VA lawmakers have huddled together and agreed on legal sports betting language that has opened the door for mobile sportsbooks just in time to lay some action on Super Bowl 55 odds.
Virginia has already approved of domestic, in-person sports betting locations at their in-state casinos, but none of those venues have opened for business at this time. The timetable for Virginia’s casinos to open varies due to constantly changing construction schedules, but it is expected that the first one will debut at some point in 2022.
One of the casinos, the Rivers Casino in Portsmouth, is merely converting from an existing Holiday Inn into a gambling mecca and should be able to open its doors before any of the other locations that are starting from scratch.
Residents of VA and visitors to the area can now download mobile betting apps to their iPhones, iPads, and other popular handheld devices, and legally bet on sports in Virginia from the comfort of their own home. FanDuel is already open for business, with more major domestic books expected to begin operation soon.
One could speculate as to how much impact these casino sportsbooks will have after mobile sports betting apps have had the better part of two years to saturate the market in Virginia.
The VA state legislature moved swiftly to pass legal sports betting options in order to tap into the tax revenue that the activity will provide, and due to COVID-19, opted to move forward with mobile sportsbooks to get the money flowing well in advance of the construction of any domestic in-person locations.
Also, it is notable that there are no planned casinos that would allow for sports betting options in Virginia Beach. It would seem like a natural fit for the state to feature casinos and sportsbooks in close proximity to the massive amount of tourists that travel to and stay in the region. They’re more likely to participate if it is within eyeshot, and are not likely to travel by car in unfamiliar territory just to place a bet.
However, travelers to the region will not be prohibited from accessing these mobile sportsbooks and placing a bet, so the draw of legal sports betting in VA is sure to pull in regional gamblers, and more importantly, their bankroll.
But what about the offshore sportsbook sites that are able to serve customers in the state of Virginia? Are they still a factor in Old Dominion? You bet, and here are a few reasons why.
Why International Sportsbook Sites Are Still Relevant In Virginia
- VA doesn’t allow for wagers on sports involving Virginia-based college programs. This isn’t an issue with offshore sportsbooks, as they allow for wagers to be placed on all college athletics.
- The minimum age to place a sports bet in Virginia is 21. Overseas sports betting sites accept members beginning at 18 years of age.
- Domestic sportsbooks are limited to cash, with a select few accepting debit cards. The financial options at offshore books are plentiful and include cryptocurrency and Bitcoin.
- Offshore sports betting sites allow for wagers to be placed on entertainment odds, which include political election results, award shows, and reality TV. No such luck at domestic Virginia casinos with in-person sports betting.
While it will be impossible for Virginia to shut out all offshore action, the real winners are the sports bettors in VA, as they will soon have all three sports wagering options at their fingertips – mobile, in-person, and international.
Source: The Washington Post