Three sports betting bills passed in Virginia and are awaiting Governor Ralph Northam's signature.

  • Sports betting bills passed in the Virginia legislature in an emergency session.
  • VA HB 896, VA SB 384, and VA HB 4 are heading to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk.
  • If signed, sports betting can launch in Virginia in late fall of 2020 or 2021.

RICHMOND, Va.Sports betting bills in Virginia passed in the state legislature during an emergency session on Sunday.

The legislative session in Virginia ended on Saturday. However, state lawmakers had some unfinished business to attend to. Thanks to that, they held a special emergency session on Sunday. That session allowed Virginia sports betting bills to pass.

Now, residents are one step away from legal sports betting coming to The Old Dominion.

The Bills In Question

A large gambling expansion in Virginia is coming. Previously, no casinos were allowed to run or operate in the state. That is soon about to change. VA HB 4 is a comprehensive expansion of casino gambling.

This bill will allow towns in Virginia to vote to allow for casinos to open up. Bristol, Portsmouth, Richmond, Norfolk, and Danville could vote to open a casino within their cities. These new casinos also have the potential to open sportsbooks as well.

VA HB 896 and VA SB 384 are the main sports betting bills to pay attention to. These bills help set the landscape for what the VA sports betting industry will look like.

There are a couple of rules in the bills that restricts the way sports betting in Virginia is conducted. Sports bettors within state lines are not allowed to bet on Virginia college teams. On top of that, bettors in the state are not allowed to make prop bets on collegiate athletics at all. This restricts the amount of wagers that sports bettors can make.

However, online and mobile sports betting is on the table. In fact, online and mobile seems to be the main avenue for sports betting in Virginia. Combined with VA HB 4, all three bills will allow for retail and online sports gambling.

There is the potential for four to 18 different online sportsbook operators. The Virginia Lottery will decide how many sportsbooks will be distributed based on what the state needs.

Virginia will also allow professional sports teams to operate sportsbooks as well. That means if a team like the Washington Redskins comes to Virginia, they can operate sportsbook in their stadium.

There is still some work that needs to be done before Virginia sports betting is official. VA Governor Ralph Northam needs to sign the bills. Once that is done, the rules and regulations need to be finalized. The due date for the finalization of regulations is September 15. That could mean sports betting can come during the NFL season, or by 2021.

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