Online Gambling in Virginia
Possibly shocking to some, online gambling in VA is finally legal, sort of. Indeed, some of the nation’s top names are ready to get in on the VA online gambling revenue; but there are still some formalities to work through.
While this news is cause for celebration, VA legalized online gambling only includes sports and horse betting sites. Let’s take a look at Virginia’s current legal online gambling stance and see what you can expect.
Best VA Gambling Sites
- The first bet must lose
- Cash Outs not eligible
- Bonus credits within 72 hours
- 1x wagering requirement
- Valid from Aug. 31, 2020 until Dec. 31, 2020
- A fantastic mobile app
- In-play betting
- Cash Outs available for certain bets
- Odds boost for bigger wins
- No Loyalty Program offered
- Slow Customer Service
- No rollover required
- Qualifying first bet must lose
- Free bet must be used within 7 days
- Valid for new customer accounts only
- Live Streaming
- Generous welcome bonus
- Responsive customer support
- Complete odds offer
- Cash Out not available yet
- The user interface could be improved
- Must clear in 7 days
- Available for BetMGM Sports only
- Bet must be qualifying
- Bet must lose
- Free Live Streaming
- Crisp in-play betting
- Boosted parlays
- Easy Navigation
- Shortage of special market odds
- Slow customer support response
Shortly after looking through our list of the best VA gambling sites, it may seem like there are many similarities. In fact, for the time being, all of our top online gambling sites are sportsbooks.
To be exact, there are many more online sportsbooks in VA but unfortunately, they did not make the cut. We assure you; all of our PlayingLegal operator reviews are rated and sorted for the same criteria across the board.
In fact, the specific criteria we use to decide rankings in VA include:
- Game or Odds variety- an assortment of odds the operator provides
- Bonus offer- must be transparent and valuable
- Customer support- time to respond, methods of communication, and the quality of information
- Interface- unique features, website and mobile app ease of use
- Payment methods- number and type of payment options
Forms of Legal Online Gambling in Virginia
|Daily Fantasy Sports||Legal||N/A|
Judging from our table, there is still a long way to go to make online gambling a reality in VA. However, by allowing land-based casinos to become a reality, we hope that the legalization of all online gambling types follows suit.
Most importantly, Virginia does not have any commercial casinos. In short, current VA gaming locations feature past horse races and HHR betting machines, but these casinos do not have any cards or dealers.
Fortunately, thanks to voter turnout, Vegas style casinos have been legalized and are currently in the beginning stages. Originally passed in 2019, SB 1126 helped form a clear outline for the future of casino gaming in VA.
Likewise, casino operators are also approved to offer on-site mobile gaming accounts. This simply means that the operator will have to verify the player’s location within the establishment.
While the kinks are still getting worked out, we can expect to see an impressive list of operators in five cities located within the Commonwealth.
Some of the approved casino operators coming to Virginia are:
- Rush Street Gaming – Portsmouth
- Hard Rock International – Bristol
- Caesars Entertainment – Danville
- Pamunkey Indian Tribe – Norfolk
- TBD – Richmond
Don’t worry, we go more in depth regarding the VA casino licensing process below.
Thanks to some profound legislature, legal sports betting is a reality for VA players. In fact, since the official sports launch in Jan. 2021, operators have been racing towards the finish line.
Unlike some neighboring states, Virginia doesn't have any retail sports betting locations. Since these retail locations are typically located inside casinos, we expect to see retail locations opening in the future.
For a more detailed sports analysis, be sure to check out our VA-specific sports betting page. The top sportsbooks in Virginia are just a click away.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Ahead of their time, Virginia became the first state to legalize daily fantasy sports in 2016 thanks to the SB 646 Fantasy Contests Act. Surprisingly, the legalization of DFS in VA paved the way for a great number of states to reconsider allowing this popular game of skill.
Even though there are 8 registered DFS operators, the most popular daily fantasy sports sites in VA are:
Certainly, if it’s bingo you’re looking for, Virginia is the state for you. Bingo started it all and was legalized in 1973 by the Charitable Gaming Act.
At the moment, the board grants upwards of 300 charitable gaming permits per year, and the majority are permits for bingo. There’s no doubt about it, bingo continues to be an essential part of VA history.
Horse racing first became regulated by the Virginia Racing Commission (VRC) in 1989 and has since gone through many additions. Alongside a great in-person presence at Colonial Downs, off-track and online horse racing is legal and regulated by the Commonwealth.
Currently, VA has three online horse betting operators. Those three sites include:
- Use promo code: 125BONUS
- Bet $100 to earn $25 in wagering credits.
- Must be $500 to earn the maximum bonus.
- Clear bonus within 30 days of sign-up.
- Excellent welcome bonus
- HD Live Streaming
- Free video replay archive
- Fantastic handicapping resources
- Unavailable in all states
- Horse racing betting only
- Sign up with promo code ‘BESTBET’.
- Deposit $500 to get the maximum bonus of $250.
- The first deposit must be made within 15 days of signing up.
- The minimum deposit is $10 (earns $5 bonus).
- Live Streaming
- Exclusive broadcasts
- Variety of ongoing promotions
- Expert selections and picks
- Not available in every state
- Subpar rewards program
- Bet $400 to Get $100 in bonus cash.
- Max. bonus up to $200 requires $800 in wagers.
- Must be wagered within 30 days of account opening.
- Fantastic welcome bonus cash offer
- Variety of horse races
- Owned by renowned Churchill Downs
- Live Streaming
- Video Replay
- Only horse racing offered
- Limited withdrawal methods
Due to the way horse racing legislature is set up in VA, operators contribute to funding purses as well as other various industry specific programs.
Shortly after the start of bingo, the VA Lottery was officially launched in 1987. Since the lottery has been widely accepted throughout the state, individuals can choose from a number of ways to play.
In addition to the 5,000 lottery retail locations in the state, the VA Lottery has online lottery games available on the mobile app.
Above all, the Virginia Lottery Commission is actually responsible for more than scratch-offs and lottery winnings. In fact, the Commission oversees online sports and casinos as well.
Definitely the oddball out of the group; poker has experienced a rough history in VA. First off, charitable poker was legalized by the Charitable Gaming Act in 1973. Even though there have been numerous attempts at authorizing poker rooms and tournaments, the Commonwealth is rather strict on the topic.
With the recent legalization of casinos, we expect to see some poker rooms appear, but the chances are that legit VA online poker sites will not be accepted. So, if you’re looking to join some local poker games, your best bet would be a permitted charity function.
VA Gambling Law
Virginia gambling law stems back to 1973 when charitable gambling was first allowed in the state. In fact, a lot has changed over the years, and there are some very new changes in VA gambling law.
Here is a summarized list of important dates in Virginia gambling history:
|1973||Charitable gaming is legalized|
|1987-88||Virginia Lottery is launched|
|1989||Virginia Racing Commission is created to run horse betting|
|2003||VRC allowed to take off-track bets|
|2016||SB 646 legalizes
daily fantasy sports
|2018||Bill 1609 approved horse racing gaming machines|
|2019||SB 1126 outline for casino enforcement|
|Sept 2020||The Virginia Lottery Board finalizes sports betting regulations|
|Nov 2020||Voter referendums in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth approve four new commercial casinos|
|Jan 2021||Online sports betting officially launches with FanDuel Sportsbook getting the first legal sports wagers|
Local License Holders
Traditionally, even though VA is rather strict on gambling, voters approved local referendums in 2020 to build casinos in particular areas.
While it’s been quite the process, the guideline for obtaining a VA casino license include:
- Casinos can only be located in 5 cities
- Richmond (TBD)
- Each casino pays a $15 million licensing fee
- A permit is good for 10 years
- Operators must pay a $50,000 investigation fee to the Virginia Lottery
- Every operator is required to go through an annual review
- Casino operators must go through a vetting process
Currently, the casino operators have been chosen for every city except Richmond; the process is still ongoing. In addition to getting approval for a land-based commercial casino, the operators can offer on-premises mobile casino gaming.
On the other hand, sports operators' licensing process is more simple. According to the VA Lottery, a total of 17 online sportsbooks are allowed to operate in the entire state. So far, there are only six licensed online sportsbooks in Virginia, but more are on their way.
Here is the current list of all VA sports betting operators and their partners:
|Online Sportsbook||VA Partner||Software Provider|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||Washington Football Team||SG OpenBet|
|BetMGM Sports||N/A||Entain, GVC Holdings|
|William Hill Sports Book||TBD: Caesars Danville||Proprietary Software|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||TBD: Rivers Casino Portsmouth||IGT|
Considering there are only five projected physical casinos in VA, sports betting sites are not legally required to partner with a casino. Seeing as this is a major moneymaking opportunity for online sports makers, the licensing submissions numbers are astounding.
Minimum Legal Gambling Age in Virginia
Indeed, with the number of legislative changes happening in Virginia, things can get lost in the shuffle. With that being said, the minimum legal gambling age in VA changes depending on the game.
To make things easier, the legal ages for gambling in VA are:
|Casino Games||21 Years Old|
|Sports Betting||21 Years Old|
|Poker||18 Years Old|
|Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)||18 Years Old|
|Horse Racing||18 Years Old|
|Lottery||18 Years Old|
|Bingo||18 Years Old|
Unfortunately, it’s still unclear whether the legal minimum age will change if Virginia decides to legalize any form of online poker in the future.
Auditors and Regulators
Even though the Virginia Lottery Board handles most VA gambling activity, a few categories have different regulators.
|Casino Games||Virginia Lottery Board|
|Sports Betting||Virginia Lottery Board|
|Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)||VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services|
|Bingo||VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services|
|Lottery||Virginia Lottery Board|
|Horse Racing||Virginia Gaming Commission|
|Poker||VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services|
DFS operators must report to the Division of Consumer Protection, which is a division of the VA Department of Agriculture. Additionally, all operators are subject to yearly compliance testing, even if their license is valid for a longer time period.
VA Bonus and Promotions
Virginia is a sports player’s paradise. Here in VA, players can choose from some of the largest available sportsbooks, and soon, the largest casinos.
Typically, online operators offer some of their best promotions when they first get legalized, which is excellent news for VA gamblers.
Some of the betting bonuses and promotions you may find in Virginia are:
- Risk-free bet
- No-deposit bonus
- Odds boost
- Deposit match bonus
- Leaderboard promotions
Considering it’s happening in the near future, VA doesn’t have any current casino promotions. Don’t worry though, the casino operators in question are known for having wonderful loyalty programs for players.
Responsible Gambling is an aspect of the industry that the Commonwealth of Virginia takes very seriously. Part of the reason why the government pushes back on legalization is due to the increased risk of gambling addictions.
If you or anyone you know suffers from problem gaming, check out some of these VA responsible gaming resources:
- Self Exclusion
- Voluntary Program
- Lasts two years, five years, or a lifetime
- Virginia Council on Problem Gambling
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- VA Department of Behavioral and Developmental Health
- Gamblers Anonymous
Furthermore, any new operators must advertise responsible gaming signage throughout their site and provide players easy access to the programs.
VA Gambling Tax Rate
Due to the many changes that may still occur in VA, gambling tax rates can easily be adjusted for both players and operators. The current tax rates for operators include:
- 15% for Sportsbooks on the gross sports betting revenue.
- 18-30% for Casinos depending on their revenue.
For players, the story is a bit different. Gambling winnings in VA are subject to a 25% percent tax rate. Also, any winnings greater than $1,200 must be reported. VA Lottery winners, a tax form will be issued for prizes over $600.
Nevertheless, we cannot advise you on any tax matters, and we highly recommend you consult a licensed tax accountant with any questions or concerns.
Ultimately, there is a large number of allowed payment methods in VA. However, all of the payment methods listed below will not be available at every legal and licensed operator. Typically, operators will have the approved payment methods listed on their site.
|Online Banking||Play+||ACH/VIP Preferred|
Something to keep in mind is that many operators have withdrawal restrictions. One of those restrictions is typically requiring players to use the previously used deposit method for the withdrawals as well. These restrictions are meant to offer added security with the players in mind.
The Future of Gambling in Virginia
All in all, the VA online gambling industry is starting to look up. Despite the pushback throughout the years, the potential gambling tax revenue may be enough to sway an audience.
Still, there are many promising factors in play, but the necessary legalization of VA online gambling sites is the clear knockout. Look out for some great new player promotions and bonuses to make their way to the Commonwealth.
Unmistakably, the stakes are high in the Old Dominion.
VA Online Gambling FAQs
Are there casinos in Virginia?
No, but after a long awaited approval process, casinos are legal in Virginia. There are currently five casinos scheduled to open in VA within the next few years.
Is online gambling legal in Virginia?
Yes, depending on the type of gambling. For the time being, online sportsbooks, horse racing, fantasy sports, and the VA Lottery are all legal for online play.
Can I use DraftKings in Virginia?
Yes! As a matter of fact, DraftKings is a top-rated operator in VA. In addition to their fantasy sports site, DraftKings features a legal online sportsbook for VA players.
Can I play online poker in Virginia?
No. Unfortunately, poker is only legal in terms of charitable gambling in Virginia. Surprisingly, there have been numerous attempts to legalize poker halls and tournaments, but the legislature won't budge.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, as a matter of fact, there are currently 6 legal sports operators in VA. For the time being, sports betting is only available online but will most likely add some retail locations.
Is FanDuel Sportsbook legal in Virginia?
Yes, the FanDuel Sportsbook is legal in Virginia. Additionally, FanDuel was the first online sportsbook to launch in Virginia in Jan 2021. Alongside their great sports offering, FanDuel also boasts an impressive fantasy sports site in VA.