There are two pending bills that may bring sports betting to Virginia.

  • There are two sports betting bills that are making progress in Virginia.
  • The sports betting bills in question for Virginia are VA SB 384 and VA HB 896.
  • The minor differences between the bills could have a big impact on Virginia sports betting.

RICHMOND, Va. – Two different Virginia sports betting bills passed in their respective chambers on Monday.

The bills have minor differences between them. Both the State House and Senate will likely have a conference to work out the details of both bills.

What Are In The Bills

The State House passed VA HB 896 to bring sports betting to Virginia. This bill taxes Virginia sports betting operations at a 20 percent rate. The bill focuses on bringing online sportsbooks to Virginia.

That does not mean that physical sportsbooks would not appear if the House bill passes. The House bill allows for professional sports teams to operate sportsbooks in Virginia through the House bill. That would incentivize teams like the Washington Redskins to move to Virginia.

There are two potential problems with the VA HB 896. The bill prevents bettors in the state from betting on in-state college teams. On top of that, the bill requires sportsbooks to use official league data as well.

VA SB 384 is slightly different compared to VA HB 896. VA SB 384 taxes sportsbooks at a 15 percent rate. This bill also focuses on online sportsbooks and allows for professional teams to build sportsbooks. But the professional teams can only come from the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL.

The Senate bill puts no limits on college betting. This will allow homegrown fans of Virginia State and other colleges to bet on those teams. However, the requirement of official league data is also on VA SB 384 as well.

Ironing Out The Details

Both chambers of Virginia’s state legislature want to pass sports betting legislation. The key is working out the small details to make sure all parties are satisfied. To do that, both chambers will likely reject each other’s bill. Doing so will allow both the House and Senate to meet at a conference.

From there, they can work together to create a bill that will work for both chambers. The tax rates are different on both bills but are close enough to where an agreement can be made. The main point of contention could potentially be the college betting issue.

Either way, there is not a lot of time left to pass either bill. The Virginia regulatory session ends on March 7. Due to that, it is highly unlikely that sportsbooks will open in Virginia before March Madness.

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