Virginia is ramping up for a sports betting launch that could see platforms go live in time for the Super Bowl. According to WUSA9, Kevin Hall the Executive Director of the Virginia Lottery expects to approve the state’s first online sports betting licenses within two to three weeks. If this happens, operators could launch before the Super Bowl, giving bettors a huge event to bet on.
The Virginia Lottery will oversee sports betting in the Commonwealth. Virginia’s sports betting legislation allows for 12 licenses. The Lottery received 25 applicants, so just under half of them will receive licenses.
The Lay Of The Land
Virginia’s sports betting landscape will look similar to many other markets where sportsbooks are allowed. The state legalized online sports betting and online casinos via a General Assembly vote in 2020. The vote also cleared the way for two new casino construction projects to begin in Norfolk and Portsmouth. Both of the casino projects have submitted applications for Virginia sports betting licenses, though we don’t know which companies are involved just yet.
Following the General Assembly vote, Virginia began the regulatory process. This involves laying the groundwork for legal sports betting, accepting license applicants, and a lot of behind-the-scenes work. In other states, it’s this stage of the process that has led to multiple launch delays. However, The Virginia Lottery seems optimistic that licenses could be approved by the end of January.
Virginia’s Sports Betting Rules
Virginia sports betting apps require bettors to be 21 years old or above. The state’s sportsbooks will be allowed to offer pre-game and live bets on all professional sports.
For college sports fans, options will be more limited in Virginia. The state allows pre-game bets on college matches, provided they don’t include a Virginia-based school. In-play betting on college matches won’t be allowed in Old Dominion.
Though the college sports restrictions limit bettor options, they’re not unique to Virginia. Other legal markets, such as New Jersey and Illinois, prohibit betting on college matches that include an in-state school.
Limitations aside, Virginia is a budding sports betting market that will likely be a major player in the years to come. And if licenses are granted before January winds to a close, bettors in the state could place a wager on the biggest sporting event of the year.