Launching regulated sports betting in a new market is a process that’s at once complicated, but still relatively simple. After all, though the rules for running a legal sports book vary slightly from state to state, it’s all still pretty much the same thing when it comes to posting lines and making payouts.

Unfortunately, gambling regulators in Virginia have ignored the simple beauty of sports betting and created a regulatory scheme that’s making life hell for their licensed operators. Some big-time operators have simply not been able to make the complicated rules work in real life.

At the heart of the issue is a very onerous, and seemingly out of the blue, rule requiring licensed Virginia operators to offer point spreads in real-time. Regulators are also requiring operators to show how they came up with their line; show the current handle; and the payout. Our colleagues at elegantly summed up this challenge of adding these features to a functioning sportsbook saying, “Anyone who has been around sports gambling for even five minutes knows that these are not just impractical requests – they’re impossible.”

How impossible are the new rules, which are there ostensibly to help consumers make better decisions? Even deep-pocketed giants like FanDuel are having trouble making it all work out. A company spokesperson describing the situation said, ““Sports betting apps are simply not built to provide and display this type of information. This requirement would force a re-engineering of the products, to create a demonstrably worse user experience. The actual odds (on any game) and by how many points (an) unknown.”

Until Virginia lawmakers come back to earth and decide to not to over complicate their sports betting rules, they’re not likely to have much of a sports betting business in the state any time soon.

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