Summary: Virginia is the latest state to propose sports betting legislation, with the language limiting the industry to online play.
In states across the US where casino gambling is allowed, players have access to land-based gaming while online options are limited. Only a few select states offer both online casino and land-based gaming.
As states begin to consider the new industry of sports betting, lawmakers are placing an emphasis on offering online options as well as land-based facilities. It makes sense to offer the new industry in both formats because players want to be able to wager from home as well as at the sportsbook.
While most states are focusing online sports betting and physical sports books, the most recent state to propose legislation is looking to offer the new option only online.
Virginia Introduces Sports Betting
A bill was recently drafted in the state of Virginia that would regulate sports betting in the region, set to be filed officially in January when the new legislative session begins. Once information of the new bill was made public, it quickly became apparent that the legislation would focus on online platform sports betting and makes no mention of physical venues.
Titled House Bill 1638, the new bill was created by Delegate Mark Sickles. In the bill, it states that a sports betting platform is one that is a website, application or other platform that is available via the internet or a wireless, mobile or similar connection.
To be able to offer sports betting operations in the state, operators would have to apply for a permit that would be three years long.
The Virginia Lottery Board would have to approve the legislation. The Board would also be in charge of the regulatory side of operations and there may only be five permits up for grabs initially.
Applicants for the new industry would have to pay $250,000 to get started and undergo a screening process to be approved as an eligible provider.
Once in operation, the industry would have a 15% tax set on the adjusted gross revenues and then once the three year initial time frame is up, permits would have to be renewed and have a price tag of $200,000.
Allocations of Funds and Additional Info
The new industry would see the creation of a Sports Betting Operations Fund. The proceeds of the industry will see 2.5% going towards this fund.
The Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund will also be created with 2.5% allocated to this category. The remaining 95% will go towards the Major Research Project Subfund.
Players will have to be 21 years of age or older to take part. College as well as youth sports will be prohibited from being part of wagers on offer.
The industry would also include a voluntary exclusion program that would place a permanent ban on those who are added to the program keeping them from taking part in sports betting activities.
Additional sports betting legislation may be in the works in the future. Senator Chap Petersen has expressed interest in proposes his own legislation. With his measure, the bill would not limit sports betting to online game play.
He wants to see the activity more open and creating a social environment where bettors can go to a location, interact with others and spend money. He also would like to see the proceeds go towards the state community colleges. Sickles bill will see money going towards Universities.