Although Virginia has approved legalized sports betting, online sports gambling options will not launch in the state until early 2021.
The state is known for having an enthusiastic sports fan base, thus lawmakers approved measures in April to legalize sports betting. However, it will take some time to iron out the issues regarding specific regulations in the industry before online gambling goes live in Virginia.
More States May Legalize Sports Betting in 2020
For decades, Nevada was the only state in the US to offer legal sports betting options. A set of laws known as PASPA was put in place to prohibit other states from opening the sports betting industries in their respective jurisdictions. The Supreme Court eventually struck down PASPA in 2018, following pushes from several state leaders.
Since 2018, many states have approved legislation to regulate sports betting. Some did it immediately, while the others are undergoing the legislation currently.
Sports betting has been lucrative for many states and, even during the times of crisis in 2020, sports betting revenue is increasing. In August this year, New Jersey made $668 in revenue from this industry, the biggest amount a state has ever earned in a single month from its sports gambling industry.
Many states are now cash-starved due to the coronavirus pandemic. This new situation has increased the significance of industries with the potential to flourish even during crises and as a result, many states now have sports gambling legislation on their voting ballot this November.
Virginia too finally passed a sports betting bill in April with the original plan to make sports betting platforms functional by July. However, due to several delays, it will take longer than anticipated to see sports betting in operation here.
Virginia Sports Betting Options to Launch Next Year
Despite having no major professional sports teams, Virginia boasts a huge sports fan base.
For a long time, lawmakers remained opposed to this industry; the majority of them believed the industry could lead to inevitable social issues. The authorities are still examining which sports to allow betting on ahead of its launch.
A few days ago, the Virginia Lottery officially approved a regulatory framework to launch the state’s sports betting options. It looks the commission has agreed on the rules to regulate the new form of gambling.
According to a press release by Lottery, gambling will be permitted for most major sporting leagues. The press release states, “We have received evaluated hundreds of comments and suggestions submitted by residents, sports betting and casino operators, and most of the major professional sports leagues… Under the legislation, betting will be permitted on most major league and college sports, except for games featuring Virginia college and university teams.”
With the defined framework, Virginia can begin looking at awarding sports betting licenses to certain companies and gambling venues. Many experts have predicted Virginia sports betting options to launch by early 2021, though some more optimistic estimates have also predicted this December as the earliest possible launch date.
When Will Casinos Open in Virginia?
Lawmakers here are finally ready to embrace different forms of gambling. When the state allowed sports betting in April, the lawmakers also approved another bill approving commercial casinos.
At the time of passing this law, land-based casinos were closed around the US due to the pandemic. However, most of these establishments are now open. Nevertheless, casino revenue remains a fraction of what it was earning in 2019 as many people are avoiding crowded casinos and observing social distancing.
The state leaders are working hard to push things forward, with many cities already having been approved to host casinos. However, no official casino licenses have been awarded as yet and it is not clear when casinos in Virginia will open up. According to some pessimistic estimates, they may never open. It’s an unprecedented situation and the one through which the lawmakers are working on.
In any case, the first step would be to launch the state’s sports betting platforms.