The Virginia State legislature recently passed a new sports betting bill that will legalize sports betting throughout the state. Governor Ralph Northam has still not signed the bill into law, but he is expected to do so in the next couple of weeks.
Once Northam signs the bill into law, then regulations will have to be made, and the deadline for those regulations is set for Sept. 15.
Virginia lawmakers have been working on legalizing sports betting for close to two years, and both sides were finally able to reach an agreement in March. Casinos throughout the state were strongly in favor of the new bill, as they will benefit from the new industry.
Sports betting operators would pay a fee of $250,000 for a three-year license, and $200,000 to renew that license. The market for sports betting is expected to be extremely competitive, but there are at least five locations that seem to be in play.
Five Towns Emerging As Potential Sportsbook Locations
Sports betting has been a topic of debate for over a year in the state of Virginia, and the state has spent some significant time looking into the economic impacts of allowing casinos the opportunity to offer sports betting.
Financial experts have estimated that the state could bring in close to $260 million per year in sports betting revenue tax.
If Governor Northam does sign sports betting into law, then there would be five major cities that would all push to offer sports betting. These cities would have to pass a local referendum asking their residents whether or not they supported sports betting.
These communities have all already looked into building a new casino/sportsbook, but official approval would be needed.
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe is hoping to build a brand new casino near Harbor Park in Norfolk. Plans have already been discussed, and a location has already been established.
Portsmouth recently entered into a partnership with Rush Street Gaming. The sports betting company would be in charge of establishing a casino location and setting everything up for the new industry.
The Pamunkey Indian Tribe is also looking into the possibility of offering sports betting in Richmond. They are in competition with Colonia Downs Racetrack to earn the licensing rights in the state capital.
Danville is going to be one of the locations that can offer sports betting, but they have yet to figure out where that will take place. There are currently seven different sports betting proposals on the table in Danville.
Bristol, Va., will likely be the headquarters of the new sports betting industry in the state. Local government leaders in Bristol have already entered into a partnership with Hard Rock, and a huge project is underway.
The $400 million project is set to transform the vacant Bristol Mall into a huge casino where sports betting will take place.
Limited Betting Market Proposed
If the sports betting bill is officially signed into law, sportsbooks will be forced to limit the number of bets that they can offer. The main thing that the new law prohibits is the betting on any collegiate team in the state of Virginia.
This is a common rule that has been put in place in several other states, but it takes a significant toll in Virginia.
Sportsbooks will also be prohibited from offering any sort of prop bets on any collegiate sporting events. Official league data is also required by sportsbooks before they can issue any bets.
This will force the sportsbooks to take an additional step and form a partnership with professional sports teams and franchises.