A bill has been drafted in Virginia to regulate sports betting in the state, to be officially filed when the next legislative session opens in January of 2019.
However, as pointed out in a Forbes article, bets would be limited to online platforms, nixing physical venues for placing bets.
As defined in House Bill 1638, filed by Delegate Mark Sickles, a sports betting platform is “a website, app, or other platform accessible via the Internet or mobile, wireless, or similar communications technology that sports bettors use to place sports bets.”
Sports wagering operators will have to apply for a three-year permit with the Virginia Lottery Board, which would have regulatory powers over the prospective industry, and could issue a maximum of only five permits. Each applicant must pay $250,000 and will be subject to a screening process to determine their ability to carry out operations. A 15% tax on adjusted gross revenue would be imposed, and renewal of a permit after three years would cost $200,000.
2.5% of the proceeds goes to a Sports Betting Operations Fund, another 2.5% to a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, and the remaining 95% allocated to the Major Research Project Subfund of the state.
Betting would only be allowed for persons 21 years and above, but remains prohibited for Virginia college sports and youth sports.
A voluntary exclusion program is also provided for, that would permanently ban those included in the program from participating in sports betting in the state.
Forbes reported that another Virginia lawmaker, Sen. Chap Petersen, wanted to propose his own sports betting measure, that would not limit bets to those placed online. Rather, he wants to see sports betting be a more open, community-oriented activity. “I’m not interested in people sitting in their parents’ basement with their pajamas on betting on a ‘Monday Night Football’ game. I want this to be part of a social entertainment package where people get out and spend money,” Petersen was quoted as saying.
He would also rather channel proceeds to state community colleges rather than universities, the latter as provided by Sickles’ bill.