In June 2021, the company announced a strategic partnership with Authentic Brands Group (ABG), owner of the brand Sports Illustrated (SI). Announced in Colorado in September 2021, the partnership aims to launch SI Sportsbook in Virginia, extending it into betting and gaming, commencing 2022.
As part of this journey, the operator has also joined forces with Virtual Entertainment Partners LLC (VEP), a 'Virginia-based, Woman-owned, and Minority-owned (SWaM) certified company.' SWaM’s ownership comprises 100% African American females.
888 will continue in its mission to commit significant contributions with VEP’s local enterprise to communities across Virginia. The company will pay special attention to minority communities to drive diversity to Virginians, all the while creating meaningful value and enabling opportunities.
Virginia is still a relatively new sports betting market but has seen significant growth since its regulation. Over $1.95bn has been wagered, according to the Virginia Lottery, including $293m in September 2021, which was a 61% increase on the prior month.
Powered by official data from popular sporting leagues. SI Sportsbook will offer a proposition for sports fans across the state, with an aim to bring a trusted experience to betting fans.
888 is slowly expanding its footprint across the States, holding licences of market access in nine states, including Delaware, Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Yaniv Sherman, 888 SVP, Head of US, commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded our provisional licence 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.”