News broke this week that the Virginia Lottery Board approved the initial regulation on casino gaming in the state and provided an update on the recent launch of mobile sports betting.
The regulatory oversight of expanded gaming, which was assigned to the Board in the 2020 General Assembly session encompassed land-based casinos, as well as licensing the regulation of mobile sports wagering.
Lottery officials stated that the approved emergency regulations applied to land-based casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth.
The casinos were endorsed by voters in the November 2020 elections. There is a fifth casino proposal in Richmond that is still pending.
As was reported in 2020, casino legislation required adoption of an initial regulatory framework by April 2021.
Refining regulations issued by Virginia Lottery is the next step. Officials said that this will provide an opportunity for public shakeholder participation.
The Virginia Lottery made a preliminary assessment of each city’s preferred casino partner, as part of the pre-certification process. The focus on the partners was their financial viability and experience in operating casinos.
The Lottery will look through the criminal history, as well as the financial reviews of designated gaming operators when the applications for casino operating licenses are submitted.
Kevin Hall, executive director of the Virginia Lottery said: “The Lottery’s role as regulator is based on its three-decade track record as a respected and trusted gaming authority in the Commonwealth,”
He added: “The Lottery’s professional staff and our Board will work to protect the public interest by ensuring the integrity of casino gaming through the strict enforcement of the law and our regulations.”
Mobile Sports Wagering
According to the Virginia Lottery, live, legal sports wagering launched on January 21 in the Commonwealth.
Virginia sports betting went live in the beginning of the month thus adding to state’s gambling opportunities.
According to some officials, licensed operators include Betfair Interactive US LLC (d/b/a FanDuel) in conjunction with the Washington Football Team, Crown Virginia Gaming (Draft Kings), BetMGM, Portsmouth Gaming Holdings, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, and Caesars Virginia.
The state law requires all the operators to submit financial reports on total wagering activities by the 20th day of each month. This means that the first reports will show up by February 20.
Hall said: “In the seven months since sports betting was authorized by state law, the Virginia Lottery has crafted responsible regulations, accepted and reviewed applications, and awarded the first licenses to qualified operators,”
He added: “We have built a regulatory program that protects consumers and ensures the integrity of legal sports wagering in Virginia.”
Sports betting is expected to bring a significant profit for the Virginia Lottery, which is good news for the good cause the Lottery supports, meaning K-12 schools in the Commonwealth.
Source: “Virginia Lottery Board approves initial casino gaming regulations as sports betting moves forward”, WFXR TV, February 4, 2021
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