888 Holdings announced Tuesday it has been awarded a provisional sports betting license from the Virginia Lottery, thus marking the ninth state in which the company holds local licenses or market access agreements.
In June 2021, 888 announced a strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group, a brand development, marketing and entertainment company and owner of Sports Illustrated brand to extend Sports Illustrated into betting and gaming. SI Sportsbook was launched in Colorado in September 2021, and will now launch in Virginia in 2022.
While a relatively new sports betting market, sports betting in Virginia has already experienced significant growth. According to the Virginia Lottery, to date over $1.95 billion has been wagered, including $293 million in September 2021, a 61% increase on the month prior.
In an official press release, Yaniv Sherman, SVP, Head of US at 888 commented on this new market access and said: “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."
As part of this venture, 888 has also partnered with Virtual Entertainment Partners LLC (VEP), a Virginia based Small, Woman-owned, and Minority-owned (SWaM) certified company with 100% African American female ownership. With VEP's local expertise, 888 will contribute to communities across Virginia, specifically minority communities.