This year is set to become another big year for the sports betting industry in the United States, and Virginia will play a role in that growth. The latest sportsbook to launch in the state is Sports Illustrated.
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Virginia sports betting launched in January 2021, just in time for that year’s Super Bowl.
The gambling laws in Virginia have been very restrictive in the past, but sports betting and casino gambling have both been legalized. Retail sports betting will be available at the Virginia casinos that are being built, but Virginia online sports betting is expected to drive the market, especially at the beginning.
Voters in Virginia played a role in legalizing sports betting, but it was lawmakers in the state that were able to create a bill to make it legal. There is a strong sports presence in and around Virginia, and this state should put up some impressive numbers when the industry gets established.
VA sports betting could also sure the Washington Football Team to the state, as well as providing some necessary and needed tax revenue. There are going to be some small hiccups at the beginning, but by the middle of 2021, the VA sports betting scene should be operating efficiently.Jump to
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Virginia sports betting will include both online and retail betting options, with online being the first platform that is rolled out. The retail sportsbooks are still being constructed as of January 2021, but there will be some options available at some point this year.
VA sports betting law requires a minimum of four online sportsbook apps and a maximum of 12. It is unclear at this time what sportsbook operators will receive these licenses, but sites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and William Hill are expected to launch.
Remote registration will be in place in Virginia, and that will allow bettors to create a sports betting account from their mobile phone or another device. Visiting a retail sportsbook or a casino will not be required, which should boost the numbers quickly.
Sports betting accounts are not limited to just residents of the state of Virginia, as guests can create an account as well. Location services will have to be turned on to ensure that you are within the state borders before a bet can be placed.
Casinos, racetracks, and sports stadiums in the state of Virginia can all apply for a retail sports betting license, but it will take a while for retail betting options to be available. Casino gambling was approved at the same time that sports betting was, and these casinos are currently being constructed.
There are five cities in Virginia that will have a casino in place after voters approved a ballot referendum in November 2020. These five cities are Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond.
Racetracks such as Richmond Raceway and Virginia Motor Speedway are expected to offer retail sports betting as well. State lawmakers are also hoping that the Washington Football Team build a new stadium in Virginia to offer betting at that location as well.
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Virginia Sports Betting Rules
The five sports that are expected to drive sports betting in Virginia are NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. These are the five most popular sports in the US, and they can all be offered by sportsbooks in the state.
Outside of these leagues, there is a long list of other available betting markets that can be offered by each individual sportsbook. Both US and international events will be featured, but it will be up to each individual operator to determine what betting markets they want to feature.
The one major restriction in Virginia is that betting on collegiate sporting events featuring in-state teams is prohibited. With no professional sports teams actually in the state, some of these colleges and universities have built up a large following of fans and sports bettors.
Betting on college basketball and football is allowed, as long as a Virginia team is not playing in that game. These two sports are both extremely popular and should help bring in revenue and handle as well.
Virginia Sports Betting Regulations
The idea of legalizing VA sports betting first came up in 2019, but lawmakers in the state were not able to gain much traction that year. Some industry experts believed that Virginia had a great shot at legalizing sports betting that year, but lawmakers went a different route.
Instead of passing a sports betting bill, lawmakers instead created a committee to study the effects of sports betting, with a report scheduled to be delivered near the end of 2019.
Armed with the findings of the study, a new sports betting bill was filed in 2020, and it was attached to a much larger gambling expansion package. Lawmakers not only wanted to legalize sports betting but also wanted to approve casino gambling as well.
Legalizing sports betting in Virginia required the passing of two bills, and both of these pieces of legislation were signed by Governor Ralph Northam on July 1, 2020. HB 896 and SB 384 outlined the future of sports betting and created regulations to guide the industry.
The Virginia State Lottery Board was put in charge of regulating and overseeing the sports betting industry set to launch in 2021. The Lottery Board will be tasked with approving sports betting licenses as well as ensuring that all operators are following regulations.
Sports betting licenses cost $250,000, and they are good for three years. All sports betting revenue is taxed at a rate of 15 percent.
The state will receive 95 percent of all sports betting tax revenue, and the State Lottery Board will receive the remaining five percent for governing the industry.
Virginia sports betting was legalized in 2020, and launched in January 2021. It took a large effort to get sports betting both on the table and to get a bill legalized to make VA sports betting possible.
VA sports betting will be the only option available once the industry launches, but retail sports betting options will be coming as well. There are a limited number of sports betting licenses available in Virginia, but that should create a highly competitive market.
Some of the top sports operators in the US and internationally are expected to apply for a VA sports betting license, and that is a huge win for the bettors. These sportsbooks will have plenty of freedom in selecting betting markets, which will help bring in some big numbers.
It is too hard to predict what the handle and revenue numbers will eventually be in Virginia, but there is plenty of potential in this market. Virginia residents have been longing for gaming and gambling options, and their first option will be sports betting.