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VA governor’s sports betting amendments adopted


Virginia is set to pass a bill legalizing sports betting after state lawmakers amended the proposal to factor in changes requested by Governor Ralph Northam.

House Bill 896, which set out plans to permit online and mobile sports betting, passed the House last month by a vote of 59-35 after also clearing the Senate on March 7 by a vote of 33-5.

However, rather than signing the bill, Governor Northam requested changes.

Among the technical amendments suggested by Northam include allowing an operator to run its sports betting platform “under a brand other than its own”, opening up the market to third party skins.

Northam’s amendments  change the amount operators will be required to pay for a sports betting license.

This fee was set at a flat fee of $250,000, but will now be set at $50,000 per principal of each applicant.

A principal is defined as an individual who owns 5% or more of a business, or controls 5% or more of voting shares. This change was intended to streamline the background checks process.

Northam also recommended that the timeline Virginia Lottery to consider licence applications was extended from 60 to 90 days.

In addition, Northam proposed that the amount that operators would need to pay to renew a sports betting license in Virginia be increased from $200,000 to $250,000.

Northam also requested National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (Nascar) tracks to be included among venues that may host on-premises sports betting.

The House voted 64-30 in favor of including the amendments, while the Senate approved them by a 27-13 margin.