Virginia Legal Sports Betting Overview
|VA Sports Betting Law Details||Status|
|📆 Retail Sports Betting Launch Date:||N/A|
|📆 Online Sports Betting Launch Date:||January 2021|
|✅ Licensed Sportsbooks:||Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Sportsbook, PointsBet, Unibet, WynnBET|
|💵 Legal Wagering Options:||Futures, moneylines, parlays, points spreads, same game parlays, teasers, totals|
|🔞 Legal Gambling Age in VA:||21+|
|🏈 Sports to Bet On:||NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, MMA, motorsports, boxing, tennis, golf, European soccer, rugby, college sports (no in-state teams)|
|🏦 Permitted Banking Options:||Mastercard, PayNearMe, PayPal, Play+, Visa, Skrill, e-check, online bank transfers, wire transfers|
|⚖️ Virginia Gambling Regulator:||Virginia Lottery Board|
Virginia Sports Betting Summary
Virginia lawmakers approved Governor Ralph Northam’s amendments to SB 384 and HB 896 and legalized sports betting on April 22, 2020. Since the Old Dominion State doesn’t have land-based casinos yet, online sports betting was launched before retail sports betting in January 2021. Every sportsbook operator in the state currently has a mobile-only license. Construction of casinos in VA started in 2022, allowing retail sportsbooks to open in the state. Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened on January 15, 2023 - the first permanent casino location in Virginia after Bristol’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino was granted a license and opened a temporary location in July 2022.
Despite no in-person wagering, Virginia is still one of the few US states to handle over $1 billion in sports bets. Some of the biggest operators in the country, like DraftKings and FanDuel, are licensed by the Virginia Lottery Board. Read our complete guide to learn about Virginia’s most recent sports betting laws and regulations, the best VA sportsbooks, bonuses, and everything you need to know about betting in the state.
Virginia Online Sportsbooks Compared
You have plenty of options to choose from with 12 leading sportsbooks live in Virginia. Every VA bookmaker has its strengths, so finding the right one for you is down to your personal preference. To help get you started, we’ve compared the state’s best sportsbooks across essential categories:
Best Mobile App – DraftKings
The DraftKings app is ranked highest by app store reviews for good reason. Available on Apple and Android, the app features a sleek interface and easy navigation, making your betting experience easy and enjoyable. The app loads quickly, which is perfect for live betting. You can also find promotions and odds boosts with just a few taps.
As DraftKings started as a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operator, one of the key advantages of its sportsbook is the wealth of information and statistics provided to bettors. The app’s user-friendly design makes this information easy to find and use while betting on the go.
Claim your DraftKings Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
Best Welcome Bonus – Caesars
Caesars’ Virginia sportsbook features a great welcome bonus, giving you the chance to test the betting site with the possibility of making a profit. The sports betting site offers its VA bettors insurance on their first wager worth up to a sizeable $1,250. The sportsbook will reward you with bet credit equal to how much you lost if your bet loses. Any profit from a wager made with that credit is then yours to keep because there are no wagering requirements on the bet credit winnings. However, you do not win the stake back.
Get your Caesars Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
Best for Competitive Odds – Caesars
All sportsbooks offer competitive odds, but Caesars sportsbook betting lines are often the most generous in the state. The betting odds are particularly good for European soccer markets, but you’ll find great offers on major league games too. You can also take advantage of Caesars’ exclusive daily odds boosts to enhance your bankroll even more.
Best for Market Coverage – FanDuel
Some bettors like wagering on more niche sports, and that’s why market coverage is essential. FanDuel offers you a wide variety of sports, with 17 market categories and many leagues and competitions available in each market. You can find numerous international leagues and competitions in the betting site’s markets, such as the Champions League and Gallagher Premiership, meaning there is always something new to discover. FanDuel also offers an exclusive horse race betting platform on its site.
Claim your FanDuel Sportsbook promo code for Dec 2023.
Best for Beginner Bettors – Caesars
Finding a sportsbook to trust is essential for new bettors and experienced sharps. Caesars sportsbook is backed by Caesars Entertainment, one of the country’s most known hospitality, gambling and entertainment brands. Following the parent company’s luxurious hospitality ethos, both Caesars’ betting app and site are welcoming, easy to understand, and straightforward to navigate. The app is simple to master, allowing new bettors to enjoy their betting experience right away. However, the simplicity of Caesars sportsbook doesn’t take away from the site and app’s luxurious look and feel.
Best for Payout Speed – PointsBet
Most Virginia sportsbooks offer relatively fast payouts, taking around 48 hours for e-wallets and a couple of days for other banking options, such as debit or credit cards. However, PointsBet offers instant withdrawals for many payment methods if your funds do not require additional checks.
How to Place a Bet in Virginia
Online sports betting is still relatively new in Virginia, so it’s likely many sports fans will be placing a wager for the first time. Follow our guide below to sign up with one of a dozen Virginia sportsbooks and place your first bet in minutes:
VA has many sportsbook options, each with its own merits. Explore your opportunities before choosing a betting app that appeals to you. Once you choose a sportsbook, click on its link on this guide to head to the bookmaker’s website.
If you're using your mobile device to place bets in Virginia, you must enable your device’s geolocation services so the sportsbook’s app or website can detect your location and verify you're within state lines. You can do this quickly through your device settings menu.
Most sportsbooks provide an app, which you can download from Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store. Download the app from the app store or the sportsbook’s website.
Provide your date of birth, address, phone number, full name, and last four digits of your Social Security number to register an account.
Visit the sportsbook’s cashier, select a payment method and deposit amount, and follow the instructions to fund your account. If you require a sportsbook promo code, enter it in the allocated space. If not, continue with your deposit.
Use your welcome bonus to place your first wager. Select your desired betting market, add it to your bet slip, input the amount you wish to wager, then place the bet.
If your bet wins, you can now withdraw your funds. Head back to the cashier section, where the sportsbook will instruct you on making a withdrawal.
Banking Methods Available in Virginia
Virginia sportsbooks accept various banking options, including bank cards like Visa and Mastercard. You can also use e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. PayNearMe allows bettors to add money to their accounts using cash at retail locations like CVS and 7-Eleven. Play+, a prepaid card exclusive to betting sites, is also a popular option available at many sportsbooks. In addition, you can use banking options like wire transfers and online bank transfers with banks that accept payments to sports betting sites.
Who is Eligible to Bet in VA?
As in most US states, you must be at least 21 years old to bet legally in Virginia. You also have to be present within state borders to place bets. Still, some people are not eligible to place bets in Virginia due to their position, association with a sports organization or betting operator, or circumstances, for example:
Employees of companies with a sports betting license from the Virginia Lottery Board, including owners, key staff members, officers, and directors.
Professional sports team members, staff, and coaches.
College sports team members, staff, and coaches.
Referees of professional leagues, minor leagues, and college sports.
Individuals who own a stake in a sports team.
Individuals with authority to influence players.
Individuals who can access non-public information about sports teams or leagues (e.g., player medical records).
Individuals restricted from betting at a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).
Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.
Latest Virginia Sports Betting Updates
Current Sports Betting Status in Virginia
Virginia joined the list of legal betting states in 2020. VA's online sports betting industry launched in January 2021 and a dozen online sportsbooks are now available in the state. While you can wager on all your favorite sports and markets from anywhere in the Old Dominion State, you won’t find any casinos or retail sportsbooks in Virginia. At the moment, Virginia is an online-only sports betting state. However, there are several casinos in construction. So retail sports betting could launch very soon.
Timeline for Sports Betting in Virginia
April 21, 2022: Gov. Glenn Youngkin bans sportsbooks from using “Virginia is for Bettors” by signing SB 96.
February 2022: Both the House and Senate bills trying to legalize in-state college betting are shut down by a House committee.
March 2021: Delegate Mark Sickles puts forward HB 1847, and Senator Jeremy McPike puts forward SB 1254. This legislation changes some of the laws around sports betting passed in 2020, with casino licenses separated from mobile-only licenses.
January 21, 2021: FanDuel becomes Virginia’s first sportsbook to take legal wagers.
April 22, 2020: Lawmakers approve SB 384 and HB 896, and sports betting becomes legal in Virginia.
April 2020: Gov. Northam amends SB 384 and HB 896 and sends them back to lawmakers.
March 2020: SB 384 and HB 896, which intend to bring sports betting to the state, are passed by the Virginia General Assembly and the Senate.
2019: The study from the Innovation Group and Regulatory Management Counselors with the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission finds that at maturity, the Virginia sports betting market could reach $400 million in 2028.
March 2019: SB 1126 passes to allow casinos to be built in the state. However, as a part of this legislation, each city where a casino may be built must hold a referendum. In addition, a study from the Innovation Group and Regulatory Management Counselors with the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission is set up to investigate mobile sports betting.
May 2018: The United States Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) is unconstitutional. The annulment effectively ends Nevada’s near-monopoly on US sports betting, giving every state the power to legalize its own sports betting.
Virginia Sports Betting Background
Virginia doesn’t have much of a betting history, which is part of the reason online sportsbooks launched before retail sportsbooks in the state. Similarly, Virginia doesn’t have brick-and-mortar casinos, which will soon change. Still, the Virginia Lottery, which now regulates online sports betting, began selling tickets on September 20, 1988. Pari-mutuel horse race betting was legalized by a referendum in 1988. However, no other significant legislative changes occurred until the US Supreme court struct down PASPA in 2018.
Future of Virginia Sports Betting
Virginia’s betting market will take a big step forward soon with the construction of four licensed land-based casinos. Each of these locations could launch a retail sportsbook. In addition, the state is still receiving applicants for its mobile license, with betting sites like Betway and Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook coming soon.
Virginia Sports Betting Locations
There are currently no casinos in Virginia, but SB 1126 passed in 2019, allowing five casinos to be built in the state. However, only four are in construction, as the Richmond referendum did not get a majority for a casino.
The four casinos received licenses in April 2022, when construction began. However, The Hard Rock Casino in Bristol plans on opening its temporary structure in mid-2022, whereas the Norfolk casino may open its own temporary facility in late 2022.
Planned Virginia Land-Based Casinos
|Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock||500 Gate City Highway, Bristol, VA 24201||(276) 696-3660||Hard Rock Sportsbook|
|Caesars Virginia||1100 W. Main Street, Danville, VA 24541||TBC||Caesars|
|HeadWaters Resort & Casino||Next to Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA 23510||TBC||TBC|
|Rivers Casino Portsmouth||I-264 & Victory Boulevard, Portsmouth, VA 23701||TBC||BetRivers|
Virginia Lottery Locations
Virginia Lottery services are offered at multiple locations in every county within the state. While the Virginia Lottery Board oversees sports regulations in the state, there is no direct link between retail lottery locations and sports betting. No retail sports betting is available in the state, including at lottery retailers.
Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations
There are no stadium betting locations in Virginia, but this may change in the future. The Washington Commanders, headquartered in Virginia, signed the first market access deal in NFL history to allow FanDuel to launch in the Old Dominion State. The Commanders are reportedly looking to change stadiums, with Virginia a potential destination. Ultimately, this would pave the way for a retail sportsbook launch at the new home of the NFL franchise.
Virginia does have several locations where horse racing betting is available, including one live horse race betting opportunity at the Colonial Downs. There are also three separate off-track betting locations. The Virginia Racing Commission oversees these locations and all horse racing in the state.
|Breakers Sports Grille||9127 W. Broad Street, Henrico, VA 23294||(804) 270-1461|
|Buckets Bar and Grill||228 N. Battlefield Boulevard, Chesapeake, VA 23320||(757) 842-6767|
|Colonial Downs Racetrack||10515 Colonial Downs Parkway, New Kent, VA 23124||(804) 966-7223|
|The Windmill Off-Track Betting And Sports Grill||2360 Virginia Avenue, Collinsville, VA 24078||(401) 559-7691|
Virginia Responsible Gambling Resources
Virginia Council on Problem Gambling – Offers live chat and free 24/7 phone support for individuals struggling with problem gambling. There are also assessments, answers to frequently-asked questions, and events people can go to for help. (888) 532-3500
Virginia Lottery – Provides answers to frequently-asked questions and links to further assistance. The site also gives access to the Virginia self-exclusion program. (804) 692-7777
Gamblers Anonymous – Holds meetings across Virginia and the US for people to talk about their struggles with gambling. It also has a phone number that individuals can call for support. (855) 222-5542
The Virginia Lottery Board sets out strict rules for every betting site, including access to the self-exclusion program where bettors can opt out of all gambling sites in the state. Sportsbooks must also provide account tools like deposit limits, spend limits, and time limits. Links to support organizations are another requirement.
Teams to Bet on in Virginia
Virginia sports fans are as passionate as any in the US and have been desperate for a major league franchise. The Virginia Squires ABA team was almost included in the ABA-NBA merger but folded just a month before this happened. The state has flirted with bringing teams from elsewhere to VA in the past, such as the Houston Astros in 1996. However, the Old Dominion State remains without a major sports team of its own.
Yet, this may change with the Washington Commanders considering a new home stadium in the state, where it already has its headquarters. The major league takes so much attention in the US that it is no surprise many Virginia sports fans support teams from nearby Mid-Atlantic and South-eastern states. Here are some of the most popular teams in Virginia’s neighboring states:
|Washington DC||Maryland||North Carolina|
|Washington Commanders (NFL)||Baltimore Ravens (NFL)||Carolina Panthers (NFL)|
|Washington Wizards (NBA)||Baltimore Orioles (MLB)||Charlotte Hornets (NBA)|
|Washington Nationals (MLB)||Carolina Hurricane (NHL)|
|Washington Capitals (NHL)|
Minor League Sports
Without any major league representation, there are a few minor league teams that Virginians support. This list includes the Fredericksburg Nationals, a Single-A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Washington Nationals. Rivals Lynchburg Hillcats, another Single-A baseball team from Virginia, play in the North Division against the Nationals. For ice hockey fans, the Norfolk Admirals play in the ECHL with an affiliation with the Carolina Hurricanes.
George Mason Patriots: The Patriots won an NCAA championship for women’s soccer in 1985 and won for men’s indoor track and field in 1996. George Mason University has also won 35 individual national championship titles.
Hampton Pirates: The Pirates’ only NCAA championship win came in Division II when its women’s team won the basketball in 1988. The Hampton University team has a rivalry with their Norfolk State University counterparts and plays a football game annually called the Battle of the Bay.
James Madison Dukes: Picking up two NCAA Division I FCS championships, the football program is James Madison University’s most-successful sport. It has also won archery, field hockey, and women’s lacrosse titles.
Liberty Flames: Liberty University’s football program moved to the FBS in 2018. The Flames have 20 varsity programs competing in NCAA Division I.
Longwood Lancers: Softball is Longwood University’s most-successful sport, with five Big South tournament championships and three Big South regular-season championships.
Norfolk State Spartans: The Spartans qualified for the NCAA Division I basketball tournament in 2021 for the first time in Norfolk State University’s history.
Old Dominion Monarchs: The women’s field hockey program is dominant for the Monarchs, winning nine national championships. Old Dominion University’s women’s basketball team won the school’s only other NCAA team championship in 1985.
Radford Highlanders: Competing in the NCAA Division I Big South Conference, Radford University’s Highlanders have 15 different varsity teams.
Richmond Spiders: The University of Richmond has the unique honor of being the only school with the Spiders nickname in the US. The Spiders mainly compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference and have 16 varsity teams.
VCU Rams: Famous for its run to the March Madness Final Four in 2011, Virginia Commonwealth University’s basketball program is the shining light of Rams sports.
Virginia Cavaliers: Consistently ranked among the top 5 athletics programs in the US, the University of Virginia has 30 NCAA championships. Lacrosse has been its most significant success, with seven championships for the men’s program and three for the women’s.
Virginia Tech Hokies: The Hokies football program has many accolades, notably losing the Sugar Bowl in 2000 to Florida State. The Virginia Tech program has finished with a top ten ranking multiple times and has won several conference championships.
VMI Keydets: There are 16 varsity teams at Virginia Military Institute, including wrestling, water polo, and track and field. Despite being a Division I school, the Keydets are one of two schools at this level not to support a women’s basketball team.
William & Mary Tribe: It’s been a long time since the Tribe has seen success, with its only two NCAA Championships coming in the 1940s. The College of William and Mary in Virginia claimed two men’s tennis victories.
River City Sting: River City Sting is a touch football team that competes in the USWFL. The team finished its inaugural season 5-0 with a championship win.
How Does Virginia Compare to Other States?
Virginia betting laws let you wager on most professional sports, including major leagues in the US like the MLB and NFL. Virginia does permit college betting, but only on teams from outside the state. As such, you won’t find in-state teams like the Virginia Cavaliers or the Virginia Tech Hokies on VA sportsbooks. Betting on eSports is also prohibited.
Competitive Odds & Prices
With 12 operators, including some of the biggest sportsbooks in the US like Caesars, BetMGM, and DraftKings, odds in Virginia are competitive with different states. We checked on betting sites operating in multiple states, and there were no noticeable differences between other regions and Virginia.
Sports betting in Virginia has led to a great extra source of tax revenue. At first glance, the Virginia sportsbook tax rate is pretty reasonable at 15% compared to states like New York, with a 51% tax rate. However, the tax rate is even less restrictive because Virginia sportsbooks can subtract promotional expenses used for customer acquisition. The more the market matures, the less Virginia sportsbooks are likely to spend on customer acquisition, leading to more significant tax revenues for the state.
Virginia has a betting handle of $4,109,224,266 since it legalized sports betting, making it one of the top 11 betting states in the US. From this handle, the Old Dominion State has brought in taxes equaling $24,622,910.
According to the Internal Revenue Service Code, every sports bet has a 0.25% excise tax on sports betting handle. On top of this, sportsbooks have to pay $50 for every employee that receives wagers. However, only online sports betting has gone live in VA. The tax rate for sports betting revenue is 15% but does not include acquisition expenses. There is also a $250,000 yearly fee operators must pay to the Virginia Lottery Board to hold a license.
The IRS taxes sports betting profits in the US, and you must declare all your earnings. You must also complete a W-2G form if you earn more than $600 at one sportsbook. If you make this amount at multiple sportsbooks, you must complete a W-2G form for each betting site.
Who Oversees Sports Betting in Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery Board is responsible for licensing new sportsbooks, setting out regulations, and enforcing these sports betting rules. It will also be responsible for licensing and regulating the retail sportsbooks when they launch. Any sportsbook that wants to apply for a license can do so from May 15 to May 30. There is a $250,000 non-refundable fee for sportsbooks to hold this regulation.
The board comprises seven residents of Virginia, with the governor selecting each member. These members must include someone with experience in law enforcement and a certified public accountant. Every member is chosen to serve for a five-year term. The board also provides information for bettors on its site, including descriptions of common bet types and frequently-asked questions around sports betting laws.
Is betting legal in Virginia?
Online sports betting has been legal in Virginia since 2020. Retail sports betting is also legal but hasn’t been launched yet. The only way to place bets is by downloading a sportsbook app and wagering online.
Who governs sports betting in Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery Board is in charge of licensing and regulating all sportsbooks. The board is led by seven members chosen by the governor, including a former member of law enforcement and a certified public accountant.
How old do you have to be to bet in Virginia?
You must be aged 21 or older to place bets in Virginia. Many sportsbooks will ask you to verify your identity before you withdraw funds, including providing your proof of age and address.
When did sports betting launch in Virginia?
Online sports betting in Virginia was legalized in April 2020 and the state’s first sportsbook launched in January 2021. Casinos are set to open their doors to Virginians in 2022.
What sportsbooks are legal in Virginia?
There are 12 sportsbooks in Virginia, including some of the country’s most prominent brands like BetRivers and PointsBet. You can also access FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, WynnBET, Unibet, Barstool Sportsbook, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Sportsbook, and Bally Bet in the Old Dominion State.
Are sportsbooks in Virginia safe?
Any sportsbook licensed by the Virginia Lottery Board is safe for betting. The Board puts each site and app through tests to ensure player security.
Do I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Virginia?
Yes, Virginia bettors must pay taxes on their betting profit to the IRS. You can do this by filling out a W-2G form, which your sportsbook should send you if you qualify.
Can you play DraftKings in Virginia?
DraftKings is licensed and available in Virginia. Bettors can use its sports betting site, Daily Fantasy Sports, and betting pools.
Can you play FanDuel in Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery Board licenses FanDuel through its partnership with the Washington Commanders. It was the first sportsbook to accept legal wagers in VA.
Can you play BetMGM in Virginia?
Yes, BetMGM has a mobile-only license in Virginia so you can bet on its site. The BetMGM Rewards program lets you earn points for wagering that you can use to redeem real-life bonuses. See our latest BetMGM promo code for Dec 2023.
Can you play Caesars in Virginia?
You can use Caesars sportsbook anywhere in Virginia. Caesars Entertainment is building the casino in Danville, and a retail Caesars sportsbook may launch as soon as 2023.
Can you play TwinSpires in Virginia?
No, TwinSpires is not available in Virginia. However, the brand is planning on shutting down its sports betting operations soon, so VA bettors aren’t missing out.
Which sportsbooks will be available in Virginia in the future?
Sportsbooks like Betway and Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook have all successfully applied for licenses from the Virginia Lottery Board. These betting sites do not have launch dates yet but should be live in the Old Dominion State soon.