Big week for sports betting in the US: Michigan and Virginia open their sportsbooks

Written By Andrew Boggs on January 25, 2021

Last week both Virginia and Michigan launched sports betting offerings. Virginia is offering sports betting for the first time and Michigan has allowed the operators of the upcoming online sportsbooks to begin releasing the details of their new products offered, like virtual sports betting.

After both states legalised their respective betting options in 2020, it took a long time for the gears of government to turn and put the new legislation into practice. Now it is the new year, and they are beginning to open back up and offer their betting operations.

FanDuel becomes first operator to secure licence in Virginia.

FanDuel became the first sportsbook operator to secure a temporary licence from the Virginia State Lottery. They started operating on the 21st of January in conjunction with the NFL’s Washington Football Team.

The partnership between the sports betting operator and the NFL team allows them to receive “substantial and preferred consideration” according to the wording of the new sports betting legislation.

The legislation allows preferred consideration for any operator that partners with a

“major league sports franchise headquartered in the Commonwealth that remitted personal state income tax withholdings based on taxable wages in the Commonwealth in excess of $200m.”

The partnership also allows FanDuel to use the teams name and logos in its product, and it may build retail betting kiosks at a future stadium in Virginia.

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DraftKings also launches an online sportsbook in Virginia

DraftKings launched their online mobile sportsbook in Virginia, marking the 12th state in the US that now has access to it.

Jason Robins, co-founder, and CEO of DraftKings wrote in a press release:

“Just in time for Super Bowl LV, we are thrilled to bring the DraftKings sports betting experience to Virginia with an abundance of betting options for fans. With our customer-first approach, we hope to be the sportsbook of choice for Virginians who enjoy having skin in the game.”

Unlike FanDuel, DraftKings has not partnered with a major sports organisation, instead they got one of the limited number of online-only licenses that are not tethered to a casino or sports franchise.

They still have a wide variety of sports betting options, not only major events like the upcoming Super Bowl and March Madness but the company is many things to many people, it is even a tennis betting site for those interested in the sport.

Michigan launches online gambling

On the 22nd of January, Michigan launched their online gambling offering.

Penn National Gaming announced it will launch its Barstool Sportsbook app but their online live casino offerings will not be available for some time.

Churchill Downs Incorporated is launching their TwinSpires branded casino and sports betting mobile app and website, which offered both casino games as well as their sportsbook., announced alongside today’s launch that it had entered into a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Detroit Pistons.

Read also: Online sports betting markets in the US. A State by State analysis

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Andrew Boggs

Andrew is a Northern Ireland based journalist with a background in esports and VR reporting. He grew up in County Down, Northern Ireland, and graduated from Ulster University with a Masters's degree in Journalism.

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