Virginia Completes Sportsbook Application Process

WTOP News presented a series that assessed the state of gambling in Virginia. Among the highlights:

  • Applications for mobile sportsbook licenses have poured into the Virginia Lottery ahead of the October 31 deadline, according to WTOP.

“We understand that the black market has existed for centuries, right?” said Prince William County state Senator Jeremy McPike, who sponsored the legislation that ultimately became law earlier this year. “Billions of dollars are exported overseas right now because people are still going to place bets, or use bookies in different cities and neighborhoods.”

  • The District of Columbia will allow license holders to offer mobile apps that only work in the vicinity of their establishment, such as the Capital One Arena, where William Hill operates sports betting. The limitation is designed to minimize competition with DC Lottery’s Gambet app.
  • In Virginia, lawmakers approved the mobile-only sports betting option.
  • A clause allows for future casinos in Richmond, Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk and Bristol to offer sports betting.
  • Another clause permits a physical sports book if owned by a major league professional sports team that plays its games in Virginia.
  • The law established a 15 percent tax on gross betting revenue, and gamblers will not be allowed to bet on college athletic events involving schools located in Virginia.
  • When the application period ends, the Lottery will have a 90-day window to review applicants. As many as 12 companies could be granted a license by mid-January.

“I don’t see why Virginia wouldn’t work out to be similar on a per-capita basis to a Pennsylvania, to an Indiana,” said Chris Grove, with Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm. “Since July, Pennsylvania has generated nearly $12 million in tax revenue from sports betting, and most of it has been through mobile apps. There’s no good reason why Virginia isn’t in a similar range on a per-capita basis.”

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