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New bill could allow sports betting on Virginia college teams

A new bill introduced in the General Assembly aims to allow adults to wager bets on collegiate teams in the Commonwealth.

Sen. Schulyer VanVaklenburg, D-Henrico, sponsored Senate Bill 124. The bill would allow people to bet on their favorite local collegiate teams like Virginia Tech football or University of Virginia basketball.

Brad Senkiw is a sports betting industry writer for the site Covers.com. He believes this passing could be a game-changer.

“There are folks inside the state that want to bet on that want to bet on the Cavs, they want to bet on the Hokies,” Senkiw said.

Some legislators worry such a measure would leave college athletes susceptible to taking bribes and manipulating the outcome of games.

However, people in support of the bill said it is safer to legalize gambling and regulate it because people are already wagering on Virginia’s teams from other states and through illegal avenues.

“These people can be approached from Maryland. These athletes can be approached from North Carolina when it launches. The threat is there regardless of whether or not it’s legal in Virginia,” Senkiw said.

Since sports gambling became legal in Virginia in 2021, it has exploded into a huge business. Virginia residents wagered $639 million on sports in November, the highest yet in a single month, according to BetVirginia.com, a site that promotes gambling in the state.

Depending on where someone places a bet is how the bet is ultimately taxed and turned into revenue for that respective state. Maryland allows sports betting and North Carolina is planning on rolling out something this year.

Senkiw forecasts that with North Carolina getting into the game, there’s potential for Virginia to lose out on tons of money come huge betting periods such as March Madness.

“That defeats the whole purpose that you legalize sports betting, is so that you can keep that revenue in your state. Adding college teams within the state adds to the revenue,” Senkiw said.

The bill would not allow all types of bets on Virginia colleges. It would continue to ban proposition betting or prop bets, in which a bettor places money on a specific outcome, such as a player scoring a certain amount of points in a game.


Source: WSLS News 10

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