Virginia sports betting is live, adding to the state’s list of gambling opportunities

Regional

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — In a state where decades-long debates raged over legalizing varying forms of gambling, sports betting has added itself to Virginia’s ranks of risk opportunities.

After FanDuel went live last week, advertisements have been pushed to consumers as additional competitive sports books launched.

BetMGM, Draft Kings, Caesars and Rivers Casino Portsmouth all have approved permits according to the Virginia Lottery.

The General Assembly passed a measure legalizing sports betting during the 2020 session, and less than one year later sports fanatics can get in on the action.

The move is the latest green light for gambling in the Commonwealth over the last three decades.

The Virginia Lottery went live in the late 1980s, Colonial Downs off-track betting first happened in the late 90s, and was later revived in gaming hubs like Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.

Like other modes of gambling operations, sports books have guidelines to follow, as Mike Raffensburger with Fan Duel explained.

“We have requirements, much like a bank does to know our customers. So in order to actually sign up and deposit to play on FanDuel, we require certain information like your address, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and we use other databases to sort of confirm your identity and that you are of age and legally allowed to place a gambling wager in the state of Virginia,” Raffensburger said.

In Virginia, bets on in-state teams cannot be wagered on–a provision similar to several other states who have legalized sports betting.

Many may be interested in placing bets, but Brenda Hurt in Richmond said she will keep her money close.

“I mean, they [sports fans] might want to [wager], but I can’t tell you who because I know I don’t want to. I just watch the game,” Hurt said.

“I need my money. I’ve got to pay bills, I can’t do nothing with gambling and giving away my money free,” she said.

Full-fledged casino projects are also in the works across Virginia, including the potential one may pop up in Richmond, which is still under consideration. 

For those with gambling addictions, resources are available to you, including the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling.

The VCPG toll free hotline is 1-888-532-3500.

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