VA Betting Bills Get Committee Approval

Two new sports betting bills have passed the Virginia Senate Committee on General Laws, just one week after SB 1126 made it out of the same committee. SB 1238 and SB 1356 both relate to legal sports betting, although they do not include provisions for private sports betting operators to apply for state licenses.

About the new sports betting bills:

SB 1356:

  • Introduced by Senator Frank Wagner.
  • Calls for the legalization of sports betting in Virginia.
  • Suggests changing the name of the Virginia Lottery Board to the Virginia Lottery and Sports Wagering Commission.
  • The Commission will be allowed to operate a digital platform to accepts bets across all sports (college events included). The only exception would be betting on sports teams based in Virginia.
  • Online betting services would be limited to the Commission.
  • The establishment of a voluntary exclusion program which includes self-exclusion.
  • The Commission will retain 2.5% of gross revenue to cover administration costs.
  • The establishment of a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.

SB 1238:

  • Introduced by Senator Chapman Peterson
  • The establishment of the Virginia Sports Betting Department.
  • The authorization of sports betting regulation.
  • Only land-based sports betting will be allowed.
  • No online or mobile betting permitted.
  • Sports betting licenses will be valid for three years at a cost of $5,000 and the need to renew the license at a cost of $1,000.
  • A 10% tax on sports betting operators’ adjusted gross revenue.
  • The Virginia Sports Betting Department will retain 2.5% of the tax to defray administration costs.
  • Establishment of a voluntary exclusion program.
  • The establishment of a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.
  • Betting will be allowed on all professional sports, but not on college or youth sports.

Last week, SB 1126, introduced by Democrat Senator Louise Lucas passed the Committee. The bill legalizes casino gaming in Virginia and issues one casino license for each eligible city across the state. Casinos will be allowed to offer table, slot and dice games, as well as sports betting. No online gaming or betting will be allowed.

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