonial Downs Group on the joint application for licensure.

Then, on Nov. 22, the Virginia Lottery formally approved them for a temporary sports betting permit.

With the PointsBet Virginia launch, the full list of VA sportsbook operators now includes:

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 Bet3/15/202111/24/2021
PointsBet11/22/202112/15/2021
Betway11/24/2021Q1 2022
SI Sportsbook11/25/2021Q1 2022

As you can see in the table above, two companies remain that have approval for VA sports betting. Betway and 888 (which is teamed with SI Sportsbook) received permits last month.

However, neither potential debutant has announced a launch date.

Teaming with Colonial Downs for Virginia access

The Virginia-based Colonial Downs Group owns the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent. It also owns Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums, gaming parlors and racebooks that offer slot-machine like historical horse racing (HHR) games.

PointsBet is an Australia-based company, but it’s active in some of the biggest US markets, including New Jersey and Illinois.

However, it’s struggled to keep up with the leading sportsbooks in those states. Through the first three quarters of 2021, for example, PointsBet’s share of the highly lucrative NJ market slipped by nearly half.

Part of those struggles can be attributed to PointsBet’s reluctance to spend marketing dollars like FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM do, according to CEO Sam Swanell.

With Colonial Down as a partner, the online operator now has some solid roots in Virginia.

But it faces an ulta-competitive market in Virginia.

A well-timed PointsBet Virginia launch

The PointsBet Virginia launch couldn’t come a moment too soon.

The popular football-betting season is winding down. However, PointsBet VA will still be able to capitalize on the upcoming NFL Playoffs in early January and Super Bowl in February. Both are massive betting events.

Ten competitors are already operational here, and more are on the way when Virginia casinos begin to open.

PointsBet has plenty going for it. It’s a fairly known name among sports-betting enthusiasts. It also has some popular player perks, including sign-up bonuses, daily odds boosts, regular promotions and even scaled “PointsBetting” payoff tables.

Time will tell if Virginia’s latest operator can make a dent in the competition.

Photo by Dreamstime / Richard Lindie
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Dann Stupp

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

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