Virginia Senate Bill Allowing In-State College Betting Advances; House Version Tabled

Virginia Senate Bill Allowing In-State College Betting Advances; House Version Tabled

A Senate bill that would allow Virginia sports betting on in-state college teams, is still alive, even though the companion House version didn’t get out of committee earlier this month.

On Thursday, the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee advanced SB 576 by an 11-5 vote. The House companion bill, HB 1127, didn’t make it out of committee, which would seem to make it difficult for the Senate bill to gain favor in the House.

The summary of SB 576 reads: “Allows betting, with the exception of proposition betting, on Virginia college sports. Under current law, betting other than proposition betting is allowed on all college sports except Virginia college sports.”

The legislation was introduced last month in both chambers.

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Virginia HB 1127 Shelved

HB 1127 was introduced by Virginia Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg on Jan. 12. It read exactly the same as the Senate bill.

A House Committee on General Laws subcommittee shelved the legislation on Feb. 1 by a 6-2 vote.

New York and New Jersey, two of the biggest legal sports betting states, have bans on wagering on in-state college teams. In December, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a bill that allows some in-state college betting.

All bets on in-state college teams in Illinois must be placed in person at a casino or racetrack sportsbook. Additionally, college sports wagers are limited to the outcome of games and not tied to individual performances.

Even without betting on Virginia colleges, the state posted a handle of $426.6 million in December.

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Petersburg Casino Bill Defeated

A bill that would allow Petersburg to consider building a casino failed to get out of a Senate committee on Thursday.

Petersburg is about 20 miles south of Richmond, the state’s capital city. A proposal to build a casino in Richmond was defeated by voters on Nov. 2. The referendum had 51.4% voting against building a casino, while 48.6% approved it.

SB 203 reads: ”Adds Petersburg to the list of cities eligible to host a casino in the Commonwealth. The bill also provides that the governing body of any eligible host city that holds a local referendum on the question of whether casino gaming should be permitted in such city that subsequently fails shall be prohibited from holding another local referendum on the same question for a period of five years from the date of the last referendum.”

So while the bill also allowed Petersburg to hold a referendum to permit a casino, it also sought to keep Richmond from holding another casino referendum for five years.

Richmond officials are continuing to push for the ONE Casino and hope to hold another referendum on the project.

The House companion bill to allow a casino in Petersburg, HB 1134, is still alive in committee.



Ron Fritz is a former editor of

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