Betway and SI Sportsbook Scheduled for April Launch in Virginia

Thinking Man Holding Money With Sports Equipment

Sports bettors in Virginia will have at least two new options to choose from in the coming months. Both Betway and SI Sportsbook are scheduled to launch in Virginia this coming April. When the two sportsbooks launch in the spring, it will bring the total number of sportsbooks in Virginia to 9. Under the current gaming laws, Virginia can have up to 12 sportsbooks in operation. The new sportsbooks would join several great online betting options in Virginia.

Betway and SI Sportsbook are both sports betting operators that bring international experience to the Virginia market. Betway operates in over 20 markets across the world and is partnered with Digital Gaming Corporation (DCG). SI Sportsbook is the offspring of the partnership between 888sport and Sports Illustrated. The April launch will mean that neither sportsbook will open in time for the Super Bowl or March Madness.

Even if the two sportsbooks did open before the NCAA tournament, they could not accept wagers on it. Current Virginia law does not allow betting on college sports. A new bill was introduced last week that would change that. However, the bill would not allow for prop betting on college sports.

On top of the new sports betting bill, Virginia could approve even more sportsbooks by the end of the year. Three more unnamed sports betting operators are currently under review by the Virginia State Lottery. If approved, Virginia would be at the maximum number of sportsbooks allowed by its current laws.

About Betway Sportsbook

Betway is an online gambling company that is popular in many countries across the globe. The company was originally founded in 2006. In early 2021, Betway partnered with DGC to branch into the US Market. Since then, Betway and DGC have opened iGaming operations in 10 US states.

The partnership between Betway and DGC is also good news for Virginia bettors. Betway can now offer an improved online betting experience to players. They also have an app in addition to desktop gaming options.

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Betway’s developed online gaming operations will be crucial to its success in the Virginia market. There are currently no brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the state of Virginia. That means that all betting must take place using online and mobile betting options.

DGC is not the only major organization to team up with Betway in 2021. Last May it was announced that the NHL was partnering with Betway. The new multi-year deal started in just time for the 2021 NHL playoffs. As part of the deal, Betway receives significant brand exposure during broadcasts through signage placements. Betway also has partnerships with individual NBA teams.

About SI Sportsbook

The other sportsbook launching in April is SI Sportsbook. Sports Illustrated announced its partnership with 888sport last summer. 888sport became the first non-US operator to be licensed in the US back in 2013. They first started operations in Nevada, but 888sport spread to other states as more places began to legalize gambling.

SI and 888sport announced their partnership last June. The big announcement came with a downside for bettors in some states. 888sport informed bettors that they would not be accepting bets during part of the rebranding process. In New Jersey, for example, 888sport has not accepted any bets since mid-December.

The 888sport brand is well-known globally, but the SI name will help bring in new US bettors that are first-time bettors. For SI, the biggest benefit is their ability to rely on 888sport’s experience expanding into new markets. SI has decades of experience in the sports news sector, but this will be their first adventure into sports betting.

Bettors with 888sport were forced to find other sportsbooks to use for their betting needs. So far, SI sportsbook is only live in one state, Colorado. Officials are hopeful that the temporary stop in betting action will pay off in the end.

Could College Sports Betting be Allowed in Virginia?

The addition of two new sportsbooks is not the only big news in Virginia sports betting. Currently, Virginia residents cannot bet on Virginia college sports. A bill was introduced last week that would change that. The man who introduced the bill was Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg.

Virginia is home to 14 NCAA Div. I programs. The new bill would allow bettors to wager on the outcomes of college games. However, bettors would not be allowed to place prop bets on the college action. The ban on prop bets would help alleviate concerns of college players being pressured into fixing games.

Banning prop bets on college sports could also help the bill gain support from other legislators. Anti-gambling lawmakers could see the bill as a compromise. For sportsbooks, the bill would still allow plenty of college betting action to take place. Other states have similar laws that prevent prop bets on Virginia college sports.

Even if the bill does not pass, Virginia sportsbooks can still find plenty of success. A similar bill was introduced in New Jersey but failed to pass. New Jersey is one of the biggest sports betting markets and it does not allow in-state college sports betting.

Conclusion

The Virginia sports betting market is about to get two new players. A representative of the Virginia Lottery announced that SI Sportsbook and Betway are both expected to launch operations in April.

The pending launch will bring the total number of sportsbooks in Virginia to 9. It was also announced that three other sportsbooks are under review. The names of the other sportsbooks have not yet been announced.

Both SI Sportsbook and Betway bring a ton of international experience to the table. SI Sportsbook is the result of a partnership between 888sport and Sports Illustrated. Betway has already gained popularity in the US and has a partnership with the NHL. Both sports betting operators feature strong online and mobile betting options. They will need to rely heavily on their iGaming options as Virginia does not have in-person casinos, yet.

It was also announced last week that a bill was introduced that would allow for college sports betting. Currently, Virginia residents cannot bet on in-state college sports. The bill would change that but would still ban prop bets.