Rush Street set to debut with mobile sportsbook in Virginia
Rush Street Gaming (RSG) has an exciting day ahead as the land-based casino developer, who already has a well-established presence in Virginia, is now joining in on the state’s mobile sports gambling market. This makes RSG the first developer to be issued a license to operate an online sportsbook, which it will be introducing today through BetRivers.com. With this launch, Virginians will now have four different mobile sportsbooks available to them.
Rush Street Interactive, RSG’s arm for its online gaming operations, will be the one to flip the switch to allow online sports wagers today after the Virginia Lottery Board gave it its license. Still, for the time being, only sports wagers will be allowed, though it his highly likely that this could change down the road. FanDuel is already operating with its online sportsbook after a launch last week, DraftKings entered this past Sunday and BetMGM went live just yesterday.
As of 2020, Virginia possesses a new gambling bill that is helping the state to find new sources of revenue. That bill permits a total of 12 sports gambling licenses, but adds that “a permit shall not count toward this maximum if it is issued pursuant to an applicable major league sports franchise.”
FanDuel’s license is covered through that condition, seeing as it teamed up with the Washington Football Team last week. As a result, there are still nine more licenses that can be issued, more if operators find other teams with whom they can partner. RSG has to thank Virginia for a lot of its future success. The company is behind a casino resort coming to the city of Portsmouth, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, as well as its brand new online sports gambling operations.
The resort is expected to cost approximately $300 million and was made possible after the city’s residents approved a ballot measure last November that permitted the construction of a casino resort.
Aside from the city of Portsmouth, Bristol, Danville and Norfolk will all also be hosting gambling properties. Hard Rock International was approved for the Bristol resort last December, while the other two cities are still working out the details, but Caesars is allegedly inking out a deal with Danville and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe is expected to make its gambling debut with a casino in Norfolk.
There is now a total of 21 states in the U.S. with legal sports gambling markets, 14 of which allow online sports gambling. This is a major leap from what was available three years ago before PASPA was killed by the Supreme Court, and more states are expected to join over the next couple of years. By 2024, many analysts predict that at least 40 states could have legal sports gambling markets in place and, as more join, other states will feel pressured to add their names to the list too.