A senate committee in Virginia pushes a sports betting bill one step closer to legalization,

  • Legal sports betting in Virginia continues to be a topic of conversation in the General Assembly.
  • Cities in Virginia that meet the written requirements under bill VA HB 4 would be eligible to open sportsbooks.
  • VA HB 4 passed through the House on February 11 and is now making its way across the Senate Committees.

RICHMOND, Va.Bill VA HB 4 to legalize sports betting in Virginia went before the Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee on Tuesday and was passed by a comfortable margin.

The bill continues to pass through Committees by a favorable vote which shows the majority of lawmakers in Virginia want to see the legalization of gambling on sporting events.

The sports betting market could bring in millions of dollars in annual revenue that the Old Dominion could use to better their overall economic status.

VA HB 4

On its face, VA HB 4 would seem like it’s a casino gaming legalization bill rather than one for wagering on sporting events. However, when reading through the details, the bill states that sports betting will be known as casino gaming.

Retail sportsbooks would be allowed to offer their patrons wagers on professional and collegiate level games through this bill.

The Virginia Lottery Board would serve as the regulator of all gaming in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Under VA HB 4, taxes are on a rolling basis in terms of their range. Operators can be taxed from 15-28 percent depending on the type of gaming and profits received by the business.

Historical horse racing terminals would be given to locations that request them for betting purposes by the Virginia Racing Commission.

Senate Finance & Appropriations Hearing

The Senate Finance & Appropriations Committee heard the bill quickly, having familiarized themselves with it prior to the hearing. The reading of what the bill represented was presented to the Committee.

After the reading, the vote was held on whether or not to have it continue to move forward. They voted in favor of VA HB 4 and its continued quest toward legalization. The final vote came to 13 YEAS and 2 NAYS.

The Takeaway

State lawmakers continue to make strides toward the legalization of sports betting in VA. HB VA 4 has gone further than other bills this year regarding legal gaming.

The General Assembly sessions end on March 7 for the Old Dominion. Virginia has less than two weeks left to get HB VA 4 passed and ready for Governor Ralph Northam’s desk for signature should they wish to see legal gambling on sports matchups in 2020.

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