Virginia Governor Calls for Changes in Sports Betting Bill

Virginia Governor Calls for Changes in Sports Betting Bill

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has sent the state’s sports betting bill back to the legislature for adding some technical amendments. This move will further delay the state’s bid to launch its athletic wagering market by the end of the year, just in time for the NFL season.

What led to the move?

According to Democratic Senator Jeremy McPike, the amendments could be discussed on April 22. He did not provide details on the issue. Northam had time till Saturday midnight to sign the legislation and convert it into law. However, he decided to send it back to the legislature. He asked for amendments in a casino bill and another bill related to the decriminalization of marijuana. Meanwhile, he signed bills related to repealing racist and discriminatory language, criminal justice reforms, etc. He has also given local jurisdictions the ability to alter or remove Confederate monuments.

Virginia Governor Calls for Changes in Sports Betting Bill

The state General Assembly decided to extend its session last month to approve the sports betting and casino gambling bill. If the bill is passed, Virginia could become one of the broadest sports betting markets in the US.

Virginia’s history with gambling

Historically, Virginia has been averse to all forms of gambling, except for horse racing. When the sports betting law is signed by the governor, it would open up the possibility of having casinos in Richmond, Bristol, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Danville. Interestingly, even if sports betting is legalized soon, it would take some time for the cities to have casinos because they need to hold referendums in November to approve their construction.

The state’s betting proposal will allow traditional casinos and make space for mobile and online gambling as well. It would take the gross gaming revenue at 15% and allow for about 10-12 operating licenses in the state. The industry will be regulated by the Virginia Lottery. The state will allow betting on multiple sports but teams from Virginia will not be eligible for bets. Betting on college sports for teams other than that of the home state will also be legal.

The bill also includes provisions for a professional sports franchise in Virginia which will not be counted among the 10-12 official licenses.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.