Virginia Following Colorado’s Footsteps in Gaming Community

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May 04, 2020 11:05Joe Tarzaiski

Colorado’s voters approved the legalization of sports betting in November of 2019 for both land-based and digital gaming. This became official on May 1. The Coronavirus continues to cripple the gaming community, but Virginia has also continued to push for legalizing sports betting in the Old Dominion State. While Colorado has gone live, it may take some time for Virginia to join in live-action. They are working out sports betting regulations, and are set to be released by July 2020.

Colorado Overcomes Coronavirus Obstacles

The Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (CLGCC) was successful in overcoming several obstacles over the past few weeks, including the restrictions of social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although practically every sport entity has been suspended due to the pandemic, Colorado continued to keep its focus on pushing for its May 1 launch with help and preparation with the CLGCC.

Sports bettors in the state are extremely happy about the approval of digital wagering; especially due to the temporary closing of land-based locations remain closed.

This 2020 launch features four online sportsbooks, with more expected to go live by the end of May. The CLGCC has granted close to 20 licenses to online operators. This was approved to ensure Colorado’s capitalization on the gaming community once the quarantine is finally lifted.

BetRivers and BetMGM (property of ROAR Digital) were the first brands to launch in Colorado, followed by FanDuel and DraftKings. Both FanDuel and DraftKings partnered with Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the owner of the Mardi Gras, Golden Gates, and Golden Gulch casinos in Blackhawk.

Virginia Following Colorado’s Footsteps

Virginia operators have one major complaint with the asking prices from the legal side of the potential agreement. Governor Ralph Northam is proposing sportsbooks will be required to pay an additional $50,000 to cover background check costs.

According to Northam’s bill, sportsbooks will have to pay $250,000 for a three license in addition to a 15% revenue tax from the state. The license will grant allowance for the operations of online wagering.

In addition to online betting, the proposed bills will also allow legal casinos in the state of Virginia to get a sports betting license. There are currently five in the state and the current maximum allotted twelve licenses leave only seven up for grabs. The exception to the maximum would be a license for sports teams or race tracks.

Richmond, Danville, Norfolk, Bristol and Portsmouth are currently the five cities that now have the option to build land-based casino locations. Voters will have the final say as the proposition must pass a city-wide referendum in November. If passed by the electorate, groundbreaking will begin to be broken on these properties and the Virginia Lottery would become the main body for casino gaming.

If Virginia’s overall strategy continues as planned, they could very well be on a successful course just like Colorado. We strongly expect Virginia to join the surge of land-based and online sports betting by the end of 2020.

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Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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