Virginia Lottery Writes Up Sports Betting Rough Draft

The Virginia Lottery is moving one step closer to creating the sports betting guidelines for the state. Last month, the Virginia Lottery released some of the sports betting guidelines, and now full regulations are public and available until September 9. The board must approve of the regulations by September 15.

“This is a lot of the really technical specifications for platform operators,” said Kevin Hall, executive director of the lottery. “It includes some additional details on types of licenses that’ll be required. A lot of detail on internet controls that each operator is expected to provide. Kind of draws on best practices from other states. And leans into kind of security and consumer protection aspects of each of the platforms that may seek a license to operate.”

Legislation is paving the way for sports betting and casino. This went into effect on July 1, and the Virginia Lottery will oversee operations.

Rough Draft Details

A variety of details were added to the rough draft on Monday, along with what the July 15 release had to offer. The Virginia Lottery will offer up to 12 licenses for internet-only sports betting platforms.

Also, none of the five potential casinos, or pro sports teams in Virginia, would count toward the minimum while sports franchises and operators of a facility do not count toward the maximum number of licenses.

They will allow most major league and college sports to be bet on. However, games involving Virginia college teams will not be permitted by the Lottery. All operators must verify the bettors age and bettors must be over the age of 21.

New casinos must be approved by local voters and will be on the November ballot. The law will allow for approved casinos to launch mobile and retail sports betting. As of writing this, the law does have a set launch date for the state. For example, Colorado had a launch date of May 1, 2020, as they were the first state to set an official sports betting launch.

When Will the Launch Happen?

As of writing this, expectations are that Virginia sports betting will launch sometime in early 2021. Many industry experts believe the state could have sports betting by December of this year, but Hall believes January or February 2021 is more logical.

Voting will happen on September 15, and the registration period will be 90-days after that. The registration will also not start until they are published in the Virginia Register, which could take close to a month, according to Hall.

Overall, Virginia sports betting could take longer than expected to start. The state does not have any existing legal gambling activity or oversight. They will still need to build casinos, create a regulatory board, and other infrastructure before the state can officially launch. To have all of this ready by January or February will be a large task.

First Potential Sportsbooks

DraftKings could be one of the first sportsbook operators in Virginia. They are one of the largest and most popular sportsbooks in the U.S. and would love to capitalize on the D.C. and Virginia sports betting market. DraftKings is already in nearby West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, so moving down the coast would be easy for them.

FanDuel is another popular sportsbook here in the U.S. Similar to DraftKings; they are also operating in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. They would also like to get in early to have the first step over rival DraftKings.

William Hill
William Hill could be an early player in the Virginia market. They already have a sportsbook operating in Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. They could expand into the Virginia area being one of the first in the state and capitalizing on D.C. sports fans.

I fell in love with handicapping right away. Sports betting is a lot more enjoyable when going through advanced data to find an edge on a Vegas line. Situational plays is a focus of mine and study stats and data analytics to go along with certain situations to make myself a more well rounded capper. College football and college basketball are my favorite to bet.

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