To say bettors in Virginia were shocked on Thursday would be an understatement as they received the surprise of a lifetime: online betting was now available in their statement.
On Wednesday, FanDuel Sportsbook announced that bettors in Virginia would be allowed to bet on their accounts “soon,” which ended up being around 2:00 pm ET on Thursday.
The decision to allow online sports betting in Virginia was nearly one year in the making after it was approved by the Virginia General Assembly in March 2020.
This makes FanDuel the first sportsbook to be available in Virginia, meaning that sports fans and bettors can now make accounts, deposit funds and place bets whenever they want from the comfort of their homes.
While bettors will be able to bet on virtually any professional sporting event, whether it’s a random Wednesday night NBA game or a high-profile UFC event, betting on any sort of college event in the state will be prohibited.
FanDuel also announced a variety of promotions to entice potential bettors into joining their services, such as a $1,000 risk-free bet. What this means is that if a bettor makes any bet up to $1,000 using this promotion, FanDuel will fully refund them if they lose the bet.
Other promotions available include 25-1 odds on the upcoming Buffalo Bills/Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship game.
Online sports betting can be intimidating to those who don’t like technology, but fortunately for those people, it is expected that one day, physical sports gambling locations will come to Virginia in the future as long as these locations adhere to the state’s regulations.
As soon as Virginia builds the casinos it voted on last year, bettors should be able to find sports betting areas in these locations.
FanDuel, Washington Football Team partnership announced
Many sports and betting fans were excited about Thursday’s announcement of FanDuel’s arrival to the Old Dominion, however, that was not the only exciting thing to announce.
FanDuel was only able to become the first online sportsbook to launch in Virginia because of a partnership with the NFL’s Washington Football Team.
Needless to say, FanDuel joined this partnership as a “loophole” to get ahead of the competition.
Professional sports teams who operate in Virginia were given top priority when it comes to bringing a sportsbook to the state. Even though the Washington Football Team plays its home games at FedExField in Maryland, its practice facilities and team headquarters are in Ashburn, VA.
Is the partnership between FanDuel and the Washington Football Team incentive to build a pro football stadium in Virginia? Only time will tell, but partnerships with sports betting operators and NFL teams have been happening.
For example, DraftKings Sportsbook partnered with the Indianapolis Colts in 2019 and went on to have a presence during Colts home games, such as digital signs and media advertisements.
Although FanDuel is currently the only online sportsbook in Virginia, other well-known sportsbooks are expected to be available in the future.
25 different sportsbooks have applied for a license back in October 2020 that would allow them to operate in Virginia, including heavy-hitters such as BetMGM, DraftKings, and theScore Bet.
It’s unknown as to when or even if these applications will be approved.