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PointsBet Licensed In Virginia, Will Offer Mobile Sports Betting In Partnership With Colonial Downs

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • PointsBet has entered into a partnership agreement with Colonial Downs Group for online market access in Virginia.
  • The Australian based company has already received their temporary supplier license from the Virginia Lottery.
  • PointsBet is now live in 7 states–as of yet, no announcement as to when they’ll launch in Virginia though it should be soon.

There was no bigger ‘tell’ that something is rotten behind the scenes of the Arizona sports betting licensing process than PointsBet not being approved. PointsBet has become one of the most impressive ‘international imports’ in the US sports betting market and are already live in seven states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, West Virginia, and New Jersey. They’ve recently been recommended for a license in New York–they’ll probably end up losing money in the state thanks to the 51% tax rate but at least it’ll be good for brand recognition. They also have the good sense to base their US operations in Denver–not only is it one of the best cities in the US it provides more validation that no state has done sports betting ‘right’ to the degree that Colorado has.

PointsBet will soon launch in another US state thanks to a partnership agreement with Colonial Downs Group LLC, owners of the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent, Virginia. The joint application of PointsBet and Colonial Downs has been approved by the Virginia Lottery (which unfortunately regulates sports betting in the state…er…’Commonwealth’ of Virginia) meaning that they’ll be offering online betting very soon. Although I haven’t been able to find any timeline for launch, most of the significant regulatory hoops have been jumped through so it shouldn’t be long. The official parlance of PointsBet’s status is that they’ve received a ‘temporary supplier license by the Virginia Lottery (“Lottery”) to offer online sports wagering in Virginia’.

As you’d expect, PointsBet plans to leverage their NBC Sports partnership to help build the brand in the Virginia market:

As the official, exclusive sports betting partner of NBC Sports, PointsBet will utilize the media giant’s premium television and digital assets to promote the PointsBet brand in Virginia. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports provides PointsBet with year-round, multi-platform media and marketing opportunities across its unmatched portfolio of events, including exclusive multiplatform gameday integrations across NBC Sports Washington, regional broadcast home to the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. PointsBet’s full Spanish-language functionality will reach Hispanic sports fans via Telemundo Deportes and Telemundo broadcast stations.

Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO, is excited to launch is brand in another state:

“Being awarded the opportunity to offer PointsBet’s market-leading speed and ease of use, unrivaled slate of betting options, and overall in-play excellence to the people of Virginia is a great achievement and responsibility. Alongside Colonial Downs, PointsBet is proud to partner with the Lottery in Virginia for our first lottery-regulated market license award. We couldn’t be more thrilled to further expand our exclusive relationship with NBC Sports – a staple to sports lovers in Virginia – and ultimately provide the great people in the state with the sportsbook they’ve been waiting for.”

Colonial Downs Group Chief Operating Officer Aaron Gomes gave this comment putting over PointsBet as an excellent partner for sports betting:

“Colonial Downs Group is proud to partner with PointsBet, a premier sports betting platform and one of the most successful operators in the nation. We are pleased to help bring this gaming option, with an excellent reputation and track record in customer service and unique points of difference such as their ‘PointsBetting’ platform, to our loyal customers and other gamers in Virginia.”

As of now, there are no retail sportsbooks in Virginia though with five casinos approved in recent updates to gaming regulations you have to think that will change. There’s also a number of sports venues in the state that could offer retail wagering such as the NASCAR tracks in Richmond and Martinsville. Virginia’s regulatory framework isn’t great–15% tax rate, limited licenses and lottery commission oversight–but sadly it’s still in the upper tier due to the mind numbingly bad sports betting ecosystems created in so many states. At least sportsbooks can deduct customer acquisition costs. As of this writing, there are ten sportsbooks live in Virginia: FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, WynnBET, Unibet, Barstool Sportsbook, Golden Nugget and Bally Bet. 888 Sports and Betway have been approved recently so once they go live and counting PointsBet that’s 13 ‘outs’ available in Virginia. The limited licensing sucks but at least Virginia has a fairly competitive market. Virginia ranks 12th in US states by population with 8,631,393 citizens (April 1, 2020 Census) putting them ahead of strong markets like Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. In September, Virginia reported a $294 million USD handle with a hold of $30.9 million USD. Were the Virginia market done right, they’d be doing New Jersey-like numbers.

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