The Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate have passed bills that would make sports gambling legal in the state, but the chambers will have to reconcile differences in the bills.
Senate Bill 384, would allow people to place wagers on professional and college sports, but not high school sports or other children’s sports activities. House Bill 896, would allow people to place wagers on professional sports and most college sports, but, along with prohibiting bets on high school and other children’s sports, the bill also would prohibit a person from betting on any college games that involve a team based in Virginia.
The tax structures in the two bills also differ. The Senate bill would impose a 15 percent tax on the adjusted gross revenue of a permit holder, and the House bill would impose a 20 percent tax on the adjusted gross revenue of a permit holder. Both bills would allow permit holders to deduct losses for up to 12 months.
The Senate bill allows for the issuance of six to 10 permits at one time, while the House bill allows for the issuance of four to 12 permits at once. The application fee in both bills is $250,000 for a three-year permit, and a permit holder would have to apply for renewal every three years, with a $200,000 fee attached to each renewal.
Most of the revenue generated from sports gambling would go to the general revenue fund: 95 percent in the Senate bill and 97.5 percent in the House bill. Both bills create a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.
The Virginia Lottery is given regulatory control in both bills, which have bipartisan support in their respective chambers. The Senate bill passed, 27-12, on Monday, and the House bill passed, 69-29, on Monday.
The bills will be sent to the opposite chamber, where committees will try to develop a bill that creates a compromise.