Virginia Sports Betting: Where To Bet & Sportsbook Bonus Offers is an independent sports news and information service. has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

For more information, please read How We Rank Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in AZ, CO, CT, IN, KS, LA, MI, NJ, NY, PA, TN, and VA.

Virginia sports betting celebrated its one-year anniversary on January 21, 2022. State officials have plenty to celebrate about the continued growth of the activity. In fact, between June and July 2022, Virginia set a new record for monthly sports betting tax revenue earned, over $3.06 billion.

Looking to get in on the action and searching for the best sports betting app? There are currently 14 sportsbook apps that are live in Virginia, so bettors have a nice variety of options to wager on the NFL and a wide range of additional sports. Below, we will give information about all online sportsbooks in Virginia. However, we will also give our choices for the best sports wagering apps in Virginia.

Editors’ Choice: Best Sports Betting App In Virginia

October 2022

The Best 8 Sports Betting Apps In Virginia

Best for Sports Fans Who Also Play DFS

at DraftKings VA

Best for Sports Fans Who Also Play DFS

DraftKings Virginia

at DraftKings VA

Free Bet


with $5 deposit

Deposit Bonus

20% up to $1,000

Licensed by

VA Lottery

DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia is a titan, offering extremely competitive odds across an enormous market depth. You can also play DraftKings DFS using the same login as your sportsbook account.

Every day, you can find an exciting betting offer at DraftKings Virginia, including exclusive odds boosters, risk-free wagers, and more. Every real-money bet also earns DK Dollars that you can use for free bets or purchasing merch.

Plus, DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia offers the biggest deposit match bonus of 20% up to $1,000. To receive the maximum, bettors have to deposit $5,000, but you qualify with a deposit as low as $5. Additional T&Cs apply.

  • Best rating in the App Store
  • Huge deposit-match bonus
  • Creative odds boosters for in-game events
  • Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform
  • Available in most states with online sports betting
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NH, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY


Best for New Users

at Caesars VA

Best for New Users

Caesars Virginia

at Caesars VA

First bet bonus up to


Promo Code


Licensed by

VA Lottery

Caesars Sportsbook Virginia launched after acquiring the William Hill app earlier in the year. Caesars is a great choice for Virginia sports bettors.

A retail Caesars Sportsbook will be housed at the Danville casino when construction is complete. A Caesars Sportsbook currently takes in-person and online bets in and around Capital One Arena, home of the ​​Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, and Georgetown Hoyas men’s basketball.

William Hill is the oldest continuously running sports betting company, with a large international footprint. Now, it’s run by Caesars, which also operates the largest number of retail sportsbooks in the US. In Virginia, bettors can expect a strong and stable app, great ongoing promotions, and an easy-to-navigate live betting system on the app.

  • Great first bet (up to $1,250 + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®!)
  • Biggest retail sportsbook footprint in US
  • Award-winning Caesars Rewards program
  • Huge market depth and competitive odds
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, LA, MI, NJ, NY, TN, VA & WV


Best for MGM reward points & New Bettors

at BetMGM VA

Best for MGM reward points & New Bettors

BetMGM Virginia

at BetMGM VA

Risk-Free Bet


Bonus Code


Licensed by

VA Lottery

BetMGM Virginia Sportsbook boasts a top-rated app and some of the most exciting features in sports betting. This is one of the first brands to offer single-game parlays, early cashout, and the ability to edit your bet after it’s placed. The Parlay Plus feature also increases parlay profits by up to 40%.

Most people are already familiar with the MGM Resorts brand. The quality and inventiveness it’s known for is reflected at BetMGM Virginia Sportsbook, one of the most popular sports betting apps in the US for good reason.

  • Highly rated app
  • Edit Your Bet feature
  • Parlay Plus increases parlay profits up to 40%
  • Integrated live streaming on select events
  • Early cashout
  • Easy Parlay builder
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, CO, DC, IN, IA, MI, MS, NV, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WV & WY


Best for Deposit Bonus

at BetRivers VA

Best for Deposit Bonus

BetRivers Virginia

at BetRivers VA



2nd Chance Free Bet

Bonus Code


Licensed by

VA Lottery

BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia will eventually open a retail sportsbook inside the new Portsmouth casino when construction is complete. In the meantime, sports bettors in the state can enjoy the BetRivers Virginia online sportsbook, which comes with the best welcome bonus in US sports betting.

New members can claim a second chance free bet up to $500 with code SHARPRIV. 

The ongoing BetRivers Virginia Sportsbook promotions are also exceptional, including daily odds boosters on the 2021-22 NFL Season you can’t find anywhere else. Plus, the fantastic loyalty program gives you extra chances to win as you place real-money bets.

  • 2nd Chance Free Bet up to $500 with the best T&Cs around
  • Exclusive NFL odds boosters
  • Sports newsfeed
  • “Live Right Now” wagers
  • Live streaming on select events
  • Great loyalty program
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, PA & VA


Best for iOS and Android Apps

at FanDuel Sportsbook VA

Best for iOS and Android Apps

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

at FanDuel Sportsbook VA

No Sweat First Bet


Licensed by

VA Lottery

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia offers a wide range of lines on an incredibly powerful app. As one of the top dogs in American sports betting (alongside DraftKings and BetMGM), FanDuel offers some of the best promotions and odds boosters too.

In January 2021, FanDuel partnered with The Washington Football Team for market access in Virginia. It marked the first partnership of its kind, and sets up FanDuel as the top spot for betting on the 2021-22 NFL Season as well as the 2022 Super Bowl LVI.

With a generous opening bonus and a slick, streamlined user interface that makes the app easy to use even on high-traffic gamedays, FanDuel is likely to be a sports bettor favorite in Virginia. And that’s for all sports, but especially for football fans. 

  • Daily fantasy sports (DFS)
  • Tons of promotions
  • Exclusive odds boosters
  • Popular loyalty program
  • Great T&Cs on $1,000 No Sweat First Bet offer
  • Search bar
  • Odds format changing
  • Odds-changing mid-bet
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA & WV


Best for Parlays

at PointsBet VA

Best for Parlays

PointsBet Virginia

at PointsBet VA

2 Risk-Free Bets

Up to $2,000

Promo Code


Licensed by

VA Lottery

PointsBet launched in Virginia in December 2021 in a partnership with Colonial Downs Racetrack. PointsBet is a relatively new sportsbook to come to America that offers phenomenal odds (especially for any fixed odds wagers). PointsBet shares its name from its special “pointsbetting” system – this allows players to participate in a special type of spread betting. If you have an appetite for high-risk and high reward wagers, it’ll be a great app for you, even though its market depth and variety could be a little better.

PointsBet offers two risk-free bets up to $2,000. One is a fix-odds bet up to $500 and the other is a $1,500 risk-free bet on your first PointsBetting wager. Claim the PointsBet offer with promo code BONUSDAY.

  • Available Platforms/Operating Systems: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Key Features: Pointsbetting, search bar, live streaming, good layout
  • Deposit Options: Electronic wallets, credit/debit cards, PayNearMe, bank transfers
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:CO, IL, IN, IA, MI, NJ, VA & WV


Best for Risk-Free Bet

at Unibet VA

Best for Risk-Free Bet

Unibet Virginia

at Unibet VA

Risk-Free Bet


Promo Code


Licensed by

VA Lottery

Unibet built a reputation as one of the world’s most reputable international gaming brands before expanding into the US. The company first launched in New Jersey in 2019, followed by Pennsylvania and Indiana. Unibet Virginia launched in April 2021. 

It may be behind its Virginia competitors in terms of launch. But it’s the perfect place to find some of the best NFL football deals around. Some of the offers include free bets for placing NFL bets, and bonus cash for placing a bet on the winner of the Super Bowl. Plus, the parlay profit booster increases parlay wins by up to 50%, which is even more than the BetMGM parlay boost feature.

All in all, Unibet Sportsbook Virginia offers a menu of sports and ways to bet that competes with anything in the legal US market. And with these unbeatable NFL deals, it stands poised as a significant player in the Virginia mobile sports betting market.

  • Great NFL promotions
  • Unlimited parlay profit boosters up to 50%
  • Weekly $10 free bet for placing 5 live bets
  • Wide variety of international sports
  • Solid risk-free first bet offer
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:AZ, IN, IA, NJ, PA & VA


Best for data

at Sports Illustrated Sportsbook VA

Best for data

Sports Illustrated (SI) Sportsbook Virginia

at Sports Illustrated Sportsbook VA

Bet $10, get$80


Promo code: 80SI

Licensed by

VA Lottery

Sports Illustrated Sportsbook Virginia is new to the state, but their breakthrough has been backed by early success in Colorado. The legacy brand newspaper is familiar to many of us in the industry because we grew up reading their phenomenal sports coverage. 

Since launching in Colorado and Virginia, the Sports Illustrated app has shown some great ideas that competitors could borrow from. This includes their Bet Feed, which filters upcoming events by a variety of criteria.

Want to see the most bet on games, start time, or most recent bets placed? Then the Sports Illustrated Bet Feed is for you!

There are also some areas for improvement for the Sports Illustrated Virginia app. But we definitely recommend giving them a try since they’ve upped their bonus to be even more enticing.

  • $80 in free bets comes as eight $10 free bets
  • Favorable point spreads for underdogs
  • Favorable Total lines
  • Favorable Futures lines
  • Great sign-up bonus
  • Creative app
Available On: iOS, Android, Web Browser
States Accepted:VA


Virginia Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • July 8, 2022:

    Hard Rock Sportsbook in Bristol becomes the first retail Sportsbook to open in the state of Virginia.

  • July 1, 2022:

    Sports betting in Virginia handled $351.5 million during May 2022, 55% higher than May 2021 when only seven operators were active. Through the end of May, bettors have wagered a combined total of $5.3 billion on a wide variety of approved sporting events, according to the Virginia Lottery.

  • June 1, 2022:

    Between April 1 and April 30, 2022, Virginians wagered $399,478,366. Through the end of April, bettors have wagered a combined total of more nearly $5 billion on a wide variety of approved sporting events.

  • May 2, 2022:

    Virginia’s sportsbooks took in $469.5 million in handle during the month of March, according to the state Lottery, the second highest monthly wagering activity since the record performance in January 2022. Though Virginia statute does not allow betting on Virginia college athletics, the March Madness tournament alone brought in $109,491,552 in wagering activity.

  • April 1, 2022:

    The Virginia Lottery announced that the total sports betting handle for February 2022 was just under $402 million, with over $33 million wagered on Super Bowl 57.

  • March 31, 2022:

    Hard Rock Sportsbook goes live in Virginia, bringing the total number of sportsbooks in the Old Dominion to 12.

  • March 17, 2022:

    Virginia’s total sports betting handle was $485,544,417 in January, which set a new monthly record according to the Virginia Lottery.


  • February 24, 2022:

    It will be awhile before Virginia sports fans can place bets on their college teams, as legislation lifting the prohibition on in-state college sports betting was squashed. The House General Laws Committee tabled Senate Bill 576 by a vote of 18-4.

  • February 8, 2022:

    The Virginia Senate voted against the use of the phrase “Virginia is for Bettors” by gaming businesses, advancing a bill that would keep the slogan out of gambling marketing and advertisements in the Commonwealth.

  • January 12, 2022:

    Two pieces of legislation were filed that would 1) prohibit sportsbooks from excluding bonuses and promotions from taxable revenue and 2) allow for bets on in-state collegiate athletics.

Virginia Sportsbook Promotions & Bonuses

DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia

DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia

Best for DFS players

Read our full DraftKings Sportsbook Review
Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Best for New Users

  • Caesars Virginia Promo: Get a $1,250 first bet + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®!
  • Caesars Is Best For: New users. In Virginia, bettors can expect a strong and stable app, great ongoing promotions, and an easy-to-navigate live betting system on the app.
  • Local Partners: None at this time.
Read our full Caesars Sportsbook Review
BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

Best for MGM reward points & new bettors

  • BetMGM Virginia Bonus: Get up to a $1,000 risk-free bet
  • BetMGM Is Best For: Players looking to also utilize physical rewards through the M Life loyalty program. Frequent bettors can get receive discounts and various promotions at MGM locations nationwide.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full BetMGM Sportsbook Review
BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

Best for Deposit Bonus

  • BetRivers Virginia Bonus: Receive second chance free bet up to $500 affiliate code SHARPRIV
  • BetRivers Is Best For: BetRivers offers news users the chance to claim a second chance free bet up to $500. If your first wager loses, receive a Free Bet, equal to your stake, up to a maximum of $500 ($100 max in NY).
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full BetRivers Sportsbook Review
FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

Best sportsbook iOS & Android App

  • FanDuel Virginia Bonus: Up to $1,000 a no-sweat first bet.
  • FanDuel Is Best For:The FanDuel Sportsbook app allows betting from anywhere within a legal state, as long as you can access a WiFi connection. The iOS app allows players to access the sports betting site on iPhone or iPad devices. Like the iOS counterpart, the FanDuel Sportsbook app for Android offers one of the smoothest and most user-friendly mobile wagering experiences in the US.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full FanDuel Sportsbook Review
PointsBet Virginia

PointsBet Virginia

Best for Parlays

  • PointsBet Virginia Bonus: Risk-free bets up to $2,000
  • PointsBet Is Best For: PointsBet offers hundreds of different ways to wager on a single game. That extensive list of bets included player props, quarters and halves bets, and single-game parlays. Single-game parlays allow for a parlay from events within the same game, such as a moneyline and two prop bets on an NBA game.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full PointsBet Sportsbook Review
Unibet Sportsbook Virginia

Unibet Sportsbook Virginia

Best for a Risk-Free Bet

  • Unibet Virginia Bonus: Claim a $100 risk-free bet
  • Unibet is Best For: In Virginia, bettors can claim a $100 risk-free bet, which is great for bettors who don’t need to spend a lot to place a bet and still see a good payout.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full Unibet Sportsbook Review
Sports Illustrated Sportsbook Virginia

Sports Illustrated Sportsbook Virginia

Best for Data

  • Sports Illustrated Virginia Bonus: Bet $10 to get $80 in free bets that comes in eight $10 free bets.
  • Sports Illustrated is Best For: Data. Sports Illustrated Sportsbook’s Bet Feed allows bettors to filter upcoming events by popularity, start time, and most recent bets placed. Bettors can further filter Sports Illustrated Sportsbook’s betting lines by bet types and sports, too.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full Sports Illustrated Sportsbook Review

Other Sportsbooks Available In Virginia

Barstool Sportsbook

  • Up to $1,000 risk-free bet on first deposit + $10 no-deposit bonus
  • Available Platforms/Operating Systems: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Good mobile app and “Quick Pick 6” option

Barstool Sportsbook launched in Virginia on August 10, 2021. The sportsbook owner, Penn National Gaming, has plans to expand the sportsbook in several US states where sports betting is legal.

Golden Nugget Virginia (7.8/10)

  • Opening Bonus Offer: $250 risk free – Use code SHARP
  • Available Platforms/Operating Systems: Desktop, Android, iOS
  • Retail Casino Partnerships: The Greenbrier
  • Key Features: Backed by the legendary Golden Nugget Brand
  • Deposit Options: Electronic wallets, credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Play+, VIP Preferred

Golden Nugget hasn’t experienced the same rate of growth as competitors like BetMGM, but it’s quickly catching up. Previously, it’s focused on states where it could launch its online casino product, like Michigan and New Jersey, or where it has a strong footprint, like Nevada. The Virginia Lottery issued approval for the Golden Nugget app to launch in Virginia, and it went live on October 13, 2021.

List of Virginia Online Sports Betting Apps

There are currently 14 online/mobile sportsbooks licensed for use in Virginia:

VA SportsbookBonus OfferPartner
DraftKings Virginia$50 free bet + 20% deposit match bonus up to $1,000N/A
Caesars VirginiaUp to a $1,250 first bet - Use Promo Code TODAYFULLCaesars Entertainment
BetMGM Virginia$1,000 risk-free bet - Use Bonus Code TODAYN/A
BetRivers VirginiaGet a 2nd Chance Free Bet up to $500 - Use Bonus Code SHARPRIVPortsmouth, VA casino
FanDuel Virginia$1,000 no sweat first betWashington Commanders
PointsBet VirginiaTwo risk-free bets up to $2,000 - Use Promo Code BONUSDAYColonial Downs Group, LLC
Unibet Virginia$100 risk free bet - Use Promo Code BETBONUSN/A
SI Sportsbook VABet $10, get $80 in free betsAuthentic Brands Group
Golden Nugget Sportsbook VAFree bet up to $250 - Use Bonus Code SHARPThe Greenbrier
Bally Bet VirginiaRisk-free bet up to $550 N/A
Barstool Sportsbook VAUp to $1,000 risk-free bet on first deposit + $10 no-deposit bonus N/A
WynnBet VirginiaBet $10, Get $200N/A
Hard Rock Sportsbook VAUp to $100 in risk-free betsUpcoming Bristol, VA casino
Betway VirginiaRisk-free bet up to $250 Digital Gaming Corporation VA, LLC

Retail Sportsbooks In Virginia

In July 2022, Hard Rock Sportsbook in Bristol became the first retail Sportsbook to open in the state of Virginia. Virginia residents voted in favor of legalizing both online and in-person betting in November 2020. Land-based casinos are coming to the state. These are the following casinos Virginia residents can expect to visit by next year:

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol

This hotel and casino already has a physical address (500 Gate City Hwy) in Bristol, the “Birthplace of Country Music.” It will feature event and convention facilities and anticipates attracting over 4 million visitors per year. A temporary version of the casino is expected to be the first land-based casino to launch in Virigina, on July 8. The permanent version is on track to open in July 2024.

Caesars Virginia Danville

The City of Danville approved Caesars Entertainment’s proposal to build a casino in the city. In September, Caesars released a rendering of the casino–an estimated $500 million dollar project. The casino will feature a Caesars Sportsbook, 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and 500 hotel rooms.

HeadWaters Resort & Casino In Norfolk

The City of Norfolk and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe teamed up to bring the HeadWaters Resort & Casino to Norfolk next year. The casino will be on the banks of the Elizabeth River in an effort to revitalize the waterfront in Norfolk. City officials also expect a great revenue stream for the city and thousands of new jobs for residents. The project will cost an estimated $500 million and will feature a 2,500 seat entertainment venue, 300 hotel rooms, and sports bar.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Rivers Casino Portsmouth has already begun to break ground on over 50 acres in Portsmouth. The casino will feature more than 62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space that will include an entertainment venue and the BetRivers sportsbook.

Virginia Sports Betting Overall Score
Reader Rating19 Votes
Licensed by the Virginia Lottery
Sportsbooks offer plenty of variety
Player friendly sportsbook sign-up offers
Limited college betting

Virginia’s Legal Sportsbooks

Ultimately, Virginia’s legal sportsbooks are far superior to any illegal or offshore betting sites.

For starters, every Virginian sportsbook is licensed and regulated by the Virginia Lottery. This overseeing body performs regular investigations into all the sportsbooks within Virginia’s borders. It also makes sure that any operating sportsbook has excellent digital security to protect the financial data of its users.

Internet security is particularly important because identity theft and other cyber threats are much more common these days. In contrast, offshore or illegal sites usually don’t have high-quality security, let alone basic SSL certification. This means anyone who uses those sites puts their personal information and financial data at risk.

All licensed sportsbooks in Virginia must both have insurance for their users and must report their winnings to the state government and IRS. This does mean that you’ll need to pay taxes on any net winnings you get from using a Virginia sportsbook. But it’s a small price to pay for security and peace of mind. 

Virginia’s Sports Betting Revenue

The Virginia Lottery’s report for April showed the state’s sportsbooks took in $399,478,366, representing a year-over-year 69% increase from April 2021 when only seven operators were active.  In March, Virginians wagered $469.5 million, the second highest monthly wagering activity since the record performance in January 2022.

Virginians are splitting those bets fairly evenly among different sports, but of course some are more popular than others. According to an internal DraftKings study, the top three events for Virginia bettors are NFL, NBA, and college football games, in that order. When those seasons are in full swing, betting handle should reach its peak. In the first year of legal sports betting in Virginia, bettors split their bets between professional basketball (21.5%), professional football (17.4%), and parlays (18.5%).

The success of Virginia sports betting is great news for all residents of the Commonwealth, not just sports fans. Per Virginia’s sports betting legislation, a 12% tax rate will apply to most sports betting revenue. A 2019 study indicated that the state could see $55 million in taxes each year. This money is put into the General Fund, which pays for things like schools, property tax relief, road maintenance, etc. (Some of the money is also devoted to problem gaming initiatives.)

FanDuel (which was the first to launch), DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars top the list of operators who have the largest market share in Virginia.

How Virginia Compares To Other States

Virginia’s sports betting legislation is pretty similar to the rules adopted by other states, like New Jersey. For example, Virginia’s sports betting restriction against betting on collegiate teams from its own universities is identical to the laws adopted by New Jersey sportsbooks.

In contrast, Pennsylvania doesn’t have any restrictions on collegiate sports betting, which goes to show that individual states have clearly different opinions about what constitutes moral sports wagering.

Furthermore, there are states that have adopted sports betting without allowing casinos to be built. For instance, Tennessee now allows sports betting but does not allow either casinos or poker. In contrast, Virginia will allow retail casinos to be built across five cities (with the potential for more in the future).

In summary, Virginia is around the middle of the pack in terms of gambling opportunities and freedom. Once the state government sees the extra income earned from sports betting, other restrictions may eventually be lifted, such as online casino gaming.

Virginia Betting Successes And Failures

Virginia’s Sports Betting Success

Certainly, the numbers indicate that the Old Dominion has has had a lot of early success in sports betting. More than $3.2 billion in sports wagers were made in Virginia during its first year of operation.

A large reason for Virginia’s success has been the state’s ability to move decisively once online sports gambling was approved. For example, Virginia legislature decided to launch online sports wagering before retail casinos were constructed. Because building a new casino or resort takes a few years at a minimum, Virginian residents are no doubt relieved that they’ll still be able to enjoy mobile sports betting before those brick-and-mortar locations are ready.

Furthermore, Virginia’s Lottery performed rather impressively when it came to creating the rules and regulations for sports betting. In just a few months, sports betting went from illegal in Virginia to fully licensed and regulated.

The Lottery began accepting applications in the fall of 2020 and finished accepting applications by Halloween. In total, eighteen sportsbooks are set to launch over the next few years when you combine online sites and retail operations. About 25 companies applied for licenses. 

In other words, Virginia’s sports betting scene is so far impressive due to its speed. Few states have launched sports betting as successfully and efficiently. 

Where Could Virginia Improve Online Gambling

Virginia could definitely improve its online gambling sphere by expanding it. For now, the only online gambling activity is sports betting (and daily fantasy sports, which technically doesn’t count as gambling). Online casinos and real money poker sites are banned. Even the state lottery must be played in person, preventing people from purchasing lottery tickets online.

For the closest legal online gambling outside of sports betting, Virginia bettors will need to travel to other states, such as West Virginia.

However, it may be that Virginia legislators are looking to see how sports betting fully actualizes over the next few years before lifting the restriction on other forms of gambling. Hopefully, we’ll see many more gambling opportunities launch over the next decade. 

Virginia could also make sports betting more accessible by allowing bets on local college teams, particularly in a state that doesn’t have any professional teams to officially call its own.

Legalization Effort In Virginia

The path to sports betting legalization in Virginia was long and hard-fought. Although the federal ban on sports gambling was lifted in May 2018, it took until 2019 for Virginian lawmakers to even begin debating sports betting proposals.

Then it took the rest of 2019 to reach an agreement. By late spring, the Virginia House and Senate crafted a pair of bills outlining sports betting rules and restrictions. Both bills faced a little pushback from Governor Ralph Northam, who made a number of unspecified changes.

Fortunately, Northam did not stand in the way of progress and allowed both bills to pass the House and Senate. He then signed off on the final bills and set the date for legalization.

It’s likely that Northam was responsible for the two-month waiting period before official sports betting processes could begin. During this time frame, the Virginia Lottery wrote the details of the sports betting regulations.

Timeline For Virginia Sports Betting

  • May 2018 – Sports betting ban is lifted at the federal level
  • April 2020 – Bills HB 896 and SB 384 pass the Virginia House and Senate, respectively
  • April 2020 – Gov. Ralph Northam signs both bills and legalizes sports betting in Virginia
  • July 2020 – Sports betting officially becomes legal in Virginia
  • July 2020 – Temporary sports betting regulations are issued
  • August 2020 – Updated sportsbook draft regulations are released by the Lottery
  • September 2020 – Virginia Lottery publishes its official sports betting regulations
  • October 2020 – The Lottery starts accepting license applications from sportsbook operators
  • October 2020 – The sportsbook application window closes
  • November 2020 – Referendum held by Virginia cities to decide whether to allow or outlaw casino construction
  • January 2021 – Online and mobile sports betting launches in Virginia
  • January 2022  Virginia marked its one-year anniversary with more than $3.2 billion in total sports betting handle.

Virginia Professional Sports Teams

Virginia residents have long dreamed of online sports betting coming to their state in large part because many of them are sports fanatics. Interestingly, though,  no major-league professional sports franchises play within the boundaries of the Old Dominion.

However, many Virginians consider Washington DC professional sports teams their hometown clubs. In fact, both the NFL‘s Washington Commanders and NHL‘s Washington Capitals have their practice facilities and corporate headquarters stationed in Northern Virginia. However, neither team actually plays games in Virginia. 

MLB‘s Washington Nationals, the NBA‘s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and MLS’ DC United are also based in DC. Therefore, Virginia bettors should expect to see promotions such as odds boosts for games involving these teams.

Other popular pro sports teams in Virginia are those based out of Baltimore: the Orioles and the Ravens. Some southern Virginians prefer the Carolina Hurricanes or Charlotte Panthers.

Overall, Virginia sports fans root for a variety of different pro teams as they wait patiently for one to truly call their own.

Virginia College Sports Teams

Because no major-league professional teams play in Virginia, many of the Commonwealth’s residents prefer college sports instead. The Virginia Tech Hokies and Virginia Cavaliers are two of the country’s biggest names for both college football and basketball. Plenty of other college teams are located in Virginia as well, such as Liberty, Old Dominion, Norfolk State, VCU, George Mason, and many more.

However, Virginia’s current sports betting legislation has placed severe limitations on college sports betting. In fact, it is currently not legal to place sports bets on Virginia college sports within the state. Recent attempts have been made to change that, but they were unsuccessful.

For now, Virginia residents are only allowed to place bets on college sports teams in other states (except proposition bets and live betting, which are still prohibited). This is likely a big bummer for some sports betting enthusiasts,  but there are still lots of other options. This includes being able to bet on the Georgetown Hoyas and the Maryland Terrapins, two popular local college basketball teams.

Other Sports To Bet On In Virginia

Aside from what are considered the major professional sports leagues, Virginian sports bettors are able to find and enjoy lots of excellent betting markets for other activities.  Many residents of the Commonwealth love NASCAR, in part because Virginia is home to four different annual races in the NASCAR Cup Series. International soccer and esports have also been gaining popularity in recent years.

Really, though, no matter what sport or activity you enjoy, there is almost for sure a betting market for it on at least one mobile app. Even niche sports like darts, Korean baseball, and rugby have markets.  For that matter, occasionally non-sports events like the Oscars will make it onto apps.

Just realize that every sportsbook is different in what they offer.  So if you can’t find what you are looking for on one app, try another. If nothing else, you can enjoy the welcome bonus while you evaluate the app!

Best NFL Odds in Virginia

How To Place A Bet In Virginia

Virginia’s sports betting legislation has made placing an online wager quick and easy. 

Choose A Sportsbook

First, choose your sportsbook from the details of each one above. Then download the platform via the App Store or Google Play, or bet directly on the sportsbook’s website. The Android app may need to be downloaded directly from the sportsbook’s website as well if it’s not listed in Google Play, which only recently began allowing legal gambling apps.

There’s no law against joining multiple online sportsbooks. In fact, it’s a good idea if you want to shop around for the best odds before placing a bet. For example, odds on the winner of the Super Bowl can vary significantly between Virginia online sports betting apps.

Register For An Account

Registering for a mobile sportsbook account is simple. You do not need to visit any retail location in-person to complete the registration process like in Illinois and Nevada.

Provide your name, address, Social Security Number, and any other required pieces of information. The app will verify your info for a moment, then allow you into the app if you are older than 21 years old and physically located inside Virginia. The app will also utilize geolocation to make sure you are accessing the app within the state’s borders.

Make A Deposit

Mobile sportsbooks allow you to utilize multiple deposit methods to fund your sports betting account. Most allow credit and debit card deposits, bank transfers, and electronic wallet transfers like PayPal and Play+ prepaid cards.

Important note: credit card deposits usually count as cash advance transactions, which come with fees. It’s best to use online bank transfer or PayPal instead for both deposits and cashing out.

Then you can decide how much money you want to place in your account. This will allow you to take advantage of the many sportsbook welcome bonuses in Virginia. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions before opting in.

Place Bets

Once your account is funded, you can navigate through the app as you like and start placing wagers. Be sure to take advantage of any opening bonuses that might apply to your account. These include deposit-match bonuses, risk-free bets, and more depending on the app.

Virginia Sports Betting FAQs

Yes, Virginia offers eight sports betting apps, and two more are set to launch in the near future. Online sports betting is legal provided it is done on a licensed app currently regulated by the Virginia Lottery. The first sports betting app launched in early 2021. Options include DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, PointsBet, WynnBET, Unibet, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, and Golden Nugget. 

The industry’s top sports betting apps are all available in Virginia: BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel head the list. and they are consistently the most popular choices in the Old Dominion.

The Virginia Lottery regulates all online sportsbook activity. In addition, this organization will oversee retail sportsbook operations once they launch at brick-and-mortar casinos throughout Virginian cities.

No, you do not need to be a Virginia resident to bet online in Virginia. You just have to be 21 and physically located in the Commonwealth to place a bet. Any Virginia mobile sportsbook will request your address and install geolocation software as the app installs. This requires you to be within Virginia’s borders when placing a wager or using a mobile sportsbook.

Yes. Mobile sportsbooks currently operating in Virginia are licensed and regulated by the VA Lottery. This means that the Lottery investigated the operator and found that they had both excellent digital security, such as SSL certification, and insurance to protect its users in the event of fraud or theft.

In other words, any legal online sportsbooks are well-vetted and should be safe to use. If you have any issues, you can bring a grievance to the Virginia Lottery and they will investigate on your behalf.

Yes, but there are restrictions. You can’t place any sports wagers on games involving Virginian college teams, like the Virginia Tech Hokies. You can place college sports bets on out-of-state college teams, but prop bets and live bets are not allowed on college sports.

More Resources On Virginia Sports Betting

About the Author
Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.

Get connected with us on Social Media