- The Commonwealth of Virginia will have a legal sports betting industry launch come January 2021.
- After voting on the final rules and regulations for the market, the Virginia Lottery will begin accepting sportsbook applications in October.
- The state has twelve mobile sports betting licenses available, five of which are already tethered to land-based facilities.
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Lottery Board voted to finalize the rules and regulations for the sports betting industry in the Commonwealth on Tuesday.
After a 56-day public opinion window that closed on September 9, the board was flooded with 183 comments to review before voting.
A number of these comments came from both sports betting companies like Penn National Gaming and DraftKings and major sports organizations like the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
After some last-minute tweaks, the framework for Virginia sports betting is now set.
The Rules For Gambling On Sports In The Old Dominion
The comments by the public made an impact on the final draft for the sports betting market. New stipulations were made in multiple areas of the original draft.
These areas included a change in the definitions section for certain terms used within the documents, consumer protection changes, marketing changes, and player ban changes among a list of other minor tweaks.
All of these subjects were part of what the big named sports betting companies and major league sports organizations had issues with the first proposal.
What Happens Now For Virginia Sports Betting?
While the board made rules and regulations for sports wagering final, they will not officially take effect until the Virginia Register posts them as such. This should happen in October.
Sportsbook operators can begin getting their documents together to apply for licensure as submissions will be accepted starting on October 15. This includes applications for every aspect of an operation from the brand itself to the vendors, suppliers, and even the employees.
The last day that applications will be accepted is set for October 31, allowing a little over two weeks to get all required paperwork into the Virginia Lottery.
“Virginians are ready to bet on sports legally,” said James Chisholm, DraftKings’ director of global communications and public affairs. “We all share a common goal of creating a robust, dynamic, customer-centric sports betting market in Virginia that generates much-needed tax revenue for the commonwealth, and pulls thousands of Virginians, who are already regularly betting on sports, off of illegal platforms, which offer no consumer protections or responsible gaming resources.”
An application is not considered complete until every piece has been submitted regarding the business. If an operator fails to do this, they will not be considered for a license.
After the lottery has received an application in its entirety, they have 90 days to approve or deny it. This means that the Commonwealth of Virginia will have a legal sports betting launch as early as mid-January.
The lottery has signed on to use an internet system for licenses created by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency to take care of the entire application process from submission to approval.
The sudden rush to nail down rules and regulations was purposefully done so that sportsbooks could open by the time the best part of the NFL season is happening. That extra kick of revenue will be a welcome addition to an economy in need of funds after incurring huge losses from the outbreak of COVID-19.
From all estimations, Football fans in Virginia will be able to wager on some of the best sporting events happening in 2021 using state-sanctioned sportsbooks.
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.