Virginia Adds More Online Sports Betting Sites With bet365, BetFred Launches

U.K.-based bet365 continues its North American expansion, although the announcement of a launch in the Commonwealth comes on the heels of a withdrawal from Day 1 operations in Massachusetts, while Betfred looks to capitalize on a local sports partnership.

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 11:19 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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Since legal sports betting launched two years ago, Virginia has seen a steady increase in new retail and online sports betting sites.

Yesterday, the Commonwealth added another new operator, as bet365 officially launched in the state on Tuesday, while Betfred announced that it launched in Virginia today.

This marks the 15th and 16th brands to offer sports betting in Virginia, which most recently posted a monthly sports betting handle North of $500 million and has an approachable 15% tax rate — although that tax structure may be changing.

bet365’s awkward expansion

While bet365 added to its current North American markets (ColoradoNew JerseyOhio, and Ontario, Canada), it will not be joining Massachusetts in the immediate future.

Last week, bet365 withdrew its application from the initial Massachusetts sports betting launch. It was expected to partner with Raynham Park but changed its mind on the eve of the state’s retail betting start.

Raynham Park will be looking for a new mobile partner, giving bet365 the time to focus on Virginia, where new users can earn $200 in free bets.

Betfred, bet365 continue VA’s European invasion

With bet365 and Betfred, four of the last five sportsbook licenses accepted by Virginia have come from international operators, following the Commonwealth accepting both Betway and 888sport in May 2022.

While they only launched for about half of 2022, both sites combined for just over 1% of the total market last year, meaning the U.K.-based bet365 will be challenged if it wishes to make a real dent in a betting market that has solidified around the more nationally recognized operators.

From January to November last year, 14 sportsbooks accepted wagers and the Top 3 (FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM) accounted for over 81% of the entire handle.

Of the remaining 11, only Caesars had a market share above 5% (7.8%).

Despite that, Betfred is optimistic that its launch — and partnership with local USL team Loudoun United FC — will help buck that trend.

"We are excited to finally begin online operations in the Commonwealth of Virginia and look forward to activating our partnership with Loudoun United," said Bryan Bennett, COO of Betfred USA Sports. "This is the ideal time to launch sports betting with several major sporting events happening over the coming weeks and months, and of course with the USL Championship season kicking off soon."

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