- The Virginia legislative session adjourns on March 7.
- Sports betting legalization has been at the forefront of conversation this session with bills VA HB 4, VA HB 896, and VA SB 384.
- All three bills have the potential to be passed along to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk for signature.
RICHMOND, Va. – There are three bills that would legalize sports betting in Virginia and all are nearing the finish line. With the legislative session coming to a close, decisions need to be made in a matter of two days.
According to Senator Jeremy McPike, he expects that sports betting will become legal this year.
The Bills Are Moving
Bill VA HB 4 is the biggest bill slated to becoming legal. It would legalize sports betting with the Virginia Lottery serving as the regulator of the market. Tax rates would range from 15-28 percent depending on what type and how much business is being done by the operator. Both collegiate and professional sports teams would be open to wagers.
VA HB 4 was passed by both the House and the Senate; however, a Committee Conference has been requested and members were chosen to vote on the bill one final time. LegalSportsBetting spoke to Senator McPike on Wednesday who said there was no set time on the calendar as to when this conference would take place but it would be sometime within the next two days.
McPike has been appointed as one of the members to sit in on the Committee Conference. He is also the sponsor for the bill VA SB 384.
His bill is set to have a Committee Conference hearing as well. Again, this should happen within the next two days. VA HB 896 will receive its time at the table too. This trio of bills are all in line to make wagering on sports matchups legal for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
When asked his thoughts on the final outcome for the sports betting bills going before the Committee and whether or not there would be any opposition, Senator McPike was confident in saying that both bills if not all three will pass in the legislature as the votes are there.
“I mean, I don’t have a perfect crystal ball but I think sports betting legislation will pass without any problems,” said McPike.
He believes that the Commonwealth of Virginia has much to gain from sports betting legalization. Not only would the economy benefit, but residents would have a safer way of placing wagers as they are currently already placing bets at online offshore sportsbooks.
“Billions of dollars are spent on the black market and overseas right now on sports betting in Virginia. Some of that money could be recaptured by the Commonwealth of Virginia while gaining transparency in the Commonwealth for sports bettors,” said McPike.
The next few days will play a crucial role in whether 2020 will be the year that Virginia sports betting is legalized. If all goes as planned, Virginians will have legal sports betting available to them by the fall of 2020.
With the Virginia Lottery Board as the appointed regulating body, McPike would expect a launch of the legal gambling on sporting events in the Old Dominion just in time for the start of the NFL season.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.