Virginia Lottery Issues Final Sports Betting Regulations Draft

The Virginia Lottery has issued the final draft sports betting legislation for public comment, with the document containing the original consumer rights rules, a ‘Sports Bettor’s Bill of Rights,’ and the application process previously reported in July.

The draft regulations published include such issues as procedures, internal controls and compliance, with feedback approved by the deadline of September 9.

By the 2020 General Assembly, the Lottery Board had been given regulatory authority for sports betting and casinos in the Commonwealth, with the deadline for final approval of the sports betting legislation set on September 15.

Following that date, if the green-light is released, license applications will be approved beginning in October with mobile platforms providing the first potential legal wagers on sports in the state from January 2021.

Virginia Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall said: “The Virginia Lottery takes very seriously its role assigned by the General Assembly to appropriately and responsibly regulate sports betting in the Commonwealth.

“The regulatory framework we are building now is vital to the process, and we are committed to doing so with transparency to allow stakeholders and the public to weigh-in on these preliminary rules-of-the-road for sports wagering in Virginia.”

The Lottery is allowed to grant up to 12 licenses for internet-only sports betting sites, with the law authorizing betting on most major league and college sports, while games involving teams from colleges and universities in Virginia are prohibited.

Sports betting operators are expected to verify that customers are at least 21 years old and physically located in Virginia to legally position an online sports bet, with a prominent connection to the self-exclusion system of the license holder being an mandatory platform feature.

Tax will be set as 15 percent of the adjusted gross revenue of a license holder, with the regulator allocating 2.5 percent of that raised to the Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.

For contrast, New Jersey taxes 9.75 percent of land-based sports bets and 13 percent of internet sportsbooks, 9.5 percent of Indiana’s electronic sports betting tax and 36 percent of Pennsylvania taxes sports betting.

Throughout Michigan, gross sports betting income, both online and retail, will be charged by the state at 8.4 per cent upon launch later in the year.