- Legal States
Heidi Specter March 9, 2020 3 min read
Virginia Lawmakers Push Casino & Sports Betting Bills Forward
Last Sunday, lawmakers in the state of Virginia approved bills including two relating to the expansion of gambling in the territory. The bills which sought to legalized casinos and sports betting were passed in the last-minute following a heated debate pertaining to whether betting should be allowed on collegiate games that involve teams from Virginia.
Needless to say, betting on collegiate sports has always been controversial especially in the home markets of the said college teams. Eventually, the lawmakers decided to exclude the state’s universities and colleges from the upcoming sports betting market. The goal here was to protect the students from being influenced by gambling activities once the sector goes alive.
Now, the next place that the two bills are headed to is the governor’s office. Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bill into law but this remains to be seen despite the high level of optimism.
For decades, Virginia has been resisting the introduction of gambling to the market. That said, the two gambling bills represent a huge turnaround for the state. The lawmakers seemed to have gotten a deeper understanding of all the benefits that could be realized from a regulated gambling industry. For instance, the state will now be able to bring in tax revenue from the industry – this has been going to other states that are much friendlier to gambling.
The Tax Projections
Among the key concerns of the bill was the tax revenue from the sports betting and casino operators that are set to go live in Virginia. Taxes have been broken down in order to make it sustainable for all the operators and a profitable venture for the state.
Virginia will be using a three-tiered tax structure that would be based on the earnings of the gambling operators. The operators with adjusted gross gaming revenue of up to $200 million would be taxed at 18 percent while those bringing in between $200 million and $400 million will be required to pay 28 percent of their earnings as tax. For any gambling operators whose earnings exceed $400 million, the tax rate will be 30 percent.
Plans for a Pro Sports Team
The approval of the sports betting bill by Virginia lawmakers coincides with the state’s plans to attract a professional sports betting team. The sports betting bill includes a clause that is expected to entice a pro sports team. This clause allows a sports franchise in the state to open an official retail sports betting facility. There is definitely bound to be a lot of interest in this especially considering the eagerness that lots of Virginia residents have expressed regarding sports betting and casinos.