888 Holdings PLC has announced that it has been issued a sports betting license by the Virginia Lottery following its strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of Sports Illustrated.
Earlier, in June of this year, the company announced that it had agreed a partnership with ABG allowing it to develop and launch the SI Sportsbook. The sportsbook was first launched in Colorado in September 2021 and thanks to the license issued this week, will launch in Virginia some time in early 2022.
The Virginia launch will also see 888 partner with Virtual Entertainment LLC (VEP), a Virginia-based small company that women and minority-owned. VEP will provide 888 with local expertise to help distribute the contributions the operator plans to make to minority communities across the state.
Since it first launched in January 2021, Virginian gamblers have placed over $1.95 billion in wagers on sporting events. The market has enjoyed steady growth with September’s handle coming in at $293.8 million, marking a 61% increase on the previous month.
The launch in Virginia will see 888 operate sports betting apps in nine states:
- New Jersey
Speaking of the news in a press release, Yaniv Sherman, SVP – Head of US at 888, stated:
“We are delighted to have been awarded our license by the Virginia Lottery. This is an important milestone for 888 which enhances our foothold in the US online sports betting and iGaming market. There is a growing sports betting fanbase in the state and I firmly believe that SI Sportsbook, supported by our partners at Sports Illustrated, will offer a unique and differentiated experience to our customers which will be well-received.”