Virginia Legislature.

  • Legislators in Virginia will be discussing expanding legal sports betting at an upcoming meeting.
  • Both the Senate and the House of Representatives have potential bills awaiting votes.
  • Minority ownership within the Virginia sports betting market will be discussed.

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia sports betting market may see an expansion as legislators work to increase the number of sportsbooks that can operate in the state, with a focus on minority ownership.

The discussions would focus on two main sports betting bills in the House and Senate which both have the same goal; expanding the total allowed sportsbooks to increase the market.

The difference comes with the reasoning, as the House bill is focused on more minority ownership in the Virginia sports betting market which led to an amendment.

Legislative Conference

Ironically, both bills were approved by the opposing chambers but were stopped short when the bills returned with the new amendments. During the conference, the bills will be discussed with the goal to reach a unanimous vote.

The two bills that will be discussed are SB 1254 and HB 1847 backed by Sen. Jeremy McPike and Rep. Mark Sickles respectively.

Sickles House bill was amended, believing that there should be “substantial and preferred consideration” for minority ownership with legal sports betting applicants.

Sickles believes that simply expanding the total sportsbooks that can operate within the Birthplace of a Nation would not solve the current issue with the lack of minority ownership.

The bigger corporations would simply gain market access, continuing the lack of diversity in the legal sports betting arena. However, should his amendment stand, it would allow minority owners a slight edge against the major companies who could simply outbid their competition.

Minority ownership isn’t the only focus of the conference, however, as a push for more mobile-only sportsbooks is also under the proposal.

The reason that mobile sportsbooks are a major focus is that they do not need a retail sportsbook to be active in the state. This would allow for even more sports betting options for Virginia betting fans.

The conference will possibly be held Friday and would hopefully come out with a unanimous vote by both the Senate and the House.

Virginia players may see an expanded legal sports betting market in the coming months.

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