Which Sportsbooks Are Gaining On FanDuel, The Virginia Market Leader?

Posted on January 13, 2022 - Last Updated on January 14, 2022

When it comes to the Virginia market leader for sports betting, the commonwealth’s first sportsbook is still the king.

But some of the other VA sportsbooks are starting to cut into that lead from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Additionally, two new sportsbooks – SI Sportsbook by 888 and Betway from Digital Gaming – should hit the market within the next two months.

Virginia Lottery officials gave an update on the VA sports betting market, which will soon turn a year old. It was part of the Jan. 12 VA Lottery Board meeting, which took place Wednesday.

FanDuel a dominant Virginia market leader

By the end of this month, we should have the total VA sports betting revenue numbers for December. Barring a substantial dip in betting volume, it should give Virginia a total of $3 billion in total wagers in 2021.

For Wednesday’s meeting, though, officials had the figures only through the month of November. Virginia’s sports-betting operators began launching in late January 2021, so the tallies represent 10 months and change of sports wagering.

FanDuel, which was first to market on Jan. 21, remains the dominant Virginia market leader. The sportsbook giant has maintained a commanding lead. However, that dominance has slipped throughout the year. After taking 53% of bets through March, the total slipped to 42.7% through November.

Here’s the full breakdown of VA sportsbooks and their market share, Jan. 21 to Nov. 30, 2021:

 HandleNov 2021Sep 2021Jun 2021Mar 2021
FanDuel Sportsbook$1,193,268,55542.7%45.4%49.5%53.0%
DraftKings Sportsbook$748,273,582 26.8%26.1%25.4%24.0%
BetMGM Sportsbook$498,103,669 17.8%17.9%16.4%14.0%
Caesars Sportsbook$235,914,420 8.4%7.6%7.1%8.0%
Barstool Sportsbook$55,903,8912.0%1.0%n/an/a
BetRivers Sportsbook$31,585,698 1.1%1.1%1.1%1.0%
WynnBet Sportsbook$20,404,920 0.7%0.5%0.3%0.0%
Unibet Sportsbook$11,180,778 0.4%0.4%0.3%n/a
Golden Nugget Sportsbook$838,5580.03%n/an/an/a
Bally Bet Sportsbookn/a*n/an/an/an/a
PointsBet Sportsbookn/an/an/an/an/a

* – Launched on Nov. 24, but betting volume too small to register

Why has the FanDuel lead slipped by 10 points throughout the year? There are some obvious answers.

Barstool, Caesars gain ground on FanDuel VA

During the first few months of sports betting in Virginia, FanDuel had a handful of competitors. However, that number swelled throughout 2021 as new operators received licenses and launched sports-betting operations.

In fact, on Jan. 31, 2021, Virginia had just five sportsbooks. Now, there are 11 Virginia sportsbooks – with at least two more on the way (more on that below).

According to VA Lottery officials, FanDuel is outpacing all other VA sportsbooks in promotional spending, which was $35.5 million paid out through November. Despite that hefty spend, FanDuel’s share shrunk from 45.4% through September to 42.7% through November.

Despite spending less ($23 million) on promos, second-place DraftKings went from a 26.1% market share through September to 26.8% through November.

Fifth-place Barstool Sportsbook, which had $2.2 million in promotional spend in 2021, increased from 1% market share to 2% during that same time period. And fourth-place Caesars, with a $14.9 million promotion spend, grew from 7.6% to 8.4% market share.

Third-place BetMGM, meanwhile, had one of the bigger promo spends in 2021 with $24.4 million. But from September to November, its market share actually shrunk from 17.9% to 17.8%.

SI Sportsbook, BetWay next to challenge Virginia market leader

According to VA Lottery Deputy Director of Gaming Compliance Gina Smith, SI Sportsbook and Betway will be the next sportsbooks to launch in VA.

Smith said both operators have received permits and should be accepting wagers by the end of March. They will be the 12th and 13th sportsbooks in Old Dominion.

Here’s the full list:

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

According to Smith, the VA Lottery is also currently reviewing three other potential operators. However, she didn’t disclose the identities of the applicants, and they haven’t yet received sports-betting permits.

Any approved sportsbooks could launch in Q2 of 2022.

Photo by Shutterstock / sportpoint
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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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