Virginia regulator awards sports betting licence to Kindred Group

Another sports betting operator has been given approval to take bets in Virginia.

Kindred Group’s Unibet Interactive subsidiary has been awarded a direct market access online sports betting permit in the state of Virginia.

Kindred receives Virginia licences

Now that the Virginia Lottery has awarded the Unibet operator a licence, Kindred plans to launch its online Unibet sportsbook in the state.

Once the sportsbook goes live, bettors in the state will be able to place legal sports bets via the platform.

In its announcement, the operator said that following successful product launches in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana and market access in eight additional states, Virginia will play a major role in Unibet’s expansion across the east coast.

Manuel Stan SVP US, Kindred Group, said: “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 are very grateful to the Virginia Lottery for awarding us one of the seven stand-alone mobile sports betting permits in a very competitive process. 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”

Virginia’s betting market so far

This comes after the Virginia Lottery revealed that bettors in the state wagered $628.7m between the launch of legal betting in January and the end of March.

Although the report did not reveal revenue figures for the period, operators paid $1.5m in taxes during the period. Sportsbooks also spent $30m on promotional credits during the period.

Of the operators currently active in the state, FanDuel currently leads the market. According to the report, FanDuel has taken 53% of the $628.7m wagered since launch, which is good for $333m in handle.

DraftKings followed in a distant second with 24% of the market, while BetMGM holds 14% of Virginia’s betting market share. Meanwhile, William Hill held 8% of the market while BetRivers held 1%. WynnBet held less than 1% of the market in Virginia.

It’s worth noting that WynnBet launched on 9 March and has not had enough time to capture a share of the market.

More sportsbooks to launch

The state regulator has now approved ten sportsbooks, however, only six have launched so far.

At the time of writing, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, William Hill, BetRivers, and WynnBet are the only operators taking bets.

In recent weeks, the regulator has also approved Golden Nugget, Bally’s, and Penn National’s BarStool Sportsbook, which means that Virginia bettors will have more choice in the coming months.

During the Lottery’s latest gaming update, Gina Smith, deputy director for expanded gaming said that five new sportsbooks could be licensed via the annual sports betting application period which will run between 15 May and 31 May.

These five licenses would be made available under legislation signed into law earlier this month which sought to correct the laws surrounding how many licenses would be made available. 

When the state’s original betting legislation was signed into law 10 sports betting licenses were made available to online operators and five land-based locations set to open in the future. However, the language in the bill failed to distinguish between the two types of licence.

This has now been corrected in the new legislation which states that the five new licenses will be for land-based facilities and the previous 12 licenses will be for mobile operators.

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