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Virginia moves one step closer to sports gambling

Regulations have been approved, and provide for a wide range of applicants.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — "Sports betting is coming to Virginia." 

The words couldn't be clearer from Virginia Lottery spokesperson John Hagerty. 

The organization is charged with "refereeing" sports gambling in Virginia, following legislation passed earlier in the year had its regulations approved on Tuesday. Included are multiple terms that seemingly open the door for small businesses to get a piece of what is considered a very lucrative pie. 

"The terms set are feasible for small businesses, they're digestible," said Handle 19 Sportsbook founder Shane August.

A relatively affordable $250,000 license fee upon approval and reasonable tax rates set Virginia's rules apart from other jurisdictions. August frequently referred to Pennsylvania as a state who's inflated costs steered business toward big corporate interests. 

Also included in the rules is language meant to increase consideration for minority-owned businesses. Handle falls in that category.

"We're thankful for that language that made it into the rules," said August. 

Applications can be submitted starting on October 15 with an eye toward sites operating by January of 2021.