Virginia to get legal sports betting as bill passes VA house and senate.
Virginia sports betting is coming as state legislators passed a bill to legalize sportsbooks in the state. The news broke on Sunday afternoon as lawmakers held a special session. However, it is not a done deal. The governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, will still need to officially sign the bill. Northam is expected to do so.
It was a surprise to many that the bill did pass for Virginia to get online betting. The first version of it had been voted down earlier in the weekend but changes were made that allowed it to pass on a second vote.
Virginia Legal Sports Betting – Details of the Bill
There are going to be some specific limitations on betting in VA, and the Virginia Lottery will regulate it all. For one, the committee decided that those who bet on sports in Virginia will not be allowed to bet on VA college sports teams Additionally, there will be no prop bets allowed on any NCAA or other college sports. That means no prop bets on any college football or basketball games at all.
Also, no betting will be allowed by VA Lottery employees, permit holders and of course the athletes themselves and certain related persons. Like all states, individuals in Virginia will need to be 21 to bet. The penalty for breaking any of these other other laws outlined in the sports betting bill is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The sports betting bill in VA also limits the amount of online betting sites that can do business. Somewhere between 4 and 12 licenses for online gambling operators will be issued via a lottery. Then there are allowances for certain additional operators to open in addition to the lottery licensees. These additional VA betting sites will need to have made substantial financial investments in the state.
VA is hoping to use legal sports betting to lure a pro sports team. The bill indicates that if a NFL, NHL, MLS, NBA or NFL team moves to the state, they could get a license. We suspect that this would allow for that team to have an on-site sportsbook or mobile betting platform.
Sports betting operators will pay 20 percent tax on adjusted gross revenue. However, the operators can also deduct net losses for up to 12 months of business in Virginia.
Integrity and responsible gaming are also highlighted throughout the VA betting bill.
The bill requires the creation of a voluntary exclusion program. This will let players self-enter a list that limits them from betting, should they think that they have a gambling problem. Virginia will also have a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, that will provide counseling to compulsive gamblers and implement other new programs. 2.5 percent of the states sports betting revenue will be used for this fund.
When will Virginia legal sports betting go live?
The exact date has not been specified at this point, but with the time line of licensing being issued to gaming operators, it seems likely that VA will get betting in the Fall of 2020.
For more details on legal Virginia sports betting, read the full bill here.
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