• Legalized sports betting was launched in the state on January 21st
  • Sports betting enthusiasts have flocked to online apps and casinos in record numbers

Legal Status of Virginia Sports Betting

Virginia sports betting became available to patrons on January 21st, 2021. At the start bettors were able to place wagers via mobile apps and online books from casinos. FanDuel Sportsbook was the first mobile app to launch thanks to their partnership with the Washington Football Team. Virginia law prioritizes sportsbooks that are allied with local professional teams

The current Virginia laws mandate that there will be a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 sportsbooks apps. DraftKings Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill followed closely. Many more sportsbooks will offer sports betting apps in Virginia.

As with other industries the more competition leads to a stronger market. Competition allows for customers to shop around for better signup offers and promo codes. These can include free bets, matching deposits, and offering exclusive lines to bet.

Governor Ralph Northam will have two sports betting bills to review. The bills will allow land-based casino operations to offer their own mobile betting apps without them counting against the 12 limit cap. If the bill is passed Virginia will allow for 18 mobile sports books to operate within the state.

Bettors in Virginia looking to wager on the Cavaliers for this March Madness tournament will be disappointed when they find out that is not possible. The current Virginia sports betting law restricts wagers on any instate college teams. This is becoming a common theme amongst states legalizing sports betting.

The focus of restricting betting on college athletics is meant to preserve the amateur status of college athletes. The universities also fear that with athletes not getting paid salaries they may be inclined to throw a game for a bet.

Virginia Sports Betting Numbers to Know

Sports bettors in Virginia wasted no time getting their wagers in.The Virginia Lottery released a report on their January betting numbers this week. Through the first 11 days $58,896,564 million was wagered, sportsbooks collected $3,235,612 in revenue and the state received $39,710.31 in total tax generated. The state tax on sports books is 15% of gross revenue but allows for books to subtract their promotional offers from the amount to be paid.

The state lottery noted that it anticipates tax revenue to grow as time progresses. The opening week saw a slew of promotions which were tax deductible. As COVID restrictions ease and more people return to in person casinos the number should rise as anticipated.

Virginia shows a lot of promise in becoming a staple of the states with legalized sports betting. One of the most impressive notes from the Virginia Lottery report is the fact that the amounts wagered did not include bets on the Super Bowl, which will appear in February’s numbers.

In releasing the numbers, the Virginia Lottery said it “anticipates additional sports betting operator permits to be awarded in the coming days.” As stated before the more books that are operational the greater the competition and incentive to provide promotions to draw in fans.

FanDuel paid out 1.5 million in promotional winnings during one event dubbed “Spread the Love” where gamblers were able to add 100 points to the Washington Wizards score, essentially guaranteeing that the spread and over would hit.

We will see the real impact sports betting has on the state of Virginia in the coming weeks when the state lottery released their February betting numbers. The January numbers reflected only 11 days worth of wagers. Having a full month worth of numbers will give insight on what the future may hold.

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I grew up in Florida playing baseball, football, lacrosse, and basketball. My love for sports led me to the University of Miami where I earned my degree in Sports Administration. I follow the Miami Heat, Dolphins, Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Buccaneers, and Jacksonville Jaguars. I enjoy writing about legal developments, gambling, and team building throughout professional sports. In the future, I hope to work in the front office of a professional sports team doing contract negotiation and player acquisition.

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