Multiple sports betting bills are up for consideration in Virginia.

  • Annual revenue estimates show numbers exceeding a $400 million gain from the legal sports betting market in Virginia.
  • From these projections, most of the business would be coming from the mobile and internet wagering platforms.
  • While both bills include retail locations, an online-only sportsbook would be much quicker to launch according to studies.

RICHMOND, Va. – Two separate Virginia sports betting bills are up for consideration by the state’s House of Delegates. Each of these proposals varies greatly in what would be made legal should they be chosen for legalization.

The three similarities among them lie in the regulatory operator being the lottery, allowing for both retail and internet/mobile wagering platforms, and selling lottery tickets online.

The Two Bills On The Table

For live in-game wagers, VA HB 896 would allow for the use of official league data for bettors to access by sportsbooks. This could be a problem as multiple sources of statistical information would need to be accessible within reason.

VA HB 896 isn’t working alone. It’s a package deal with VA SB 384. This companion bill would allow for the sale of lottery tickets via the internet, which would include online sports betting as the lottery would oversee the market.

Both college and professional sports matches could be legally wagered on under this bill.

The gross adjusted revenue tax rate is a hefty 20% for all business regarding the gambling on sports. Internet/ mobile operators would be limited to ten within the state and charged $250,000 for a permit that would last three years. After that, the renewal fee for the permit would be $200,000.

The Virginia Lottery has the final say on how many permits of the ten will be given out.

The second bill, VA HB 911 is much different. For one, collegiate sports betting would be prohibited. This could hinder the appeal of the bill as Virginia has no professional teams but is home to many great college sports.

There is no set number of operators under this bill and the application fee is a small $5,000 for all interested businesses. Taxes on the revenue gained by sports betting is at 10%, making it exactly half of its bill competition in VA HB 896.

The Bottom Line

Both bills are very different, which leads the House of Delegates with much to consider. The state could benefit greatly should they legalize sports betting in Virginia. Hundreds of millions of dollars in estimated revenue would help the economy in all sorts of ways.

A study done on legal gambling in the state last year showed about $462 million in revenue from legal sports betting and five casino locations. With that, only two questions remain; Will Virginia make sports betting legal and if so, which of these two bills will become the law?

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