Virginia has seen sweeping changes to regulated gambling this year. With legalized casino and sports betting and Gov. Ralph Northam’s appended amendments later approved in an April legislative session, Virginia is now turning its attention toward online markets.
Legal gambling timeline
The Virginia Lottery has been tapped to assume responsibility of new betting activities in the state. Its first action has culminated in the launch of a microsite as part of the Virginia Lottery webpage. According to a representative, the webpage “includes important information about the rule-making process and provides estimated timelines for when expanded gaming will become available for Virginia consumers.”
As part of the casino application process, the Virginia Lottery will conduct a detailed review of casino projects. This will include criminal background checks and financial performance investigations of prospective gaming operators. The initial round of applications is not expected to be reviewed until at least November of 2020. However, applicants can submit preliminary certification materials for review beginning June 1. City officials in each of the five eligible host cities — Danville, Richmond, Norfolk, Bristol and Portsmouth — have been notified of the organization’s intent to proceed.
Sports betting regs
The lottery will need to submit an initial draft of proposed sports betting regulations before Sept. 16, 2020. A 30-day public comment period will follow. Once adopted, regulations will require a 90-day application review period for potential sports betting operators to take place. The VA lottery will also have the power to award between four and 12 mobile sports betting licenses to Virginia-based operators.
Lottery officials have stated that the public can expect more details on the newly launched site as time goes on. This will include progress on regulations, applications, tools for citizens’ participation in the review and rulemaking processes, and FAQs and relevant links to the requisite forms for license applicants and stakeholders.
Beyond the outlining of rules and regulations for the new gaming outlets, the Virginia Lottery will provide additional information pertaining to licensing, audit processes and compliance requirements for operators, suppliers, employees and equipment manufacturers and distributors. The microsite will publish that information, when available.