Virginia Gov. Amends Casino Bill in Final Hour, Horse Bettor Turns 50 Cents Into $500K

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has amended a gambling expansion bill that would now direct  two-thirds of the state’s casino taxes to education construction projects.  The bill was returned to the General Assembly Saturday.  Northam had until that day to act on the bill.

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The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are set to reconvene April 22 to review the governor’s recommendations and vetoed legislation. Barring delays from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the lawmakers will consider approving Northam’s amendment. If they do, the casino bill becomes law. If they don’t, it returns to the governor’s desk, where he will either veto or sign.

The legislation would also allow sports betting in the Commonwealth.  Sports betting licenses would cost $250,000 for a three-year permit, with renewals at $200,000. Sportsbooks would share 15 percent of their net win with the state.  The Virginia Lottery would oversee sports betting. 

One of the major drawbacks for Virginia-licensed sportsbooks will be the prohibition of bets on in-state college teams.  The Hokies (Viriginia Tech) and Cavaliers (University of Virginia) are two of the most successful programs in College Football and Basketball, respectively. 

According to Ed DeRosa of, the $524,966.50 cash out is the fifth-largest win for any 50-cent Pick 5 in North American history. It’s the third-highest payoff for a non jackpot.

A Pick 5 is a horse racing bet that involves five different races from the same track. The bettor chooses which horses they want to add from each race, and one of their chosen horses must win each race for the bet to hit. For example, they can choose four horses in each race, but one of them has to win. The number of horses used and the odds of the winning horse factor into the payout. It’s the horse racing version of a five-team parlay.

The winning horses for this particular bettor were No. 8 Freddy Soto, No. 4 Union Lane, No. 1 He’s a Babe, No. 3 Enzoexpress and No. 6 Lashara. Freddy Soto was a 73-1 longshot to win the first race, which is why the Pick 5 ended up paying out so much.

The La Liga side had announced on Saturday that players would be able to train individually at their training ground from Tuesday after receiving a COVID-19 test, but the club have reversed the decision after facing a backlash on social media.  Spain remains under lockdown due to the pandemic.

A club statement said: "We want to remind everyone that Real Sociedad's decision was to give first-team players the option to continue individual training at the Zubieta training ground.

"They were never going to do group training and each player could decide whether to train at home or the facility, always complying with the safety measures instructed by the health authorities.

"We are well aware of the responsibility we have and that's why Real Sociedad is working on a plan for our athletes and employees to return to work that puts their health before any other consideration."

- Dan Shapiro,

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