Virginia One Step Closer To Sports Betting After House, Senate Passage

Virginia looks to be headed toward sports betting under a pair of bills, albeit with slightly different plans, passed by the House, Senate.
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A bill to legalize sports betting by the Virginia Lottery cleared the House Monday.

House Bill 896 would direct the Lottery to issue online/mobile sportsbook approvals. It also would allow the Lottery to sell tickets to games via the internet. Sports betting would be taxed at 20%.

The vote was 69-29.

The House bill would allow up to 10 permits. A companion Senate bill, SB 384, also would allow up to 10 permits.

The Senate vote was 27-12.

The bills aren’t identical, so they would have to be reconciled.

Timeline, market potential

The Virginia legislative session expires in early March, so the bills have about three weeks left to cross the finish line. If successful, Virginia could possibly see sports betting launch in late 2020 or early 2021.

Virginia isn’t home to any casinos, but the proposals would allow some retail locations.

A 2017 study commissioned by the American Gaming Association predicted Virginia could see $5.2 billion in annual handle and $380 million in taxable revenue under market conditions similar to those in the bills.

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