Virginia and Massachusetts see an influx of sports betting applicants

The North American states Virginia and Massachusetts have both seen a massive influx of gambling applicants headed their way, as iGaming operators compete to obtain sports betting licences.

No more than twelve operators can be chosen in Virginia

On November 12th, the Virginia Lottery announced that they were currently reviewing 25 different applicants who were hoping to secure an online gambling licence in the state. However, the state’s wagering legislation means that only 12 sports betting operators can be selected.

The identities of the successful applicants have yet to be revealed. They will be officially announced by January 31st, 2021, once the Virginia Lottery has finished reviewing each of the iGaming operators.

Applications from operators that are “tied to certain major league sports franchises” will not be considered. Instead, the Virginia Lottery is giving preference to applicants who can generate new jobs and attract investors.

Existing operators in Massachusetts are territorial

Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, the influx of sports betting applicants is being handled differently. The existing casino operators in the State are actively campaigning against new iGaming permits being issued.

The Massachusetts-based gambling companies Penn National Gaming and Wynn Resorts (who own Plainridge Park Casino and Encore Boston Harbor) recently wrote to the state’s lawmakers, saying that only sports betting operators who “make actual investments in Massachusetts, assume legitimate risk and incur cost” should be given a permit.

They continued: “Automatic windfalls in industries or interests which assume no new costs, risks or obligations … are not only harmful to the gaming industry’s interests but even more so to the overall public interest.”

The subject is still up for debate, as Massachusetts’ current betting legalization effort is stagnant. Only time will tell what happens next.

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