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The Australian-based sportsbook and mobile betting operator BlueBet Holdings has withdrawn their application for a Virginia sports betting license after being informed by the Virginia Lottery that they are considered ineligible for one.
BlueBet was informed that these licenses would only be granted to operators who had applicable experience in other US states and to sportsbooks that had “equity interest owned by minority individuals or minority-owned businesses,” neither of which applies to BlueBet.
All application fees will be refunded to BlueBet, and the company still has firm plans to launch elsewhere in the US, currently holding a license in Iowa and with eyes on Colorado, Tennessee, and Maryland next while keeping a close watch on almost a dozen more states.
As for Virginia, there are reportedly five more available licenses remaining.
Due to a legislative mix-up, earlier in 2021 Virginia Governor Ralph Northam had to sign some new bills into law – HB 1847 from Delegate Mark Sickles and SB 1254 from Senator Jeremy McPike – that essentially fixed the betting bill from the prior year.
Now thanks to that updated legislation, the sports betting licenses associated with casinos in Virginia are not counted against the cap of 12 maximum mobile licenses allowable by law and that increases the market size and allows for what amounts to five more sports betting licenses to be granted.
Now there are 18 applications that have been submitted and are being considered by the Virginia Lottery for potential licenses to join the other operators already in place in the Old Dominion State, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, and BetRivers.
But its no guarantee that betting revenues in Virginia will continue to surge, as shown by a recent revenue decline.
Recent reports have shown that the lucrative Virginia sports betting market could be suffering a revenue downslope, with July seeing the state’s lowest monthly amount wagered since legal sports wagering in the state launched back in January.
For example, in June Virginia sports betting took in $14.9 million in revenue but in July that number shrank down to $12.7 million, the smallest monthly revenue the state had seen since they brought in $11.8 million back in April when the operation was still in its relative infancy.
Chances are this slump will be offset in September with the influx of wagers on the upcoming NFL season which officially opens on Thursday, September 9 with an exciting matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and last year’s champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Regardless of the fluctuating nature of the sports betting business, it will bring Virginia plenty of much-needed extra revenue to Virginians still reeling from the financial side effects of the worldwide pandemic.
We will continue to keep you updated on whatever changes do take place with the still available licenses in that state.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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