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

Written By Dann Stupp on April 26, 2021 - Last Updated on July 31, 2023

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 VA hadn’t formally launched. However, the Virginia sports betting outlet could debut soon.

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 VA online 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 the 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
  • Caesars VA
  • 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 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. But 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 will grow to $5 billion in bets.

Photo by Goce Risteski |
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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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