Double Digits: Unibet Becomes 10th Virginia Sportsbook After Receiving Permit

Posted on April 26, 2021

The list of sportsbooks with a Virginia permit for sports betting has reached double digits with the arrival of Unibet.

The Virginia Lottery, which oversees legal and regulated sports betting in the commonwealth, issued a temporary permit to Unibet Interactive, Inc. on April 21.

As of Monday, Unibet hadn’t formally launched in Virginia. However, the sportsbook debut could be quickly approaching.

Unibet continues US expansion with Virginia

Kindred Group, which is Unibet’s parent company, received one of seven stand-alone mobile sports betting permits in Virginia. Three other sportsbooks have launched or will soon launch in conjunction as Virginia casino partners.

Unibet sports betting is already live in three US states as part of casino partnerships:

  • Indiana
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania

According to Kindred, an international company with global gaming operations, the company also has “signed agreements for an additional eight states.” That list includes Western states of California and Arizona, thanks to a partnership with the Quechan Tribe.

According to Manuel Stan, a senior vice president of Kindred’s US operations:

“We are excited to add Virginia to the growing list of states that Unibet and Kindred Group call home as we continue our expansion in the US market. Our aim is to go live shortly and we expect that the success we have seen in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana will of course follow in Virginia. … We look forward to opening an office in Virginia, which will function as our third hub together with our offices in New York and New Jersey. We are thrilled to continue our journey in what we believe will become the largest gambling market in the world.”

Unibet, which has a heavy presence in Europe, reportedly could announce the date for its Virginia launch in a matter of days.

Can Kindred match the competition in Virginia?

Six sportsbooks are live and taking bets in Virginia:

  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • William Hill
  • WynnBET

Three others have received permits and plan to launch soon: Barstool Sportsbook, Bally’s, and Golden Nugget.

The VA Lottery recently revealed that two sportsbooks are the clear leaders in Virginia sports betting handle. FanDuel, which was first to market with a Jan. 21 launch, has accounted for the 53% of the $628.7 million wagered through March 31. DraftKings tallied 24%.

BetMGM (14%) has made some progress. So, too, has William Hill (8%), though it’s required a substantial $6 million in promos to new players. However, BetRivers (1%) and WynnBET (0%) have struggled in an increasingly competitive market.

That means an uphill fight for Unibet. However, it’s a worthy one. VA sportsbooks tallied $266 million in bets in February, and the VA Lottery put out an early estimate of $304.1 million for March.

That ranks Virginia eighth among US states with legal sports betting. At market maturity, PlayVirginia estimates the annual Virginia sports betting handle to grow to $5 billion in bets.

Photo by Goce Risteski | Dreamstime.com
Dann Stupp Avatar
Written by
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.

View all posts by Dann Stupp