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Virginia drafts sports betting bill – study projects $380m revenue

Mississippi lawmakers may legalise mobile betting

Virginia sports betting
Virginia has become the newest US state to initiate the legalisation of sports betting after lawmakers drafted a bill to accelerate the process this week.

Delegate Mark Sickles pre-filed House Bill 1638 that seeks to place sports betting under the supervision of the state lottery. Currently, there are no casinos or racetracks operating in the state, however, the lawmakers believe legalising sports betting would create employment and relieve the state of its over-dependence on federal spending to diversify the economy.

Unlike other states, Virginia’s bill offers no in-person wagering options. Some states that have recently legalise sports betting enforce in-house wagering, however, Virginia’s House Bill 1636 defines sports betting platform as “a website, app, or other platforms accessible via the Internet or mobile, wireless, or similar communications technology that sports bettors use to place sports bets.”

The bill proposes an exclusion of all collegiate and professional sporting activities involving Virginia team from sports betting. That aside, it also prohibits any “competitor, coach, trainer, employee, or owner of a team in a professional sports event or any referee for a professional sports event” from making a sports bet.

To successfully manage and regulate the betting industry, a maximum of five sports betting licenses would be issued to operators within a three-year period. This would cost $250,000 each with a renewal fee of $200,000.

On revenues, operators would have to pay 15% of their earning as tax revenue, of which 2.5% will directly go to the state lottery as an administration fee.

This is a peanut compared to what Rhode Island is charging. The state is imposed 51% net revenue tax, the highest in the United States.

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