BlueBet Holdings sunk over 20% on Monday after the newly listed online wagering provider announced it had failed in another US licensing bid.
Following advice from the regulator, Virginia Lottery, it withdrew its application for a Sports Betting Permit in the US State of Virginia and all application fees will be refunded. The decision followed an exhaustive licence application process comprising 18 applications for only 5 available permits.
The Virginia Lottery formally notified that BlueBet was not deemed ineligible for a permit and the withdrawal of the application at this stage will not prevent BlueBet from applying again in the future.
During the process, the BlueBet Board received advice from the regulator that licenses would, at this stage, be granted to operators which had experience in other states and have equity interest owned by minority individuals or minority-owned businesses.
As part of its two-stage US entry strategy, BlueBet identified up to five priority states in the US for licences. Following its recent success in Iowa, the board’s current targets remain Colorado, Tennessee and Maryland as outlined at the time of the company’s recent IPO.
There are also ten states where sports betting is legal but not yet operational and these are all being reviewed and assessed against BlueBet’s entry criteria including the timing of taking first bets after the third quarter of FY22.
Industry commentators see up to 40 states legalising sports betting by 2023 versus the current 21 states where it is live and operational. BlueBet sees considerable scope to complement its licence in Iowa.
At the end of August, BlueBet was advised it was unsuccessful in its application for one of the 10 licences to operate an online sportsbook in Arizona.