Real work for Virginia sports betting starts now Jill R. Dorson, Sports Handle · July 2, 2020 at 6:52 am When Virginia lawmakers voted to legalize sports betting in April, they were the first leg of what’s shaping up to be an aggressive relay. On July 1, they will officially hand the baton to the state lottery, with the goal of crossing the finish line to live, legal online sports betting in Virginia by the end of the year. According to the text of the law, it goes into effect on July 1. The Virginia Lottery is already at work on regulations, and launched a sports betting microsite in early May with the timeline. The first time sports betting will appear on the Lottery’s meeting agenda is July 15, when the public-comment period for proposed regulations opens.