They launched legalized sports betting in Virginia on January 21st. The state must have expected a huge leap in the number of gamblers and the amount of money they wager. But they probably did not foresee what just happened in Virginia in the last month. The first reports on sports betting activity is almost shocking. And we cannot predict what the future holds for the gamblers and operators of the Old Dominion.
Right now, it looks like that the Commonwealth of Virginia is on its way of becoming a full-service gambling state. If you look at the activities of the last couple of months, you will not question this statement. As we mentioned above, sports betting in Virginia just became legal. Also, there are several land-based casinos on its territory that are under construction. They are in the early stage, but still: we can already see what the future of casino gambling look like there. It is the massive legislative activity seen in last March and April that made this development possible. Here is how gambling in Virginia looks like today – and how gamblers enjoy it.
Legal land-based gambling in Virginia – 2021
Virginia is one of the last states in the US to legalized casino gambling. It was in 2019 that they decided to give approval to five cities so that they can build casino resorts on their locations. Four of these five cities – Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth – are already in the first stage of realizing their own casinos. The fifth one, Richmond delayed the process by one year. As far as Tribal Casinos are concerned, Virginia is still a state with no Indian gaming casinos. However, Native American tribes will operate two of the state’s first four casinos. All the casinos will function under state licenses issued by the Virginia Lottery Board. None of them will operate under the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, despite some of them operated by Native American tribes.
The state’s law defines casino gaming as: “… baccarat, blackjack, twenty-one, poker, craps, dice, slot machines, sports betting, roulette wheels, Klondike tables, punchboards, faro layouts, keno layouts, numbers tickets, push cards, jar tickets, pull tabs, online gaming, and any other activity that is authorized by the Board as a wagering game or device under Chapter 41 (§ 58.1-4100 et seq.)”.
Online wagering and sports betting in Virginia – 2021
Online casinos – licensed and registered – are basically legal in Virginia. Poker online is also legal, as long as you are 21 or older. However, to gamble in land-based poker rooms, online or land-based bingo halls, lottery, and horse and dog racetracks you only need to be 18. If you are above 21, you have unrestricted possibilities regarding gambling. Sports betting became legal in last July, by passing HB 896 and SB 384 earlier in 2020. This law is a result of years of consultations in the state. But finally, they launched sports betting on January 21st ,2021. So, the online sportsbooks in the US, like Bovada, are already live in the state of Virginia for the residents to enjoy. And as the first report shows, they do enjoy it very much.
Sports betting in Virginia goes wild
According to CBS19 News, in the first 11 days of legal online sports betting in Virginia, people wagered more than 58 million dollars. The Virginia Lottery released the numbers which came straight from operators of the state. (Now, there are four licensed sportsbooks.) To be more exact, between January 21 and January 31, Virginians put 58.9 million dollars up for bets and they won more than 55.3 million. But as there will be more licensed operators – which the Virginia Lottery expects in the near future – there probably will be even more wagers as well. The state also benefits from this update. The law places 15 percent tax on sports betting activity – from the permit holder’s gross revenue. It means that online sportsbook sites in the US that can go live in Virginia, like Bovada, and the state too are facing a major growth in their incomes.