Compare the best legal sports betting sites and online casinos in Virginia, and learn how to gamble legally and safely in VA.
After many years of toing and froing, the Old Dominion has finally warmed up to the idea of retail and online gambling. In early 2021 the state opened its doors to the virtual world of online sports betting, and it’s only moved forward since.
Now Virginia looks likely to have casinos set up shop in the next few years. This arguably unexpected move comes as a result of a more positive attitude from lawmakers, with those in power relaxing their formerly rigid stance on gambling.
With such impressive developments hitting the state recently, it’s only correct that we cover each detail. Here, we’ve put together everything you need to know about online gambling in Virginia.
Although Virginia has become increasingly friendly toward retail and online gambling, restrictions regarding the likes of poker, greyhound racing, and bingo remain firmly intact. We may see the state loosen its grip on these regulations at some point, but we don’t expect it anytime in the near future.
The legal forms of gambling can be found below:
Legalized in January 2021, sports betting in Virginia has already attracted various suitors. At the time of writing, VA boasts around five sportsbooks in total - ensuring that there are ample avenues for bettors to indulge in their favorite sports events.
To date, Virginia has garnered more than $1billion in revenue - and did so quicker than anyone else that currently offers sports betting to residents in the US.
Despite the fact that zero casinos are currently in operation in the Old Dominion, we expect them to accept customers from 2023 onwards. An organization named Urban One had its proposal for a retail venue accepted, with its grand opening likely occurring sometime in the next couple of years.
However, online casinos are not yet specifically named as being legal in Virginia right now. Therefore, the only legal route for anyone interested in slots, roulette, blackjack, and other kinds of table games is visiting one of the three online casino sweepstakes sites.
Considered an integral part of Virginia’s history, horse racing remains one of the constants in the world of gambling within the state. Despite few tracks remaining open for use, there are more than enough ways for interested players to wager on the outcome of horse races inside state lines and outside Virginia’s borders.
The state lottery can be played both online and in person in VA. There are some drawbacks to using the downloadable app, with some games missing from the platform, but it works to good effect for those looking to purchase their tickets for draws over the internet.
Instant win games like scratch cards are available to be bought, while mega draws like the Powerball, the lottery itself, and Mega Millions can be played in the Old Dominion.
The illegal forms of gambling in Virginia are as follows:
There’s not much to say about the laws regarding poker in VA, simply because it’s illegal in almost every form. The only way for residents in Virginia to play poker is by hosting a private game with friends and family.
It remains unclear if poker will be allowed upon the opening of retail casinos in VA.
Playing bingo at commercial venues is strictly prohibited in the state of Virginia, however, it may be possible to play live games so long as they’re for charity. Otherwise, the game is outlawed. This comes as no surprise considering the mass opposition to bingo across the entire country.
Before diving into the deeper details on Virginia’s gambling laws, it’s important to understand exactly what’s defined as gambling in the state. By law, Virginia understands that gambling is “making, placing, or receiving any bet or wager of money or another thing of value, dependent on the result of any game, contest, or event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance.”
Since the inception of charitable gambling in VA during the early-to-mid 1970s, the state has seen a slow, steady rise in the popularity of betting. Starting with the lottery not long after, Virginia, became one of a number of states to open its mind to the gambling industry, and we’re now seeing the results of that.
Historical horse racing - which allows bettors to wager on events that occurred many years ago - was a big hit in the state. The machines used to wager on historical horse races (also known as HHR) are similar to slots. So, when real slot machines arrive on the scene, the betting population will already be familiar with the basics.
We should note that arrests related to illegal gambling practices have been made in Virginia over recent years, so we encourage all of our readers to abide by the rules and regulations set out by the state to avoid potential punishments.
The Virginia Lottery oversees all gambling activities taking place within state lines, including online and retail sportsbooks, as well as casinos. This may change as gaming in VA evolves over time, with more pressure weighted on the shoulders of government regulators understandably coinciding with the introduction of further gambling corporations in VA.
Currently, the Virginia Lottery regulates and licenses all operators in the state that don’t provide charitable gaming. Should the body feel that any of the licensed, legal businesses operating in VA are acting in a way that’s unsuitable or harmful for its customers, they have the right to revoke licenses, punish, and reprimand the casino or sportsbook.
With regard to charitable gambling, it’s the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs that provide all oversight. This is an important asset in the Commonwealth, as it prevents bingo and other illegal forms of gambling from supplying hosts with profit.
Moreover, the OCRP is essential for the overall health of VA’s charitable gaming scene, as it would likely collapse without such regulation. Again, the board may change hands in the next few years as Virginia continues to welcome new forms of gambling.
It’s a common misconception that offshore operators are legal in the states they’re advertised in. Unfortunately for many bettors, it’s easy to get caught out by these illegal, unregulated sites.
This is because they often operate in a way that looks legal and, more importantly, appealing. By putting exciting offers on the table for new customers, offshore sites garner attention from unsuspecting players - but that’s all part of the plan.
To ensure that you always remain at the best, legal, and licensed online casinos in Virginia, we recommend keeping an eye out for the Virginia Lottery badge. On top of that, it’s worth reading through the licensing and regulatory information commonly outlined at the bottom of the page.
The main reason to stick with domestic, licensed sites in VA include:
As you can see, it’s safer to remain with legal, licensed operators rather than risking playing at offshore casinos and sportsbooks. In spite of how enticing these illegal platforms may seem, they simply do not care about their customers. If they did, they wouldn’t operate in what they label a “legal grey area.”
Keeping up to date with the legalities surrounding gambling in VA can be a difficult task, particularly if you’re not sure how to do so. That’s why we’ve broken down the legal situation around each and every gambling category in the Old Dominion state, along with some information on the operators supplying games, odds, jackpots, and more.
The Virginia Assembly accepted proposals from Gov. Ralph Northam in 2020, allowing for the legalization of sports betting. By September that year, all the necessary steps had been taken to begin welcoming sportsbooks to the state.
However, there are some restrictions in place when it comes to wagering on sports events. For example, bettors are not allowed to bet on games involving youth teams or collegiate-level events. This applies not only to pre-game betting but also in-play gambling too. Basically, it’s illegal to bet on any kind of sports event taking place that involves underage athletes.
As things stand, players can wager on sports using platforms like DraftKings, Caesars, and FanDuel, amongst others. VA legislature allows for up to 18 sports betting sites in all, so there’s plenty of room for growth in this department.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as though online casinos will be legalized in Virginia anytime soon. This may come as a surprise to those looking forward to the introduction of retail casino venues across the state throughout the decade.
However, sweepstakes sites are free to use and have games that can be played right now. Visit the likes of Chumba Casino, Funzpoints, and Luckyland Slots to indulge in all things slots, roulette, and more.
As poker is considered a game of chance in Virginia - which is a controversial take in itself - it’s outlawed. Playing the game at a casino, whether offshore or land-based, is a misdemeanor in the state. So, unless you want to invite some buddies over for a game, playing poker is not permitted in VA.
Much like online casinos, users are able to use a sweepstakes site named Global Poker. This service is free to use and offers the same great poker experience enjoyed by millions around the world.
If anything, bettors in VA are encouraged to participate in the state lottery. Having been active since the 1970s, Virginia hands out prizes to winners on a consistent basis to players taking part both online and those that have purchased tickets in person.
Despite the fact that VA restricts users from playing online casino games, bettors can buy lottery tickets at the touch of a button via the downloadable mobile app on iOS and Android devices. Added to that, users can play instant win scratch games, try their hand at winning jackpots, and subscribe to draw games. However, we must mention that not all instant win games can be found online.
Similar to poker, bingo is not permitted in VA as it’s a game of chance. While the game can’t be played for real money or profit, it’s possible to play bingo so long as it’s for a charitable cause. Playing bingo from the comfort of your home with family and friends is permitted in Virginia, but only if nobody profits from the game.
Bingo is not available online in the Old Dominion state.
We mentioned HHR (Historical Horse Racing) earlier, and with good reason. The popular form of gambling is intuitive, legal, and a whole lot of fun for everyone involved. The basic premise of HHR is that users bet on the outcome of a particular event that took place many years ago - but there’s a catch. The bettor does not know which exact race they’re wagering on.
The only information given to the user is the name of the participating horses. With loads of these HHR machines scattered across the state, it’s not surprising that a state lacking in slot machines has taken so kindly to HHR machine betting.
Additionally, bettors can visit live tracks and wager on their preferred horse at a race in VA, or bet online. Sites like TVG allow customers to check out all the latest horse racing action from all over the country, making horse racing one of the most accessible forms of gambling in the entire state. The minimum age limit for horse racing betting stands at 18 right now.
With quite a bit of competition now in the state following the legalization of sports betting in Virginia, it can be tough to decipher the differences between each sportsbook. In this section, we’ve quickly broken down the essential details of each site.
Without waiting any longer, let’s get started.
All that’s needed to download the DraftKings app is an Android or iOS device and an internet connection. After getting the app, users will be able to indulge in all the wonders of online sports betting in one easily accessible area.
Sports like MMA, soccer, NHL, NFL, and many more can be found on the website and app. More than that, users can connect their DraftKings DFS accounts with their sports betting accounts if they wish to do so. This creates a more streamlined effect for everyone and allows players to switch from one to the other quickly.
Now a stalwart in VA, Caesars sports betting platform is arguably the most popular choice among bettors in the Old Dominion.
The likes of NASCAR, UFC, NFL, and others can all be found at Caesars. With bonuses added to the site all year long too, there are more reasons to sign up today than ever before.
The thing about FanDuel is that it nails everything it does. Whether you’re depositing, withdrawing, wagering, activating a bonus, or anything in between - the site simply excels in every department. It’s grown in stature over recent years to become a giant in the world of sports gambling, and VA residents have been able to enjoy all it can offer since January 2021.
Moneylines, Over/Unders, and prop bets are just three of the various ways to wager at FanDuel. Boasting a wide range of thrilling sports odds, there are virtually zero reasons to not sign up at the sportsbook.
Next up is BetMGM. Here, users will be greeted with a sleek, professional-looking interface packed to the rafters with brilliant features and offers. By arriving on the scene immediately after the announcement of online sports betting in VA, the platform experienced no trouble attracting customers in the state.
Now, BetMGM - owned by MGM Resorts - has a fantastic app that can be used on iOS and Android devices. By downloading the app, users are able to get everything they love the most about BetMGM’s online website directly from their mobile device.
Each week, users at WynnBet are provided with boosted parlays to enhance their chances of bagging an impressive win. Just one of a multitude of fantastic features, this offer goes hand in hand with the main goal of online sports betting sites in that it encourages users to bet on the best sporting action.
All the biggest sports are available at WynnBet, including:
That’s obviously not the end of the list, but the full one is simply too extensive to put here. To find out more about WynnBet, why not talk to their welcoming customer support that’s ready to chat 24/7?
If you’re on the lookout for an easily accessible downloadable mobile betting app, then Unibet should be your one-stop shop. The sportsbook has a wide range of terrific bonuses, each of which gets refreshed through the year. As a result, users never tire when trying to discover new ways to take home a neat win.
Markets such as table tennis, rugby, NHL, NFL, soccer, and more are all at Unibet. The site caters to both the most-watched sports worldwide, and also those viewed on a smaller scale. Because of this, Unibet is perhaps the finest app and site for large-scale sports wagering.
Another sportsbook that jumped at the opportunity to join Virginia’s waking sports betting market, BetRivers has been a massive hit so far. With tonnes of sports to wager on and a bunch of enticing offers for newly registered customers as well as existing ones, there are plenty of reasons to try the site out as soon as possible.
Above all else, BetRivers makes banking easy. Payments are processed rapidly, meaning users can see their winnings in their bank accounts in a matter of days. When there are so many sports to be bet on and such an impressive array of ways to win, fast payouts are more important than ever before.
No, real money online casinos are not legal in VA. However, you may recall that we spoke about sweepstakes casinos that can be played without the need to deposit funds into an account wallet. These platforms are perfectly legal, and quite a lot of fun, too.
This section briefly breaks down the three available sweepstakes online casinos found in Virginia.
At Chumba Casino, bettors use currency known as Gold Coins to play their favorite table games, slots, and more. Also used on the platform are Sweeps Coins, which can be earned by winning while playing online casino games.
Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for actual cash, allowing players to turn their freely earned virtual money into cold hard cash. It can be difficult to accumulate an amount worthy of withdrawing, but the premise is pretty cool.
The primary focus of Luckyland Slots is fairly obvious from just looking at the name of the site, but that’s not all it has to offer its users. Owned by the same company that operates Chumba Casino, users on this particular platform will be familiar with the basics if they’ve ever visited its counterpart previously.
Again, Sweeps Coins are exchanged for real money if you gather enough of them. With over thirty games waiting to be played, players shouldn’t experience any trouble finding interesting titles. For even more chances to win free cash, players should enter one of the many online tournaments found at Luckyland Slots.
Fully loaded with games and an above-average rate of paying out, Funzpoints is the place to be for bettors seeking a free sweepstakes casino in VA. Players aged 18 and over can join in on the fun immediately, with a cool welcome offer on the cards for interested users.
Like Luckyland Slots, there’s a mega jackpot up for grabs at Funzpoints. Winners could get up to $350 if they come out on top, so it’s well worth checking out. If not, nearly 30 slot games are waiting to be played instead!
Robert is responsible for all content on BettingGuide US. Robert previously worked as a poker dealer during his college years at MIT where he studied Computational Science and Engineering. With a great interest in gambling, Robert likes to go in-depth when writing so that you can make a wiser choice when choosing an operator.