Virginia Governor Says Changes to NASCAR Wagering Are Necessary

A bill in Virginia legislature was passed in early March, ushering in legal sports betting within the state. The bill would allow mobile and in-person betting.

While the legislature is expected to reconvene in late April, Governor Ralph Northam is yet to place his signature, thus preventing it from being passed into law.

Governor Northam suggested a number of amendments to the bill last week. The expected date for said amendments to be considered is April 22.

Despite the suggested amendments placing Virginia sports betting in slightly less firm standing, it doesn’t look as if these changes will be counterproductive to its chances of the bill being passed.

Significant Changes to Sports Betting in Virginia

The biggest change found in Gov. Ralph Northam’s recommendations is the suggestion to add NASCAR in how a Major League Sports Franchise is defined.

The original bill stipulated that teams could acquire their own sports betting license. Previous to the suggested amendments, that only included MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLS teams.

A state with a number of legendary tracks – Virginia International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond Raceway, and Martinsville Speedway – this new bill could allow each the opportunity to launch their own sports betting operations online or in-person.

A result of expanded opportunity, as outlined by Northam, is the increase in operator’s costs should they operate in Virginia.

Companies would be obligated to pay $50, 000 per principal with a required background check. Additional charges can be made if said background check surpasses the designated budget.

Virginia’s Current Sports Betting Atmosphere

Earlier in 2020 the powers of HB 896 and SB 384 came together in a conference to work out the differences of their stalemate.

The result is the potential for a rather active and competitive sports betting market in the State of Virginia. At the moment there are only a maximum of 12 online licenses, and five additional licenses for casinos that operate within the state. That is on top of a license for each franchise that will operate in Virginia.

However one of the biggest drawbacks of the current bill is the lack of betting on in-state collegiate sports. Considering the massive viewership of Virginia and Virginia Tech in the NCAA, this is a massive blow. There will still be betting available on tournaments in which these schools are participating.

Virginia Sports FAQs

What is the most popular sport in Virginia?

The most popular sport in Virginia is professional football. Most are fans of the NFL’s Washington Redskins whose operational facilities are located in Northern Virginia.

What major sports teams are in Virginia?

The state of Virginia has a number of professional sports teams, but have no professional major-league teams.

Some of their notable professional teams are Loudun United FC (USL Championship), Richmond Elite (ABA), and the Bluefield Blue Jays (Appalachian League).

Does Virginia have any casinos?

Virginia is one of the few states that currently forbids the operation of casinos. Steps toward legalizing them have been made over the years. Advocates of casino-resorts in the state of Virginia believe they would create new jobs and boost tax revenues for economically disadvantaged areas.

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