January 17, 2022 Sports Betting, Legal, Online, Land Based

Virginia legislators introduce two bills to legalize college sports betting


Lawmakers see opportunities to improve the market.

The Virginia State House of Delegates has proposed two bills that would make two significant changes to the commonwealth’s sports betting market.

One would allow betting on in-state college teams, and the other would prohibit sportsbook operators from subtracting bonuses and promotions from taxable revenue.

House Bill 1127 was introduced by Schuyler T. VanValkenburg of the 72nd District on January 12. The legislation would allow sports bettors in Virginia to wager on sporting events involving in-state colleges and universities.

Bettors are currently barred from placing any bets on Virginia-based college athletic events.

The bill would remove that ban but still prohibit prop bets on in-state collegiate events. If passed, it would mean Virginia sports bettors could place wagers on next season’s Virginia vs. Virginia Tech football game.

HB 1127 awaits debate on the floor when the Virginia General Assembly begins its 2022 session on January 19.

Virginia’s new Governor, Glenn A. Youngkin, will be sworn in on January 15 in Richmond. He supports legalized sports betting but has not come out publicly with a stance on in-state collegiate wagering. He has made it clear that he is in favor of making Richmond more efficient with taxpayer monies, and he’s said that the Virginia economy is “in the ditch.”

His signature would be required on any legislation that changes sports betting in the commonwealth.

House Bill 1103 was introduced by Mark Sickles of Virginia’s 43rd District. The bill would require sportsbooks to halt the practice of removing the cost of bonuses and betting promos from their sports betting revenue. Sickles’ legislation would also prohibit operators from carrying negative losses from month-to-month financial reports when calculating their taxable income.

The result would be more taxes to the Virginia Treasury.

The proposed change would increase adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for operators in Virginia and could earn more tax dollars for Virginia, barring any radical alterations by sportsbooks in their promo and bonus offerings. The bill maintains the tax on AGR from sports betting at 15%.

The bill redefines AGR as “gross revenue minus all cash and cash value of merchandise paid out as winnings to bettors, and the value of all allowable bonuses or promotions provided to patrons as an incentive to place or as a result of their having placed Internet sports betting wagers.”

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