Virginia on betting regulations and online casino market launch

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 17 Jul 2020, 12:40 p.m.

It seems that the State of Virginia is one step closer to getting legal sports betting underway. If the proposed regulations are approved and adopted, the market will soon be adapted for consumers.

This Wednesday The Virginia Lottery, the authority that will set the regulations and run sports betting in the states, set up proposed rules and public comment period to push forward the process. The citizens of Virginia will have a chance to express their opinion on the matter in the next 60 days.

An outline of the betting process

The Virginia Lottery document outlines the state voluntary exclusion programme, permit application process, consumer protection programme and a Sports Bettor’s Bill of Rights, as well as a general note on their draft for sports betting rules and regulations. The application for a sports betting licence costs $250,000.

Lottery representatives made a clear statement that they are not considering a payout cap, similar to the cap that the state of Tennessee implemented. For example, an obliged hold of 10% would likely create odds worse than what bettors would find in unregulated, offshore markets and put sportsbooks at a disadvantage. The state plans on starting the issuance licence process in October and will begin taking legal sports bets from January 2021.

Virginia Lottery approves 4 casino offers

The Virginia Lottery has given initial approval to four developers who want to build casinos in the state. Lottery Officials offered the first round of approved ballot initiatives after a preliminary review of the proposed bills. Projects target casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth. This is the first step towards a long journey on building resorts. More extensive revisions will be made starting from April 2021 at which point it will approve emergency casino regulations and begin to receive applications. These probes will include background checks along with an investigation into the financial performance of gaming operators. Approvals will allow voters to have their say in referendums on Election day this November.

West Virginia’s Interactive Wagering Act was adopted in 2019, setting the framework to allow online casino games through the state’s four racetrack casinos, with each venue authorised to partner with up to three management service providers (MSPs) to offer online casino games. As a reminder, West Virginia drew more than $257.3 million in sports betting for the 2019-20 fiscal year that ended in June. More than half of the total amount came via online wagers.

Online Casino Market launches with DraftKings

West Virginia will offer online casino games in the US market after DraftKings launched its iGaming product in the state. Gaming enthusiasts will be able to play Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and more by accessing the standalone DraftKings casino app or through the sportsbook app. West Virginia now joins New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Colorado in offering online casino games through DraftKings. Also, Michigan, after allowing online and mobile betting on horseracing, is assigned to offer both online casino and online poker in late 2020.

The West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers stated that this launch is a culmination of the hard work and careful planning through the course of the last year. They are looking forward to the licencing and approval of other casinos and affiliated providers when they will be ready.

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