Virginia Sports Betting Department; created, etc. (SB1238)

Introduced By

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) with support from co-patron Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Sports betting; Virginia Sports Betting Department created; Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund; Sports Betting Operations Fund; penalties. Establishes the Virginia Sports Betting Department (the Department) and authorizes it to regulate sports betting. Before administering a sports betting operation, an entity is required to apply for a three-year license and pay an application fee of $5,000. An entity could apply for a license to operate only (i) at a racetrack or off-track betting facility in a locality that as of 2019 had approved such facilities at referendum or (ii) in a locality that votes to allow sports betting at referendum. Licensed vendors must apply for renewal of a license every three years, which requires a renewal fee of $1,000. Under the provisions of the bill, betting on college sports and youth sports is prohibited, and betting on professional sports is allowed. The bill does not authorize the Department to allow betting through a website, app, or other platform accessible via the Internet. The bill prohibits betting by Department employees, participants in athletic events on which the bet is placed, and persons under age 18. The penalty for engaging in prohibited betting is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill directs the Department to establish a voluntary exclusion program, which would allow individuals to request that the Department exclude them from participating in sports betting. The bill imposes a 10% tax on a licensed vendor's adjusted gross revenue, defined in the bill. The Department would retain 2.5% of the tax revenue to defray its costs of administering the program. The bill creates the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, administered by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. The Fund would be used to provide counseling to compulsive gamblers, implement problem gambling treatment and prevention programs, and provide grants to organizations that assist problem gamblers. The Fund would be funded by 2.5% of the revenue generated from sports betting. Fifty percent of tax revenue would accrue to the locality in which it was generated, and 45% would accrue to the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education Fund, which is used to provide monetary assistance to Virginia residents who are enrolled in a Virginia community college. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/05/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19100553D
01/05/2019Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/28/2019Reported from General Laws and Technology (14-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2019Rereferred to Finance
01/31/2019Passed by indefinitely in Finance with letter (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)