Promo Flow A Go For VA Sportsbooks As Bill To Limit Deductions Dies

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VA sportsbooks

Last week proved was positive for Virginia sportsbooks as their promo dollars can continue to freely flow for at least another year.

HB 1103 would have put an end date on the currently unlimited promotional deductions allowed for Virginia sportsbooks.

Had the bill passed, operators could only deduct promos in their first 12 months live. Instead, the bill died at last Tuesday’s crossover deadline.

In-state college ban likely lives for VA sportsbooks

It was left in committee, along with another piece of sports betting legislation that sportsbooks wanted to see pass. HB 1127 also failed to gain traction in the House this year after it was quickly dismissed by Del. Barry Knight.

The bill would have ended the ban on in-state college betting, allowing operators to take bets on the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.

But Knight made it clear the ban was necessary to get the votes to pass both betting and casino legislation, and was unwilling to go against those agreements. The bill was tabled in its subcommittee by a 6-2 vote.

The only thing keeping the issue alive is that its partner legislation in the Senate passed the chamber by a 23-17 vote.

It is unlikely SB 576 makes it very far in the House, though. Legislation is usually killed on crossover when a chamber already nixed a similar bill.

Continued deductions mean lower tax payments

HB 1103 was not the first time Del. Mark Sickles wanted to amend the sports betting legislation he helped pass in 2020.

Sickles sponsored HB 1847 last year to clarify that mobile sportsbooks associated with Virginia casinos should not count against a mobile-only license cap.

While the addition of five sportsbooks should add tax dollars in theory, promo deductions are limiting those contributions to the state.

Since launch in January 2021 through December, VA sportsbooks deducted $105 million in promotions. Those deductions and the carryover of negative revenue each month (which HB 1103 also would have stopped) means just five operators paid $18.6 million in taxes the first year: