History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Virginia
Sports betting will be available in Virginia in 2021. The process of legalization was very tedious; however, an overwhelming number of politicians advocated for the legalization of sports betting. Virginia witnessed nearby states in the mid-Atlantic region of the country thrive from the legalization of sports betting. After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Virginia didn’t immediately attempt to implement sports betting.
On the other hand, nearby states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey acted quickly. They reaped a massive reward from their swift legalization process. Due to the popularity of sports betting in the areas surrounding Virginia, the state legislature knew they could capitalize on this popular form of gambling.
Bill negotiations took place for an extended period, but the Virginia General Assembly along with the state senate, was able to get a bill passed in March of 2020. The bills, SB 384 and HB 896, had to be amended by Virginia Governor Ralph Norman and sent back to the state legislature.
The revised bills were then approved by the Virginia General Assembly and state Senate on April 22nd. This second passage of SB 384 and HB 896 marked the official legalization of sports betting in the state of Virginia.
What Sports Betting Bill in Virginia Says
The Virginia legislature drafted their sports betting legislation in a way that will create a massive amount of revenue for the state. The government is completely behind the form of gambling and that will be beneficial for the long-term popularity of sports betting within Virginia. As of December 2020, the only form of gambling in Virginia is the state lottery system. This has created a tremendous amount of excitement for sports betting within the state.
A significant portion of the Virginia sports betting bill is its emphasis on mobile sports betting. There can be up to 17 mobile sportsbooks that will have the ability to enter the state. The bill states that 12 is the legal amount, but there could also be five additional mobile books that would be headquartered at professional sporting venues throughout the state. This is a slight loophole in the rule. Despite this, it’s clear in the legislation that Virginia is very open to mobile betting platforms.
The bill also approved casinos to enter the state. The state approved five casinos under the bill, and they will each have the ability to host a retail sportsbook. These casinos will need to be approved by a local vote, but it would be shocking to see residents terminate the ability for casinos to enter Virginia. Virginia will receive a 15% tax on all gross gaming revenue for each betting platform in the state. This will help subsidize the economy in the recovery effort from the COVID pandemic.
Expectations of Sports Betting in Virginia
Virginia residents will be ecstatic when sports betting enters the state in 2021. The framework of sports betting looks phenomenal. This is thanks to both political parties working together in the state legislature. Three sportsbooks have been cleared to enter the state because they’ll be official partners with the casinos that were approved in the sports betting bill.
The first three sportsbooks that have access to the Virginia betting economy are Hard Rock, Rush Street Interactive, and William Hill/Caesars Sportsbook. These books will have a massive mobile presence initially, and this will help to drive traffic to casinos when the new properties are built. Casino brands are aiming for an opening at some point in 2022. This means that mobile betting will most likely be in play for over a year before retail books become part of the state’s sports betting makeup.
Virginia will have the ability to create one of the strongest mobile betting economies in the United States. After the state lottery approved the sports betting agenda, there was an application period for mobile sportsbooks who wanted a piece of the Virginia betting market. The enrollment period was between October 15th and the 31st. The state saw applications from massive books like DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Virginia has stated that they will launch sports betting in the state with a minimum of 12 mobile platforms.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Virginia
People in Virginia will not be able to bet on local colleges. This isn’t surprising because the state legislature modeled this rule after many other locations where sports betting is legal. Virginia is a state that’s packed with Division I colleges, so bettors will be disappointed by this law. However, it will be worth it for people in the state in order to have the ability to legally place sports bets.
Virginia isn’t home to any professional sports teams. Despite this, two franchises from the District of Columbia are very popular in Virginia. The Washington Football Team of the NFL and the Washington Capitals of the NHL are the two nearby teams who are heavily supported in Virginia. Both teams play in Washington DC, but are headquartered in northern Virginia. This has made fans form a special connection with the two squads.
The Washington Football Team was founded in 1932. They were known as the Redskins until 2020. The team plays in the NFC East and is currently coached by Ron Rivera. The team has won three Super Bowls with their latest title coming in 1991.
The Washington Capitals play in the Metropolitan Division of the NHL’s Eastern Conference. The Capitals have won one Stanley Cup (2017-18) in franchise history. The team has dominated within their division as well. They have won the Metropolitan Division every year since the 2015-16 season.
FAQ for Betting in Virginia
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Virginia. The legalization process was an extended period, but the state is preparing for the enactment of mobile sports betting in Virginia.
When will sports betting become available to people in Virginia?
The state lottery system is hopeful that sports betting will be available in 2021. They originally set an aggressive goal of December 2020, but this didn’t happen. Retail sportsbooks will join the state’s betting economy in 2020 when casinos are finished being built.
What’s the legal betting age in Virginia?
To place a sports wager in Virginia, you must be 21 years of age.
Can you place a bet on college sports in Virginia?
You can place a bet on all college sporting events that don’t feature local schools. However, college prop bets are off-limit for all sporting events, even if a Virginia team isn’t competing.
Can I place a bet outside of Virginia if I’m a resident of the state?
You must be in Virginia to place a bet. Your resident status doesn’t determine your ability to place a bet in Virginia. The only requirement is that you’re located within state borders. The mobile books will use your devices GPS software to determine if you’re in a legal location.