The global gaming market yields more than 400 billion U.S. dollars per year to gamblers and betting organizations alike. One of the fastest-growing sectors of the betting market is online gambling and interactive sports betting, in which players make bets on the outcome of sporting events.
In March of 2020, Virginia legalized betting, and online sports betting in the state officially became legal in January of 2021. If you're like other Virginians interested in placing some bets, understanding the legality of betting in our state is important.
Sports Betting in Virginia: An Overview
Unlike many other states in the U.S., Virginia didn't widely legalize sports betting until recently. While West Virginia legalized sports betting in 2018, Virginia officials deliberated over the legality of sports betting for years before passing HB 896 and SB 384 in March 2020, opening a path for legalization.
Currently, there are no sports betting casinos in Virginia, meaning that if you want to engage in sports betting, you must do so online. Currently, Virginians can place bets using DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel, and Yahoo! However, several sports betting providers are in the process of constructing casinos, which will eventually give Virginians land-based sportsbooks they can access to play.
The Virginia Lottery Board is overseeing sports betting in the state as a regulatory measure and is also responsible for issuing sports betting licenses. The decision to place the Lottery Board in control of sports betting comes on the heel of a 2018 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to make sports betting a state's rights issue, repealing the previous ban on sports gambling and allowing states to make their own decisions regarding its legality.
With the Lottery Board overseeing betting and sports betting licenses costing $250,000 up-front with a $200,000 annual renewal fee, it's clear that Virginia legislators expect sports betting to be a useful source of tax-based income for the state. Given the rapidly increasing size of the sports betting industry, state officials are likely hoping that legalizing betting in the state could generate tens of millions in tax revenue.
If you want to place sports bets in Virginia, here's what you need to know:
- You can bet on college sports, but not on Virginia colleges. Additionally, you cannot place live bets on college games.
- While you don't need to live in Virginia to bet on sports, you do need to be physically located in the state when you place a wager.
- You can also bet on pro sports.
- Revenue from sports betting will be taxed by the Lottery Board at a rate of 15%, with 2.5% of tax revenue going towards the state lottery corporation and 95% being allocated towards research projects at state universities.
Betting on sports legally in Virginia means following a simple process:
- Set up an account with a Virginia online sports betting site, such as DraftKings or FanDuel. Make sure you set up a secure username and password since your finances will be connected to this account.
- Most sports betting sites requires personal information, such as your social security number, to verify your identity.
- Finally, you may need to put down an initial deposit to bet with. Many sites offer first-deposit bonuses for players.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, our attorneys understand the ins and outs of betting laws in Virginia. We can help you navigate a gambling-related case.