Virginia Lottery Moves on Sports Betting Rules
The Virginia Lottery planned to unveil proposed sports betting regulations July 15, and also set the rules for casinos and sportsbooks. The first bets could be placed by early next year, says Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall (l.).
The Virginia Lottery is expected to unveil proposed sports betting regulations at its July 15 meeting, and then vote on the regulations 60 days later. That timeline could set the stage for sports betting in the state by early next year.
Virginia lawmakers approved sports wagering in April, with the law taking effect July 1.
“We had some nominal impact during the sausage-making process, but we got started ahead of the July 1 date,” Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall told Sports Handle. “We’ve already kind of done a deep dive on some of the models out there. We’ve established relationships with operators.”
The lottery must approve the regulations by September 15, setting off a 90-day application period, but the regulations must be published in the Virginia Register before the clock ticks further, and that might take a month, Hall said.
Hall and his staff aren’t only crafting regulations for sports betting, but are following a parallel track to regulate and license casinos. Lawmakers have authorized five physical casinos, each capable of hosting a sportsbook.
The law also allows for professional sports venues that have headquarters, training facilities or stadiums in Virginia to offer sports betting.
Each of the new casinos must be approved by local voters. The law seems to allow casinos to go live with mobile/online sports betting ahead of opening a brick-and-mortar location. The same applies to sports venues.
Hall said crafting regulations for both sports betting and casinos is challenging on a tight timeline, given the licensing requirements, vetting procedures and a consumer bill of rights.
“It’s important to get it right and get it right from the start, and I think we’ve done a good job getting ourselves ready. It’s no small thing that I think we’re going hit the deadlines,” he said.