- Virginia will be able to see a legal sports betting industry launch as early as mid-January 2021, just in time for the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl.
- The Virginia Lottery has a month to finalize the rules and regulations for the sports wagering market in the Commonwealth.
RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Lottery will finally come to a vote on what the rules and regulations for sports betting in the Commonwealth will be on Tuesday.
After what has seemed like a long and arduous path to get here, the day has come for decisions to be made on the industry as the public opinion window that the lottery opened for 56 days came to a close on September 9.
These decisions will not all be done in a day because there are plenty of factors to consider, especially with the number of people in Virginia that submitted suggestions during the window.
What’s On The Table For Voting?
The initial draft of rules and regulations drawn up by the Virginia Lottery, known as “The Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rights” received opposition by sports betting operators due to some of the stipulations in the proposal.
One issue was the idea of having sportsbooks provide tons of information per wager listed to ensure gamblers know everything, including how the odds were calculated. No other state has ever asked for such a thing and no sports betting business could possibly provide that type of information with each bet as there are so many bets posted on a single event alone.
Another issue that needs to be discussed is marketing. The Lottery would like to oversee all advertisements prior to them being rolled out to the public. Penn National is one of the businesses that would like this rule removed from the current proposal. Having to seek approval every time a company wants to run an ad is a hoop that will need to be jumped through each time a new advertisement is filmed.
Problem gambling and ensuring responsible gambling is something that Caesars takes issue with as they find that it’s the sports bettor that should ultimately realize they have a problem and take steps to recover from it.
This means the sportsbook does not think it should be their personal responsibility to help problem gamblers and keep track of them by needing to keep a list of which individuals must be banned from accessing their platforms.
The last of the bigger topics up for discussion is that of whether leagues like the MLB, NBA, and PGA Tour would require licenses by the state to be able to receive live data for wagers. The Lottery would like to have them seek their approval; however, the leagues do not believe they should require any extra approvals to gain access to this information.
Again, all of these rules can be found within “The Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rights.”
What Happens Next?
The law for gambling on sporting events in Virginia allows for twelve mobile/internet platform licenses to be handed out. Five of those licenses will go to land-based establishments.
The other seven will be given to sportsbooks that have a proven record of profits so that Virginia will get the most they can from the new revenue stream that will be provided by the market.
There are a number of top named companies rumored to be interested in opening in the Commonwealth. Among them are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, Hard Rock, Handle 19, theScore Bet, Barstool, and USBookingmaking.
BetRivers and Caesars could both be opening up their mobile sportsbooks by way of retail casino ties, allowing them to not be part of the seven strictly online licenses that will be up for grabs. There is no word yet as to whether any of the others will be tied to brick and mortar facilities within Virginia.
Regardless, the casinos have been given five licenses for internet operations, either way, that’s a rule that’s been set in stone.
Once the Lottery Board finalizes the rules and regulations for sports wagering in Virginia which will take about a month, sportsbooks can begin to apply for licenses to operate beginning October 15.
The application window will be open until October 31. After all, applications have been received, the Lottery will then have 90 days to approve operators for licenses.
This means the launch of sports betting in Virginia will land between mid-late January 2021, just in time for the Super Bowl.
News tags: Barstool | BetMGM | BetRivers | Caesars | FanDuel | Handle 19 | Hard Rock | MLB | NBA | NFL | Penn National | PGA Tour | Super Bowl | The Sports Bettors’ Bill of Rights | theScore Bet | USBookingmaking | Virginia | Virginia Lottery | Virginia Lottery Board
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.