By legalizing sports betting in Virginia in 2020, the bill sponsors have gotten a step closer to bridging the gap in their legislation. Both Del. Mark Sickles and Sen. Jeremy McPike have presented bills this year to clear the cap on mobile sports betting licenses. In addition, SB 1254 and HB 1847 clarifies that the permitted casinos will require mobile sports betting licenses that don’t count against the mobile-only cap of 12 licenses.
It seems that the bill has enough backing to pass this year as their respective chambers conveniently passed both. However, HB 1847 is pending a hearing in the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee, and SB 1254 hasn’t been allotted to a House committee yet.
The new legislation will expand the VA sports betting industry to as many as 17 mobile sportsbooks. Nevertheless, the actual number of sportsbooks can go much higher as that figure doesn’t comprise any that are introduced through partnerships with a major league sports franchise.
More Info About Virginia Sports Betting
Previously, the Virginia Lottery released its report on sports wagering activity between January 2021 (the day since legal sports betting was launched in Virginia) until May of this year submitted by licensed operators.
According to lottery officials, Virginians wagered nearly $226,963,573 in the month of May 2021 and minted $203,790,024 for a combined 10.21% operators’ win percentage. In addition, throughout the month, Virginia’s sports betting catalog continued expanding. By the end of May, bettors wagered a combined total of over $1 billion on everything from football, golf, and soccer to motorsports and basketball.
Sports betting is one of the most entertaining things for Americans. Here is a complete list of all approved operators.
State law puts a 15 percent tax on sports betting activity depending on every permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue, which is referred to as total wagers minus total winnings and other authorized deductions. Based on Virginia’s statute, operators are permitted to deduct customer achievement costs from AGR, and lottery officials report operators minted over $5.1 million in bonuses and free-play incentives in May.
But Virginia Sports Betting Market Still Cloudy
FanDuel Sportsbook took everyone by surprise when it announced its sportsbook launch in Virginia on 21 January 2021. The primary reason behind this is because the Virginia Lottery managed the entire licensing process behind closed doors.
According to the Virginia sports betting law, the lottery executive director should award at least four and a maximum of only 12 mobile-only sportsbooks. Typically, the number of sportsbooks awarded is based on the director Kevin Hall’s feel for what would result in the best economic outcome.
To date, it seems as if only two licenses—BetMGM and DraftKings Sportsbook—have been awarded. However, as the Lottery has reported nothing more than the news that 25 sportsbooks have applied for licenses, we aren’t sure what we should expect.
Nonetheless, more information is on the way. For example, the Virginia Lottery has organized numerous meetings throughout the past few months to update the launch of sports betting and other sports betting regulations and the different regulations for the state’s recently legalized sports betting industry.
Which are the Licensed Sportsbooks in Virginia?
To date, five sports betting operators are approved by the Virginia Lottery’s website.
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- BetRivers (through Rush Street’s Casino license)
- William Hill (through Caesar’s casino license)
- FanDuel Sportsbook (through a partnership with the Washington Football Team)
Currently, all sportsbooks except William Hill are live and open to bets.
Gambling is never a solution, and according to history, it has never been one. Often, the profits are so small compared to the state’s overall income. Though many bettors play casually, the enhanced access that comes with state approval has increased problem gambling. A few games, especially lotteries, appeal to the less educated, lower-income, and non-White players.
Nevertheless, legalized gambling has witnessed ebbs and flows in the previous decade. The coronavirus pandemic and the inevitable headlines about NFL will further lead the legislators to take a closer look at sports betting. So, we can definitely look forward to more sportsbooks popping up in the future.