Virginia State Likely to Legalize Sports Betting in 2019

virginia sports bettingThe state of Virginia appears to be on the path of legalising sports betting after it was regularised in the neighbouring state of West Virginia where sportsbook was launched in September 2018.

Marcus Simon who is a lawmaker in the Virginia State is preparing the final draft that will make sports betting legal for its people. The motion is likely to be introduced in the next session of General Assembly that will take place in January next year.

Simon while talking to the media person at Fox 5 news channel says:

I think there will be some appetite for this. I think there is certainly a revenue opportunity in Virginia. We already see a lot of our residents’ dollars go across the river to the MGM casino, and we lose out on a lot of opportunities to capture some of that revenue.

Will Sports Betting be Real?

Since the beginning, Virginia has maintained a strict stance on gambling where no casinos are allowed to run in the state. However, some people are hopeful that sports betting would be a respite for people who want to indulge in other forms of gambling.

Betting and horse racing are one of the favourite gambling pursuits, and it could be the route through which sports betting will be legalised in Virginia. In due course of time, online sports betting might be introduced in the state by the government officials.

Till now, five states have legalised sports betting following the decision of the Supreme Court to end its federal ban in May 2018. The five states are Delaware, New Mexico, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Jersey.

Other states of USA are on the verge of opening sportsbook for its people, most notably Rhode Island and Pennsylvania. In case of other states, the betting bills are in the advanced stage like Washington DC.

It seems that the majority of the states are going to benefit significantly from the legalisation of sports betting. The biggest question now is how the states are going to push through especially in the case of Virginia. In this case, the pros are more than cons because the Virginia state is going to benefit a great deal of revenue in the form of taxes.

What Will Happen Next?

If the bill is passed during the General Assembly meeting, we can expect sports betting to be legalised in Virginia by July 2019. It may be possible that the legalisation can be stretched to further one year where the General Assembly can constitute a commission to understand the potential effects of sports gambling in the region.

The study would look into the positive aspects of sports betting like creating job opportunities, tax revenue etc. At the same time, it would try to understand the downsides like problem gambling and crimes. This is a standard protocol which is implemented by the 5 states mentioned above where sports gambling is legalised.

Tide to Turn in Virginia

While the state of Virginia has always been on the back foot to embrace gambling of any form, the situation seems to be changing now. Apart from pushing for legalised sports betting, Virginia is likely to approve a resort casino.

The new casino resort will be situated in Bristol, and the construction cost is expected to be around $150 million. Bristol shares its border with Tennessee which makes it an ideal location for players from both these states.

Once the permission for the casino is granted, ample job opportunities will be created, and the revenue generating from the tax will improve the economy. This new project is headed by two business tycoons namely Clyde Stacy and Jim McGlothlin who are looking forward to funding it from their own pockets.

The casino site will be located at the Bristol Mall that has been lying vacant since 2017. Sports betting will be spread across an area of 25,000 square feet with a hotel comprising of 1000 rooms and entertainment complexes. It is speculated that 2000 new jobs will be created, but for all these things, the General Assembly of Virginia has to approve the project in the first place.


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