Virginia Lottery to begin accepting sports betting applications from Thursday

The state of Virginia appears to be on track to launch sports wagering in the coming months.

According to the Virginia Lottery’s website, sports betting operators, suppliers and vendors will be able to submit online applications from Thursday 15 October. 

This comes after permanent rules for sports betting were agreed upon last month.

Virginia Lottery to begin taking applications

The Virginia Lottery will begin accepting online applications from sports betting operators, suppliers and vendors on Thursday. 

The regulator will only accept online applications and physical paper applications will not be accepted.

Licensing fees are set at $250,000 for a sports betting operator, $125,000 for a supplier and $50,000 for a principal application or a supplier that will not operate a betting platform.

Once an application has been filed, the Lottery will have up to 90 days to approve, that means that if the Lottery takes the full 90 days, in theory, an operator could launch sports betting operations on 15 January 2021. It is also possible for the Lottery to approve an application in less than 90 days, which would allow an operator to launch operations earlier.

However, as is the case in all US jurisdictions with legal sports betting, in order for an operator to go live, its vendors and suppliers must also receive the necessary approvals.

It is not yet clear if Virginia will have a specific launch day for sports betting operations or if operators will be allowed to go live as they receive approval.

Who will offer betting in Virginia?

Initially, sports betting in Virginia was limited to mobile and online before being expanded to allow for a handful of land-based sportsbooks and casinos.

The construction of five land-based casinos was written into law and any professional sports team with a headquarters in Virginia can offer sports betting.

In November, residents in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond will vote on whether or not to allow land-based casino gambling.

However, the city of Bristol has already partnered with Hard Rock while Danville has partnered with Caesars and Portsmouth partnered with Rush Street Gaming. The other two cities have yet to announce potential casino partners.

As a result of this, each casino partner will be entitled to an online sports betting skin which means that bettors in the state are likely to see online betting apps from Hard Rock’s partner, Scientific Games, Caesars’ partner, William Hill, and Rush Street Gaming’s BetRivers brand.

Other high profile online sportsbook operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet, PointsBet and Penn National’s BarStool Sportsbook, are likely to apply for a licence. 

DraftKings, FanDuel, Fox Bet and PointsBet are already live in several US states, while Penn launched the Barstool app in Pennsylvania last month.

Sports betting in Virginia

The state of Virginia legalised sports betting in April 2020 after the state legislature passed a sports betting bill that would allow sportsbook apps to launch by the end of 2020.

State representatives and Governor Ralph Northam signed off on legal sports betting in Virginia after a two-year process of study and drafting legislation.

Under the legislation, the state will have at least four sportsbook apps but no more than a dozen. As the bill also legalised five new casino locations, those casinos may take up to five of the 12 sports betting licences.

The law also allows for sports betting to take place at a major-league stadium that has yet to be built in the state.

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