Virginia sports gambling set to launch early next year after rules approved by the Virginia Lottery
By Bob Garcia
The state comes in just ahead of the NFL Super Bowl with its sports gambling market
Virginia legalized sports gambling earlier this year and, since then, the Virginia Lottery Board (VLB) has been working on all necessary regulations for the new market to run smoothly. On Tuesday, the Board announced that it has finally approved the regulatory framework for legal sports betting and things seem to be ready for a launch early next year. On September 15, the Lottery released a statement in which it confirmed the presence of between four and 12 licenses to be granted to operators to bring to the state’s online-only sports betting platforms.
According to the VLB’s statement, those operators who are partnered with a major league team, headquartered in Virginia or competing extensively in the state, will get priority when it comes to granting licenses. The enacted legislation allows sports betting to take place on most major leagues and college sports; however, not on games featuring Virginia college and university teams. In other words, residents of Old Dominion can place wagers on professional sports, certain college events, sporting events and even the individual performance statistics of individual athletes.
The VLB will start with the application process as of October 15 and until October 31, and, based on the statute, officials can take up to 90 days to either approve or deny a permit. Considering this time frame, licensed mobile platforms could be looking into starting operations by early 2021. “We have received and evaluated several hundred comments and suggestions submitted by citizens, sports betting and casino operators, and most of the major professional sports leagues, including the NFL, MLB, NBA and the PGA,” said Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall. “A lot of helpful feedback was provided during the public comment period, and the updated regulations approved by the Lottery Board today incorporate many of the suggestions from stakeholders and citizens.”