According to a recent study, the state of Virginia could eventually wind up making close to $400 million via mobile sports betting at its best point in 2028.
The Innovation Group and Regulatory Management Counselors worked on the study with the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission. It was important for both sides to look at multiple outcomes for Virginia sports betting and how it could positively affect the state.
Findings from the study discovered that an open market with casinos and other types of betting would generate about $462 million in annual revenue. It would be about $55 million that the state would take in at a 12 percent tax rate.
Just as we’ve seen in other states, mobile betting would be a huge source of income for The Commonwealth State. According to the study, just under $400 million (or $48 million in taxes) would be coming Virginia’s way. Nearby states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been swimming in revenue via mobile betting, with more than 80 percent of its sports-betting business coming from that method.
The study did find that mobile betting only, and not having casino gaming, would benefit Virginia much more at the beginning – and probably get things rolling a lot quicker. If Virginia goes with the mobile-only rollout, the market could hit its peak in 2024 and wouldn’t need to depend on the opening and construction of casinos to do so.
In the report, there’s a passage that reads, “It is possible for Virginia to launch sports betting ahead of potential casino operations by passing legislation to allow the Virginia Lottery, or a new Virginia gaming oversight agency, to regulate and oversee a sports wagering market.
“Virginia could offer sports wagering before casinos became operational by using existing pari-mutuel wagering facilities as sportsbook locations, using solely an online model, or through a combination of both. Virginia is unique because it is considering adding both sports wagering and casino gaming at the same time.
“Other states that have legalized sports wagering in recent years have had either an established casino industry or adopted sports wagering as a standalone expansion of gaming.”
It was also found in the study that sports betting works better when there’s an open and competitive market for operators. When SB 1126 was proposed earlier this year, it was a requirement for this study to be done. The bill would allow five Virginia casinos and the Pamunkey Indians exclusive access to markets in the Norfolk and Richmond areas.
Colonial Downs owns all of the pari-mutuel betting in the state of Virginia. Obviously, this would go against the above notion that open and competitive markets are the most beneficial. Allowing Colonial Downs to operate under multiple licenses would increase the revenue a lot more than if they went under the same premise.
At the end of the day, there are a few different aspects that Virginia will need to review before legalizing sports betting. Since the state doesn’t have any casinos, we can probably expect the mobile-only method to come first.