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Online sports betting begins in Virginia

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - With a Tweet Thursday, the FanDuel Sportsbook app announced its launch in Virginia.

Through a partnership with the Washington Football Team, this is the first form of legal sports betting in the Commonwealth.

While FanDuel is the first operator to have its license approved by the Virginia Lottery, the lottery says: “We anticipate more than one sportsbook will be in position to begin accepting legal wagers from Virginians in time for the Super Bowl on Feb. 7th.”

“It varies state-to-state which operators are granted licenses, but places like Points Bet, Draft Kings, William Hill, Bet MGM, I would anticipate a lot more of those coming on board in the next two weeks and that’s great for bettors to have the option to look around,” said Dan Kilbridge with Gambling.com.

All Virginians will benefit from the legalization of online sports gambling.

Similar to the lottery, the state takes home 15% of the money generated through taxes.

2.5% of that will go toward helping people with gambling problems and the other 97.5% will go into the state’s general fund to be used for education, infrastructure, and more.

“Overall, the money that is being put into sports betting is also going to be reinvested into the state, so over the long-term it’s really going to help the state out,” said Nick Wojcik with Odds.com.

To place bets, you will have to physically be in Virginia or another state where online gambling is legal.

You will also need to link up your financial info to deposit or withdraw funds.

“On FanDuel, in under 24 hours, if you ask for a withdrawal, we get it into your bank account. We take things like responsible gambling and consumer protections and making sure our customers are of age and playing within their means very seriously,” said Mike Raffensperger, the CMO of FanDuel Group.

Kilbridge offers tips on how to get started safely: “Start slow and think about how much you can afford to lose, how much you are willing to put forth, and when you make a deposit, I would say you should be comfortable losing that entire deposit. Hopefully, you don’t and you have some success and make money, but certainly you don’t want to put more in your account to where you are going to be getting into trouble.”

If you think you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-Gambler.

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