Virginia Legislature

  • Virginia lawmakers have presented a new bill that would expand the total betting licenses that can be issued in the state.
  • The current cap is 14, but Virginia has seen 25 applications from sports betting operators.
  • The new bill will not affect the launch of legal Virginia sports betting this month.

RICHMOND, Va. – As regulators moves to launch legal Virginia sports betting in time for the Super Bowl, the lawmakers in-state are also working on a new bill that would expand the cap on sports betting licenses.

Currently, a maximum of 14 online sportsbooks can operate in the Birthplace of a Nation, but Virginia received around 25 applications from different potential operators.

The new bill will address the cap, allowing for more online sportsbooks as well as not counting casino operations against the cap. This new bill will not impede on the launch of Virginia sports betting.

Raise The Cap

Lawmakers presented HB 1847 at the latest legislative session in an attempt to deal with the influx in applications. If this bill passes, more sports betting operations could launch in Virginia.

Virginia is still on pace to launch mobile betting before the Super Bowl, but the launch will come with the current capped sports betting system.

Virginia is also in a situation where they do not yet know if they will need a bigger cap. Since sports betting hasn’t launched yet, there I no telling how the market will look and how much revenue the state will be getting regularly.

The initial agreed upon 14 sportsbook operations came with the idea that 14 would be a good enough number of operators to both supply variety as well as drive competition and allow residents many options to keep the betting market thriving.

Should Virginia expand, they would be hoping for a success story like the Colorado sports betting market.

Colorado has an uncapped system where sportsbooks can apply and be approved with no limitations. There are currently 17 active sportsbooks in the Centennial State and they are among the country’s biggest sports betting markets.

Should Virginia go the no-capped route, the state could potentially see similar success as the more sportsbooks mean the more potential for added state revenue.

In addition to the cap increase, the new bill is also working to make retail sportsbooks not count against the cap.

For example, when the casino’s launch and bring land-based betting operations to Virginia, the subsequent online sportsbooks that are tied to the retail sportsbook would not be counted towards the total allowed mobile betting operations.

This would allow even more sportsbooks to operate in Virginia, further expanding the legal sports betting market.

The bill will still need to be put to a vote and approved by the local government in order to expand the betting license cap.

Virginia is currently working on launching its mobile betting market, meaning it could be a while before the new bill is addressed by the state legislature.

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