It will be pushed for another year as members of the Virginia House made it clear that sportsbook operators will not be able to accept wagers on in-state collegiate teams. Any chance of this happening ended on Thursday.
Betting on in-state College Teams is Still Prohibited
The House General Laws Committee voted to table Senate Bill 576, 18-4 as it passed through the state Senate earlier this month, 23-17. State Sen. T. Montgomery Mason supported the bill that would allow bettors across the state to wager on in-state college teams; however, it did not pass this year.
Sportsbook operators would love the idea of allowing bettors to place wagers on in-state collegiate teams due to the fans’ widespread support for their teams. However, the supporters of the bill believe that it will pass eventually.
The idea of allowing betting on teams like Virginia Tech and other programs throughout the state is important to state Sen. Mason for many reasons. He believes those who want to place wagers on these teams do so through offshore sportsbooks and local bookies anyway.
He also stated that he does not care about the amount of revenue introducing this new way of betting would bring. He just wants wagers on in-state programs to be traced rather than being placed illegally.
For the time being, wagering on teams like the Virginia Cavaliers and other Division 1 programs will continue to be off-limits.
In-State College Sports Betting Faced Heavy Opposition
Several committee members were opposed to allowing sports betting on collegiate teams because colleges and universities throughout the state voiced their concerns two years ago. The main concern is the athletic directors, and others involved with these programs did not want other students to place wagers on other students.
Mason believes that once the casinos in Virginia open, these gaming facilities will push for a rule change. Del. David Bulova also suggested that with the legislation passing less than two years ago, it is too early to revisit the issue.
He went on to say;
“Sometimes these are going to happen illegally, but this is looking out after our Virginia students. This is making sure that we’re not going ahead and putting our seal of approval on that kind of activity.”
Virginia is a top Sports Betting Market
Regardless of this, Virginia is a top sports betting market in the industry, with bettors placing over 3.2 billion in bets during its first year of launch. As of right now, 13 sportsbook operators have approved licenses to take wagers.
Another law could be amended in the state, which allows sportsbooks to deduct promotional expenses. Sportsbooks have claimed $122 million due to the rules last year. On the other hand, the state was able to bring in $20.3 million in taxes in 2021.
The tax projections were expected to be higher. This will most likely be discussed sooner rather than later, as the previous bill died without a hearing.