The state of Virginia approved an expanded casino gambling law and sports betting in April, and the Virginia Lottery was put in charge of both industries. The Virginia Lottery has been hard at work creating regulations for sports betting, and their initial draft was made available on Wednesday night.
The regulations are now posted on the Virginia Lottery website, and residents of the state can begin submitting public comments. The official regulations are not due to be released until Sept. 15, and there will likely be some changes between now and then.
Sports betting in Virginia will be available through both retail and mobile betting options, and the legal betting age has been set at 21 years of age. The Virginia Lottery will be able to issue up to 12 mobile-only sports betting licenses, and the state should attract several big names in the industry.
The Virginia Lottery will also allow betting action on both professional and collegiate sporting events. The only collegiate sporting events that will not be allowed are those events that feature teams from the state of Virginia.
Sportsbooks are allowed to offer in-play or live betting options, but they must use official league data for these types of wagers. Sportsbooks will also pay a tax rate of 15 percent on all sports betting revenue.
Sports betting operators were keeping a close eye on this announcement from the Virginia Lottery as they decide whether or not to enter the market. The Virginia Lottery eliminated a number of the proposed fees, making it a more attractive option for operators.
Casino Projects Get Initial Approval as Well
The Virginia Lottery also gave initial approval to four casino proposals at their meeting earlier in the week. The expanding gambling law calls for five new casinos to be built in select towns throughout the state, and four of these projects can now move to the next step.
The accepted proposals in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth will now be ready to appear on the ballot as a referendum in November. The residents of each city will get to decide whether or not to pass each measure, but all of the referendums are expected to pass.
Lawmakers developed select criteria when selecting the five new locations for casinos to be built, and they chose towns that needed some economic relief. Richmond is the other city that will be getting a casino, but they have yet to accept a proposal.
Even though the Virginia Lottery gave initial approval for four of these projects, they warned that there is a much tougher examination coming. The Virginia Lottery just wanted to get these referendums on the ballot, and they will take a closer look at each proposal in April 2021.
The new casinos that are being built will be able to offer retail sports betting as well. These developers will likely be looking for a top sports betting operator to partner with to challenge the online sports betting market.