Virginia Issues Phase 2 Sports Betting Regulations

The Virginia Lottery recently issued its second set of proposed sports betting regulations, including 17 new rules regarding operations, internal controls and enforcement. Phase 1 proposed regulations were released July 15, addressing consumer protections, self-exclusion and applications, among other topics. The definitions section of Phase 1 proposed rules also was updated.

Virginia sports betting law allows statewide mobile sports betting and retail sports wagering at five yet-to-be-built casinos and specific professional sports venues.

The proposed rules follow the law in terms of permitted wagers, including prop bets for all events except collegiate events or a wager placed on an injury, and allows in-play wagering as defined by the statute. Wagering on events involving Virginia college athletic programs is prohibited. However, bettors still will be able to wager on college events in Virginia that do not involve Virginia teams.

The proposed regulations stop short of mandating the use of official league data to settle certain bets, with an option for a sports governing body such as the National Football League to formally request operators to use that data. Under the proposed regulations, once a sports governing body requests the use of official league data and the Lottery approves the request, operators must begin using official league data within 60 days.

Here are more highlights of the proposed regulations:

  • Operators must keep a reserve of $500,000 cash, have $5 million in liability insurance and $15 million in errors and omissions insurance
  • For integrity monitoring, operators must be members of the Global Lottery Monitoring System and must immediately notify the Lottery Director of suspicious activity
  • Operators must not advertise to individuals under the age of 21, and must not target potential vulnerable groups through advertising campaigns, including self-excluded bettors

A public comment period now is in effect through September 9. The legislature approved sports betting in April and the law took effect July 1. The lottery board’s next meeting is scheduled for September 15. Regulations must be approved by that date and the lottery expects the first licensed operator to take sports bets before the end of the year.

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