A Virginia sports betting bill (SB 124) allowing betting on in-state colleges and universities has been moved to the state’s 2025 legislative session.
The Virginia Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted 14-0 on Feb. 6 to continue the bill next year rather than during the current legislative session.
Current Virginia law forbids sports betting on in-state colleges, so some Virginians travel across state borders to bet on games involving in-state teams or use illegal sports betting apps.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Schuyler VanValkenburg, hoped to bring NCAA sports betting activity related to in-state colleges into the regulated market. He said it would be safer to legalize gambling and control it while the state would also benefit from the tax revenue.
VanValkenburg will now have to wait until next year before making another attempt for Virginians to wager on in-state teams legally. And even if the Senate approved the bill next year, it would still have to go to the House for a vote until it finally reaches Gov. Glenn Youngkin‘s desk for a signature.
Petersburg casino bill clears Virginia Senate
The chances for Petersburg residents to decide whether they want a casino in town have just increased. That is because legislation to make Petersburg a fifth casino location in the state made its way through the Virginia Senate.
After the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted 15-0 vote on Feb. 6, the Petersburg casino bill (SB 628) progressed to the chamber floor. On Feb. 7, the Senate voted 40-0 to advance the bill to the House.
The co-sponsors of the bill are:
- Sen. Lashrecse Aird, D-Petersburg
- Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth
- Barbara Favola, D-Arlington
They and other supporters have a shared optimism that the bill will reach Youngkin’s desk. Virginia currently has casinos in:
Petersburg is now the closest to being the next gaming host after Richmond residents made it clear twice that they do not want a casino in their part of the region.
SB 675 punting Fairfax County casino bill to next year
The possibility of making Fairfax County eligible as a casino host has been put on hold until 2025.
During its Feb. 6 meeting, the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee voted 13-2 to continue VA SB 675 to next year.
Some assumed the Fairfax County casino proposal would be postponed after Virginia senators called for more information last week.
According to an article by Virginia Mercury, State Sen. Jennifer Boysko, the opposition’s main ally on the committee, said: “There were hundreds and hundreds of people in my community who have expressed disappointment and disagreement with this proposal.”
As a location for a potential casino, the proposal targeted the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station.