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FanDuel first to secure approval for Virginia sports betting launch


FanDuel is set to be the first operator to launch in Virginia today (21 January), after receiving approval from the Virginia Lottery.

The operator is the only one so far to receive a temporary permit, after its application in conjunction with the NFL’s Washington Football Team was accepted.

FanDuel had announced its launch was imminent yesterday (January 20) in a Twitter video, in which it said the launch should be expected the next day.

The partnership with the team allowed the application to receive “substantial and preferred consideration” according to the wording of SB-384.

This status was granted to any “major league sports franchise headquartered in the Commonwealth that remitted personal state income tax withholdings based on taxable wages in the Commonwealth in excess of $200m,” which in practice applied only to the Football Team, though other preferences applied to other major league sports teams in the state.

FanDuel may use the Football Team’s name and logos in its product, and it may build retail betting kiosks at a future stadium in Virginia. The team currently plays in Maryland, however.

Supplier IGT also received approval today (January 21), as did geolocation solutions provider GeoComply. Last week, the lottery issued 26 vendor licenses to payment providers, data suppliers and affiliates.

Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020, after state lawmakers amended a bill to factor in changes requested by Governor Ralph Northam.

This week, the state House Subcommittee on Gaming approved an amendment, HB1847, that means the state’s proposed land-based casinos would not count against the limit on sports betting licensees in the state.