Tag: Virginia

Virginia Sports Betting Is Officially Legal After Delays


Legalized Virginia sports betting is ready to colonize.

Lawmakers enacted into law a pair of bills, HB 896 and SB 384, that take effect July 1, thus legalizing regulated wagering in Old Dominion.

This comes after both the state House and Senate approved the bill in early March and then had the proposal sent back by Gov. Ralph Northam in mid-April.

Though a timeline remains unknown for an official launch, the Virginia Lottery Board must complete regulations by Sept. 15.

Virginia joins Washington as the first two states to enact legislation in 2020.

Virginia bill just beats the buzzer

Just to get the bill in front of the governor is something of a miracle.

Legislators were up against the clock and appeared at odds when it came to Virginia sports betting. Days waned to hours, which waned to minutes. The Senate and House discussed two main sports betting bills. However, neither chamber could agree on which to put forward.

Hence an 11th-hour conference between the two groups.

The House discarded a bill proposal during the final day of the session. A day later, however, essentially in extra innings, the two sides came to an agreement and in the final vote pushed the bill forward to the governor’s desk.

Northam then threw something of a curveball, developing several recommendations to be included in the bill. Lawmakers approved of those suggestions with little (or even any) disagreement, which one bill’s sponsor described as “largely administrative.”

Once legislators approved of the amended version, it became law.

What Virginia sports betting will look like

While regulators will still need to create a regulatory framework for Virginia sports betting, we know of some details of the future industry.

First, it appears that lawmakers will prohibit wagering on Virginia college sports. Any game involving an institution from Virginia or staged in the state will be off-limits.

Additionally, operators will not accept wagers on college prop bets.

That said, there will potentially be no shortage of Virginia sports betting options.

The Virginia Lottery, which will regulate the industry, will determine how many licenses to award operators based on what would best benefit the state. However, the lottery could potentially award up to 12 online-only licenses to bookmakers.

The state’s five casinos would receive preferred consideration for an online sports betting license, as would any professional sports team that relocates its facilities to Virginia. That last bit could be the state’s attempt to lure the Washington Redskins.

$250,000 check would provide a three-year license to an operator, which would have revenue taxed at a 15% clip.

Governor’s recommendations agreed upon by legislators

Among Northam’s suggestions in the bill was the inclusion of NASCAR facilities under the definition of a “major sports franchise.” As it stands, teams from pro leagues such as MLBNBA and NFL can offer legalized retail and online sports betting if they are located in the state.

The result is the authorization of Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway to accept regulated bets.

Additionally, while wagering on in-state colleges is prohibited, Northam recommended that operators be allowed to take bets on tournaments involving those colleges.


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Presidential Election Betting Starts, Stops In West Virginia


We’re really looking forward to the day when these weekly wrap-ups don’t lead with the coronavirus pandemic.

Alas, it does again this week, as sports remain sidelined and as casinos remain closed.

But the legalized sports betting world has not completely shut down. Three of the four golf major championships have been rescheduled, setting the scene for an action-packed fall. Additionally, eNASCAR (essentially virtual stock racing) has emerged in several states.

In a few weeks, the NFL Draft will begin. And another state could become the next to legalize wagering. But first, we head to the Mountain State, where history was made and then quickly erased.

On to the Rewind:

Election betting quickly struck down in WV

For a short time, it appeared as though the country saw its first opportunity to legally wager on the 2020 presidential election.

Just as quickly as FanDuel Sportsbook introduced that market, however, it was pulled by West Virginia regulators.

FanDuel surprised the legal gambling world by posting lines surrounding this year’s election. Just a few hours later, however, the bookmakers pulled said lines.

FanDuel reportedly received approval from the West Virginia Lottery to offer presidential betting. Soon after, West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner released a statement emphasizing that “(gambling) on the outcome of an election has no place in our American democracy. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”

Apparently, the office of Gov. Jim Justice was not informed about FanDuel introducing presidential betting. And the group’s decision to OK FanDuel’s request was a mistake.

For what it’s worth, during the brief time presidential lines existed, FanDuel listed Donald Trump as a -110 favorite with Joe Biden holding +125 odds.

Sports betting on its way in Massachusetts?

Following several years of silence on the subject, the heart of New England is suddenly a serious contender to legalize sports betting.

Just before the coronavirus pandemic brought a screeching halt to legislative sessions, the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies advanced a bill to legalize wagering in Massachusetts.

Previously, five sports betting bills introduced in the state made their way to the joint committee. Now, H 4559 replaces those proposals. The bill allows regulated wagering at three casinos in the state as well as at a slot parlor and horse racing tracks. Additionally, up to five sportsbooks could operate online.

Verbiage in the proposed bill obviously authorizes retail and online betting, both on pro sports and on college athletics. Casinos can develop three online skins and the slot parlor has access to two skins.

That said, the bill prohibits wagering on the Olympics, esports and in-play props of college athletes. Legislation would also ban the use of credit cards to place wagers.

The state legislature has until July 31 to pass the bill.

NFL Draft betting alive and well

While stadiums, arenas, courses and fields remain void of sporting action, the NFL Draft still expects to go on as scheduled — virtually, no less.

Indeed, league commissioner Roger Goodell has pulled the draft from its original location, Las Vegas, and told teams that the draft would operate remotely. Fortunately, that does not really affect NFL Draft betting.

Take your pick as to which book you’d take your action to: DraftKingsFanDuelWilliam HillPointsBet and Fox Bet. They all, and others, offer draft-related markets.

And options abound, including bets such as:

  • Draft position of a player
  • First, second and even third QBs to get drafted
  • Total QBs drafted in first round
  • Draft position of first defensive player selected
  • Position of Mr. Irrelevant

It is no secret who the Cincinnati Bengals will likely select with the No. 1 pick. How sure is it that LSU QB Joe Burrow will head back to Ohio? DraftKings pegs him as a -2500 favorite to go first overall. Ohio State DE Chase Young and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa share identical +1600 odds to earn the top pick.

For those looking for a little better value, perhaps the second overall pick market suits you better. Be warned, as odds are not much better. After all, Young is listed at -2000 to go to the Washington Redskins, with Tagovailoa (+1000) and Oregon QB Justin Herbert (+3300) farther behind.


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Betting News For Oscars & West Virginia, Plus Casino Responds To OJ’s Lawsuit


What a time it is to be alive.

It’s the week of Super Bowl LIV, and legalized sports betting permeates the country.

A week after that, the Academy Awards takes place.

Of course, not everyone can celebrate as much as we do. Just ask OJ Simpson. More on that in a minute.

First, let’s get to the PlayUSA Rewind.

Oscar betting comes to Indiana

For the second straight year, New Jersey regulators gave the go-ahead for sports betting providers to accept wagers on the 2020 Academy Awards.

Now, a second state has done the same.

Despite only operating for a few months, Indiana has launched markets for Oscars betting. The Indiana Gaming Commission signed off on the wagering expansion. Since then, DraftKings Sportsbook has introduced odds for all 24 categories it currently offers in New Jersey.

It would seem appropriate for FanDuel Sportsbook also to integrate Oscars betting, and it appears it will do so as FanDuel has petitioned the IGC for approval.

All this said, Sara Tait, executive director of the IGC, told The Times of Northwest Indiana that the commission can opt “to change course” should “circumstances arise that undermine the integrity of certain activities.”

Original West Virginia online sports betting provider could return

West Virginia became one of the pioneering states to launch legal online sports betting in the US.

Yet the two casinos that were at the forefront have not offered regulated wagering since March 2019. Soon, though, both Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras could come back online.

As West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, both properties “have some target dates” to relaunch sports betting operations. “Our understanding is it’s going to happen a lot sooner than it has been.”

Recall in late-2018 when Delaware North, owner of the two casinos, introduced to West Virginia the BetLucky sports betting app, developed alongside tech providers Miomni and EnterG.

Mere months after going live with the wagering platform, however, BetLucky was shelved. A dispute stemming from pricing and intellectual property ultimately led to the shutdown, which resulted in retail books at Wheeling Island and Mardi Gras also closing their doors.

Delaware North has since cut ties with Miomni and is searching for a new sports betting partner. The gaming company aims to rejoin the online wagering market in West Virginia, potentially joining FanDuel SportsbookDraftKings Sportsbook and BetMGM.

OJ Simpson too tarnished to defame

The man known as “Juice” has long been in the spotlight, from his football career to his fall from grace with that whole “trial of the century” thing. Oh, and the “robbery at gunpoint” thing.

Now, all that time spent in courtrooms and prison has made it impossible to defame Pro Football Hall of Fame running back OJ Simpson, according to attorneys for a Las Vegas casino.

The former Heisman Trophy winner sued The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas after being escorted off the property in 2017. His legal team argues that hotel staff then spread rumors that Simpson was prohibited from returning to the Cosmo and that he was publicly intoxicated.

However, attorneys for the Cosmo told a judge that OJ Simpson could not have his reputation defamed by said accounts because it was already tarnished.

Simpson, obviously, was involved in one of the most high-profile homicide investigations and trials in history, which involved the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994. Later, Simpson was jailed following an armed robbery case in 2007.

Attorneys for the Cosmo argue that Simpson “is a well-known public figure” and that reports of the former running back’s behavior at the Cosmo could not have led to “tangible damage to his reputation.”


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