Legal sports betting all started out in Virginia on Thursday afternoon when a bettor laid a $25 wager at FanDuel sportsbook on the Golden State Warriors to beat the New York Knicks in an NBA game.
FanDuel was able to open its sportsbook up first in the state thanks to a partnership with the NFL’s Washington Football Team. Under the regulations of the Virginia sports betting laws, pro sports teams based in the state were provided with “substantial and preferred consideration” when it came to opening a sportsbook. They were also permitted to partner with an existing sports betting operation in order to do so.
The team headquarters for the Washington club, the reigning NFC East champions, is situated in Ashburn, Va. The club is looking to construct a new stadium and this perk that enabled them to get in on the ground floor of what industry estimates are speculating will be a $400 million a year business is being viewed as an incentive to encourage the Washington Football Team to put that new stadium in Virginia.
From FanDuel’s point of view, partnering with the NFL team was a no-brainer. It enabled the sports betting giant to gain a leg up on the other major sports betting sites that figure to be opening sportsbooks in the state.
BetMGM, Draft Kings, Barstool Sports and WynnBET are other major sports betting sites that have applied for licenses to operate through the state regular, the Virginia Lottery.
As an added incentive, FanDuel is offering bettors in Virginia a risk-free first bet worth up to $1,000 when they sign up and open a new account with the sportsbook. To gain this offer, customers must sign up and verify their identity, then make their first wager. If that bet fails to cash, the full amount will be refunded to the player’s account in the form of site credits, up to a maximum of $1,000.