Virginia is actively moving forward with a variety of plans to get their sports betting platform up and running as soon as possible. The big news this week is that the Virginia Lottery has gone ahead and granted its approval to four separate developers to develop casinos in the state.
Additionally, the Virginia Lottery is also now open to input on the proposed sports betting rules, which need to be in place within two months.
The Initial Steps Are Still Welcome News for Many
While these steps may not seem like a huge deal in advancing sports betting in the state to some, in reality they are huge steps.
Right now, there is interest in four separate locations for casinos which are Portsmouth, Danville, Bristol, and Norfolk – all of which have given the go-ahead for a voter referendum this November. Kevin Hall, Lottery Executive Director, shared this news with the state’s Lottery Board this week:
“That initial review was required by the statute before each city could move forward to schedule a voter referendum.”
The law doesn’t end there however, it’s also up to the state lottery staff to examine the background of the developer to ensure they are able to follow through on their plans and promises, ensuring that the deal is a wise one to enter into. It’s a very thorough and sensible approach.
Included in this background check will need to be a criminal history and financial performance investigation of the developer. Hall further commented on this process:
“Pre-certification should not be viewed as an endorsement of a specific proposal or of any city’s choice of a preferred casino partner. It also does not represent a guarantee that a casino license ultimately will be awarded.”
The review process is set to get started sometime in the spring of 2021, as this is when the Lottery Board will approve the emergency casino regulations. At that point applications can officially be accepted.
Voters Will Have Their Say on the Rules
It also appears that voters will have their say on the sports betting proposed rules in the November election. This opportunity will give residents of Virginia a chance to shape the way the industry moves forward and what kind of structure it will take on.
Wagers can be placed on college sports and most of the professional sports leagues. However, it won’t allow for wagers on games that feature universities and colleges from within the state. This is designed to prevent any sort of cheating or conflict of interest.
Just like the rest of the country, bettors will need to be at least 21 years of age to take part. Additionally, they need to be present within the state in order to actually place a bet online.
As for when legal bets could potentially start taking place, that won’t be any time before January 2021 – which is less than half a year away at this point. The hope is that there will be plenty of live professional sporting events that will be happening at that time, giving people plenty to place wagers on.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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