Applications for sports betting licenses are expected to start being accepted in October and licensed mobile platforms could start offering the first legal wagers on sports in Virginia in January 2021.
Members of Virginia’s Lottery Board, which was assigned regulatory responsibility for expanded gaming by the 2020 General Assembly, were briefed at a virtual public meeting Wednesday on the initial draft regulations for online sports betting.
Proposed licensing and consumer protection regulations were posted Wednesday on the Virginia Lottery website, with rules governing operational matters to be released in August.
Those interested in submitting feedback on the regulations before the close of the public comment period in September can do so through the Lottery General Notice board online.
The sports betting legislation requires the state Lottery Board to adopt an initial regulatory framework for sports wagering by Sept. 15.
“The General Assembly was clear in its expectations for the Lottery to build a regulatory framework around sports betting on an expedited timeline, and we are committed to adopting responsible rules of the road in a timely and transparent way,” said Lottery Executive Director Kevin Hall in news release.
The sports wagering legislation authorizes the Virginia Lottery to issue up to 12 licenses for mobile-only sports betting platforms.
The statute permits legal betting on most major league and college sports, although the legislation specifically prohibits wagers on games involving teams from Virginia colleges and universities.
The regulations require mobile platforms to verify customers are at least 21 years old and physically present in Virginia in order to legally place an online sports bet.
The Lottery also announced Wednesday that it has completed its preliminary review of four proposed casino projects, paving the way for projects in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth.
The casino legislation also designated Richmond as a potential host city, but the City of Richmond is on a different timeline and was not required to submit pre-certification materials at this time.