Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall

  • Kevin Hall, the executive director of the Virginia Lottery, the regulatory body for sports betting in the Commonwealth spoke to LegalSportsBetting regarding the current status of its progression.
  • Mobile and internet sports betting platforms in Virginia should see a public launch in early 2021.
  • A comment period for opinions on the rules and regulations of the legal gambling on sports industry begins July 15 through August 19 to allow all Virginians to speak on the topic.

RICHMOND, Va.Sports betting in Virginia became a legalized activity when legislation was passed in April. The laws were fully enacted as of July 1 and lawmakers handed over the industry to the Virginia Lottery who will act as the sole regulatory body for the market.

They can now begin the process of drawing up rules and regulations for legal sports betting in Virginia. As it stands, the mobile/internet sportsbooks are what has become legal and will be discussed because constituents still need to vote on retail sports betting locations on their November 2020 ballots.

What’s Happening With The Virginia Lottery And Sports Betting?

Kevin Hall, the executive director of the Virginia Lottery spoke to LegalSportsBetting about the current state of affairs for legalized sports betting in the Commonwealth. The proposed rules and regulations for the market on sports wagering will be rolled out to the public on July 15 via the Lottery’s website per Hall.

The people of Virginia will then be given a 35-day window for comments and opinions on the drafted proposal. Any public comments about the sports betting industry will need to made through the Virginia Regulatory Townhall.

Their website will allow bettors or anyone with an interest in the industry to comment on legal sports betting until August 19, according to Hall.

Under the new law, a minimum of four to a maximum of twelve operators can own a strictly internet/mobile sportsbook. However, that number could rise to as high as 18 once land-based establishments and their applications are factored in.

When asked which operators have shown an interest in opening online businesses in Virginia, Hall remained tightlipped on any name dropping.

“Several household-name operators hired lobbyists to represent their interests during the legislative session when the bill was being debated. However, we are unable to confirm specifics related to who has contacted us since the law went into effect,” said Hall.

Now What?

The possible cities that could see land-based sportsbooks are Portsmouth, Richmond, Norfolk, Danville, and Bristol. Residents will vote on the new market entering their cities by way of local facilities in November.

Whichever way they vote, legal online sportsbook platforms will be available throughout the Commonwealth. The legal sports betting industry is slated to bring in some much-needed revenue for Virginia once it launches to the public.

“The revenue estimates included in the fiscal impact statement on the legislation were based on mid-range estimates of proceeds from sports betting as included in the 2019 JLARC report for sports wagering,” said Hall. “Estimates are based on even growth annually until reaching maturity in year six. It concluded year 1 estimates of $4.6 million up to year 6 estimates of $48 million.”

Hall concluded that the Virginia Lottery “anticipates sports betting to become live in early 2021.” And with that, the Commonwealth of Virginia will finally be home to a legalized industry for gambling on sporting events.

Once land-based locations have been voted on and retail sportsbooks begin to open up shop, revenue could go up to as high as $90 million annually in a mature legal sports betting market.

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