By: Jack Monaghan
Sports betting was legalized by the Virginia General Assembly in March of 2020, with sports fans – including UMW students – able to place legal sports bets in January 2021.
UMW seniors Trent Moore and Nick Bass said they couldn’t be more excited about sports betting being legalized in Virginia.
Bass said legal sports betting enhances his enjoyment of games.
“I got into sports betting to make my NFL Sunday’s more enjoyable,” he said. “Before betting, I would only really watch the Steelers games and wouldn’t care much for any games outside of the division. This changes with betting because I have money placed on multiple games, which makes me watch more games come Sunday.”
According to an online article from SBC Americas, the legislation allowed sports betting on most of all the major league sports as well as most college sports, with the exception of games featuring Virginia colleges and universities.
Major internet sportsbooks, like Fanduel, BetMGM and DraftKings submit applications to the Virginia Lottery for review.
The first of the online sportsbooks to be approved for their license was Fanduel because of its partnership with the Washington Football Team, and users were allowed to start placing bets as of Jan. 27 2021. Fanduel has seen an increase in users since then.
While sports betting has become legal in Virginia, there are many rules and regulations regarding how online sportsbooks receive their licenses. In Virginia you must be at least 21 years of age to place bets on the app, as well as actually being in the state of Virginia. Fanduel users can attest that every time you log in, there is a geo-location check to make sure that you are actually in the state of Virginia at the time you place a bet.
Moore and Bass are daily users of the Fanduel sportsbook app. While the two use the same platform, their respective approaches to this newly legal venture are completely different. Moore ventures into a multitude of different sports while Bass sticks with football, basketball and baseball.
Moore describes his sports betting as a process, one that he goes through daily. “Every morning I research the slate of games and look at the differing stats of the two along with their head-to-head records. Every sport has a different process but will more or less follow the same formula.”
Moore described his average process and how it differs depending on the season of sport. He enjoys placing unorthodox bets on sports such as Japanese horses or Chinese basketball. Once all of the morning sports are out of the way college basketball and football are usually on. During this time he stated that he could place upwards of twenty wagers a day.
Moore and Bass describe the legalization of sports betting as a process that makes sports more enjoyable. It is also a way to make extra money when it is harder to work long hours because of their commitment to school.
Overall, it seems to some students that the legalization of sports betting in Virginia is a positive action. It provides a legal avenue for people to safely enjoy the process of sports betting from the comfort of a digital screen.