Online betting and gaming operator 888 has secured a provisional sports betting license for its Sports Illustrated-branded product in the US state of Virginia.
Issued by the Virginia Lottery, the license will enable 888 to launch a sportsbook product in Virginia via its partnership with monthly magazine Sports Illustrated. 888 in June this year announced a strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the owner of Sports Illustrated, to extend the magazine brand into betting and gaming.
The first SI Sportsbook was unveiled in Colorado in September 2021 and the new license will also allow for the launch of an SI Sportsbook in Virginia in 2022.
“This is an important milestone for 888 which enhances our foothold in the US online sports betting and igaming market,” 888’s senior vice president and head of US, Yaniv Sherman, said.
“There is a growing sports betting fanbase in the state and I firmly believe SI Sportsbook, supported by our partners at Sports Illustrated, will offer a unique and differentiated experience to our customers which will be well-received.”
In Virginia, 888 will also partner up with Virtual Entertainment Partners (VEP), a local small, woman-owned and minority-owned (SWaM) certified business with 100% African-American female ownership.
888 said it will use VEP’s local expertise to commit significant contributions to communities across Virginia, with a core focus on minority communities.
888 now holds local licenses or market access agreements in nine states, with the operator also approved in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Other licensed operators currently active in Virginia include DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, FanDuel and Unibet.