Virginia Sports Betting 2024: $4,900 in Bonuses at VA Sportsbook Apps

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Legal sports betting in Virginia arrived on Jan. 20, 2021, and you can find a wide range of Virginia sports betting apps and sportsbook sites to choose from.

VA sports betting handle — and, by extension, tax revenue — remain strong even after two years of legal wagering in the “Old Dominion.”

Are you looking to join the action and sign up with one of the best Virginia sports betting apps? There are more than a dozen VA sportsbook apps to choose from, so bettors have several opportunities to claim Virginia sportsbook promos and line shop for sports betting odds at the top-rated sportsbooks in the country.

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Virginia Sports Betting: At a Glance

Virginia is home to a growing list of casinos, and online sports betting is readily available. The state features a wide range of betting options.

Virginia Sports Betting: Quick Facts
Virginia Population8.7 million
Legal Betting Age21+
Sports Betting RegulatorVirginia Lottery
Online Sportsbooks✔ Available
Retail Sportsbooks✔ Available
College Sports Betting⚠ Available (except in-state teams)
Esports Betting⚠ Available (in fantasy sports contests only)
Tax Rate15%

Is Sports Betting Legal 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 Virginia lawmakers to even begin debating sports betting proposals. Then it took the rest of 2019 to sort out the details.

By late spring of 2020, the Virginia Assembly and then-Gov. Ralph Northam reached an agreement on sports betting rules and restrictions.

How We Got Here

  • May 2018 — Sports betting ban is lifted at the federal level.
  • April 2020 — Gov. Ralph Northam signs two bills that legalize sports betting in Virginia.
  • September to October 2020 — Virginia Lottery publishes its official sports betting regulations and accepts license applications from sportsbook operators.
  • Jan. 20, 2021 — FanDuel takes the first online sports bet in Virginia. DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and Caesars all launch within the first two weeks of Virginia sports betting.

Best Virginia Sports Betting Apps

Casinos and sports venues worked with the Virginia Lottery to bring 16 sportsbooks to the state. Unibet Sportsbook plans to leave the Virginia market in 2024, so the count will be down to 15 soon.

bet365 Sportsbook Virginia

bet365 Sportsbook Virginia

Best for Data

  • bet365 Virginia Bonus: Use bet365 Virginia bonus code GTODAYVA to claim one of two terrific welcome offers: Bet $5 and get $150 in Bonus Bets OR get a First Bet Safety Net Up to $1,000 if you prefer. They can’t be combined. Other T&Cs may apply. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-Gambler 21+
  • bet365 is Best For: Data. bet365 has incredibly strong ratings for its app features, app functionality, and total offerings.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
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Betway Sportsbook Virginia

Betway Sportsbook Virginia

Best for First Bet Reset

  • Betway Virginia Promo Offer: Use our Click to Claim promo code to Bet $50 and Get $200 in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet wins!
  • Betway Is Best For: A set of bonus bets that allow you to get involved in sports wagers you may not have otherwise been interested in!
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BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

Best for MGM reward points & new bettors

  • BetMGM Virginia Bonus: Use our exclusive offer at Gaming Today! Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets instantly. Use bonus code TODAY. *Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.
  • BetMGM is Best For: Players also looking to use physical rewards through the M Life loyalty program. Frequent bettors can receive discounts and various promotions at MGM locations nationwide.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
BetMGM Sportsbook Review
Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Best for New Users

  • Caesars Virginia Promo: CLICK TO CLAIM a $1,000 First Bet at Caesars Virginia. Be sure to use the Welcome Code TODAY1000 before you make your first bet.  
  • 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
FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

Best sportsbook iOS & Android App

  • FanDuel Virginia Welcome Bonus: Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins.
  • 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
Hard Rock Bet Virginia Sportsbook

Hard Rock Bet Virginia Sportsbook

Best for Parlay Insurance

  • Hard Rock Bet Bonus: No Regret First Bet up to $100 at Hard Rock Bet. CLICK HERE to redeem the offer and get started.
  • Hard Rock Bet Is Best For: Hard Rock Bet is known for its customized parlay experience using the “Flex Parlay” feature. The Hard Rock Sportsbook offer does not require new members to enter a promo code. Just follow the Gaming Today link, make an initial deposit, and place a qualifying bet.
  • Local Partner: Hard Rock Casino in Bristol, VA
Read our full Hard Rock Sportsbook Review
BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

Best for Deposit Bonus

  • BetRivers Virginia Bonus: Receive second chance bet credit up to $500 affiliate code TODAYRIV
  • BetRivers Is Best For: BetRivers offers new users the chance to claim a second chance bet credit up to $500. If your first wager loses, receive a Bonus 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
DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia

DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia

Best For Ongoing Promotions

  • DraftKings Virginia Promo: New users in Virginia can sign up to claim up to $2,050 in bonus offers at DraftKings VA. Learn More You’ll receive a $50 Bonus Bet on deposit and a 20% deposit match, up to $1,000. You will also get DraftKings’ No Sweat First Bet up to $1,000+ All Sports SGP Insurance.
  • DraftKings is Best For: Giving new players up to $2,050 in bonuses for a great overall experience with a well-rated sports betting app.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
Read our full DraftKings Sportsbook Review

Virginia Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • December 28, 2023:

    October’s $571.3 million handle generated $213,755 for the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.

  • October 16, 2023:

    The Virginia Lottery released August sports betting numbers at the start of the month. Sportsbooks collected $319 million in bets for the month and paid out about $286.6 million in winnings for a 10.14% hold.

  • August 11, 2023:

    WynnBET took its first online Virginia sports bet in March of 2021 … and it’s about to take its last. The company announced plans to deactivate WynnBET in the commonwealth and seven other states. CFO Julie Cameron-Doe said the company will focus on “states where we maintain a physical presence.” It had less than 1 percent of the market share in VA.

  • June 27, 2023:

    While there is no real effort at the moment to legalize online casinos in Virginia, the potential legalization of North Carolina sports betting apps could pressure Virginia to find another revenue stream with North Carolina likely stealing some sports betting business.

  • May 19, 2023:

    Virginia may see a change on the online sports betting horizon soon. Fanatics Sportsbook plans to take over PointsBet US operations. PointsBet has a presence in Virginia, but that could shift to Fanatics as part of a $150 million acquisition.

  • May 3, 2023:

    The Virginia Lottery released the March sports betting numbers on May 1. Virginia operators took in $511.6 million for the month, which was 9% higher than the same month in 2022.

  • April 25, 2023:

    A Washington Commanders DE was among five NFL players suspended for sports betting. Shaka Toney’s suspension is indefinite, but he can apply to be reinstated into the league after a year. NFL investigators didn’t find any proof that insider information changed hands. The league has no reason to think games were compromised. Four members of the Detroit Lions also received suspensions for making sports bets.

  • February 1, 2023:

    Virginia opened their Gaming Tip Line, helping connect bettors with state agencies who have concerns about illegal gambling policies and practices.

  • January 16, 2023:

    Sen. Jeremy Pike pre-filed bill SB 1142. This bill would allow promotional deductions from taxable revenue for all Virginia sportsbooks beginning July 2023. The bill would undo rule changes made last year that banned promotional deductions by VA operators.

Best Virginia Sportsbook Promos: Welcome Offers

There are currently 16 online/mobile sportsbooks licensed for use in Virginia. Each sportsbook has a partnership with a Virginia casino or sports franchise.

📱VA Sportsbook💰Promotion🎯Promo CodePartner
📱Bet365 Sportsbook💰Bet $5 & Get $150 in Bonus Bets or get a First Bet Safety Net Up to $1,000🎯GTODAYVAN/A
📱Betway Sportsbook💰Bet $50, Get $200 in Bonus Bets if you win your first wager🎯Click to ClaimDigital Gaming Corporation VA, LLC
📱BetMGM Sportsbook💰Bet $5 and Get $150 in Bonus Bets🎯TODAYN/A
📱Caesars Sportsbook💰Get up to $1,000 on Caesars🎯TODAY1000Caesars Entertainment
📱FanDuel Sportsbook💰Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets if your bet wins🎯Click to ClaimWashington Commanders
📱Hard Rock Bet Sportsbook💰No Regret First Bet up to $100 🎯Click to ClaimHard Rock Casino in Bristol, VA
📱BetRivers Sportsbook💰Get a Second Chance Bet Credit up to $100🎯Click to ClaimPortsmouth, VA casino
📱DraftKings Sportsbook💰Claim up to $2,050 in Bonus Offers🎯Click to ClaimN/A

Other Types of Gambling in VA

The Virginia Lottery oversees sports betting. The state agency also offers online lotto buys and scratch games. Both online and in-person gaming options are readily available.

Gambling AlternativeLegal?
Social Sportsbooks
Daily Fantasy Sports
Horse Racing Betting
Lottery
Online Casinos
Online Poker

VA Sweeps Games and Social Casinos

Real-money online casino games aren’t legal in Virginia, but Sweepstakes Games can offer a similar gaming experience. Sites like Luckyland Casino and Chumba use fictional currency — like sweeps coins or gold coins — as part of the gameplay.

Users climb up leaderboards based on their coin stacks. That element adds to the social experience.

The coins can be redeemed for real cash prizes. You can also purchase more coins online to extend your playing time.

Virginia DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports)

Pick ’em Daily Fantasy Sports options are getting a closer look in Virginia. The state may soon require an operator’s license for “player vs. house” games. As of now, companies like PrizePicks and Underdog Fantasy can operate without a license as they do in other states.

VA Horse Racing Betting

Colonial Downs in New Kent is Virginia’s only thoroughbred racetrack, but the venue is steeped in history. The state’s harness racing track is Shenandoah Downs in Woodstock.

Eight locations offer off-track betting including:

  • Rosies’s Gaming Emporiums in Dumphries, Emporia, Hampton, Richmond and Vinton.
  • Breakers Sports Grille in Henrico
  • Buckets Bar and Grill in Chesapeake
  • Ponies and Pints in Richmond
  • The Windmill OTB Sports Grill in Collinsville

HHR (Historial Horse Racing) Parlors like Rosie’s have been operating HHR machines since 2019. The machines take bets based on thousands of archived horse race replays. Bets are essentially pooled and payouts are based on a pari-mutuel wagering system.

TwinSpires Racing, TVG, DK Horse, and FanDuel Racing are all Virginia horse betting options in the commonwealth.

How to Bet on Sports in Virginia

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.

1

Use a Welcome Offer to Select a Sports App

Sign up directly on the sportsbook’s website or download the platform via the App Store or Google Play. The links at Gaming Today will help you through the process.

The best offers can only be used with your first bet, so choose a sportsbook that fits the wager you have in mind. (Or explore a wager that fits the welcome offer you like.)

2

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.

3

Make A Deposit

Mobile sportsbooks allow you to use 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.

4

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, bonus bets, and more depending on the app.

Virginia Teams: Futures Betting

Virginia residents have long dreamed of online sports betting coming to their state.

Now some major pro franchises could be on their way, too.

Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards wants to move the teams to the Potomac Yard district in Alexandria.

Many Virginians already 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 DC United of the MLS 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, Charlotte Hornets, or Carolina Panthers.

TeamLeagueChampionship Futures
Washington Commanders🏈 NFL
Baltimore Ravens🏈 NFL
Carolina Panthers🏈 NFL2024 Futures Odds Soon
Washington Wizards🏀 NBA
Charlotte Hornets🏀 NBA
Washingont Capitals🏒NHL
Carolina Hurricanes🏒NHL
Washington Nationals⚾️ MLB
Baltimore Orioles⚾️ MLB

Washington Commanders

The franchise started as the Boston Braves and Redskins from 1932 to 1936. They moved south to Washington, DC at the start of the 1937 season. The “Redskins” team name and branding was phased out in 2019.

The franchise went by “Washington Football Team” for two seasons. The “Commanders” name arrived in time for the 2022 season.

Washington won two NFL titles (1937 and 1942) before the league’s merger with the AFL. Their Super Bowl wins came in 1982 (XVII), 1987 (XXII), and 1991 (XXVI).

Your Football Betting Guide — Top NFL Betting Apps | NFL Odds | Best College Football Betting Sites | Best Football Promo Codes

Washington Wizards

The Wizards began as the Chicago Packers and Chicago Zephyrs from 1961 to 1963. The franchise moved east as the Baltimore Bullets and Capital Bullets from 1963 to 1974.

The Washington Bullets era spanned from 1974 to 1997 and included the team’s only NBA title in 1978. The last name change happened to start the 1997-98 season. The Wizards’ most recent division title happened in the 2017 NBA playoffs.

Betting on Basketball? Try: Best NBA Betting Sites | NBA Odds | Best College Basketball Betting Sites | Latest Basketball Promo Codes

Washington Capitals

The Capitals made their NHL debut in 1974. They share Capital One Arena with the Wizards and have a Stanley Cup from the 2017-18 season. The team reached the Stanley Cup Final in the 1997-98 season as well.

Overall, the franchise has 13 division titles. Washington boasts three President’s Trophies for finishing the regular season with the best record.

Your Hockey Betting Guide — Best NHL Betting Sites | NHL Odds | Latest NHL Promo Codes

Washington Nationals

The history of the modern-day Washington Nationals dates back to 1969 when Montreal was granted an MLB franchise as the Expos. Aside from a 1981 NL East title, the franchise didn’t see much success in Canada.

The Nationals have flashed some great seasons, but times have been tough in recent years. They won the NL East in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017. The 2019 wild card team ran the table to win Washinton’s only World Series title.

More Baseball Betting Info — Best MLB Betting Sites | MLB Odds | Latest Baseball Promo Codes

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. Here’s a look at the full list of D1 programs:

  • George Mason
  • Hampton
  • James Madison
  • Liberty
  • Longwood
  • Norfolk State
  • Old Dominion University
  • Radford
  • Richmond
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • Virginia Tech
  • William and Mary 

However, Virginia’s current sports betting legislation has severely limited college sports betting. It is currently not legal to place sports bets on Virginia college teams within the state. Recent attempts have been made to change that, but they were unsuccessful.

Virginia residents can only place single-game bets on college sports teams in other states. You can place a futures bet on Virginia teams to reach a certain round of the NCAA Tournament, for example.

The lack of single-game college bets is likely a big bummer for some sports betting enthusiasts. There are still lots of other options. This includes being able to bet on the Georgetown Hoyas and the Maryland Terrapins, two popular regional college basketball teams.

Other Sports To Bet On In Virginia

Aside from the major professional sports leagues, Virginia sports bettors can find and enjoy many excellent betting markets for other activities. Many Commonwealth residents love NASCAR, partly because Virginia is home to four different annual races in the NASCAR Cup Series. The love for auto racing translates to Formula 1 championship odds as well.

In addition to MLS bets for teams like DC United, consider International soccer bets as well. Champions League betting odds and odds to win the Premier League have been gaining popularity in recent years.

Really, though, no matter what sport or activity you enjoy, there is almost certainly a betting market for it on at least one mobile app. Even niche sports like darts, Korean baseball, and rugby have markets.

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!

Complete List of Virginia Sportsbook Apps

The Virginia Lottery does not have any sports betting permits left, so the list of sportsbook options will be down to 15 once Unibet leaves the market in 2024.

📱Sportsbook✅ Mobile and/or Retail?
📱bet365 VA✅ Mobile
📱Betway VA✅ Mobile
📱BetMGM VA✅ Mobile
📱Caesars VA✅ Mobile and Retail
📱FanDuel VA✅ Mobile and Retail
📱Hard Rock VA✅ Mobile and Retail
📱BetRivers VA✅ Mobile and Retail
📱Betfred VA✅ Mobile
📱DraftKings VA✅ Mobile
📱Fanatics Sportsbook VA✅ Mobile and Retail
📱Bally Bet VA✅ Mobile
📱Betr Sportsbook VA✅ Mobile
📱ESPN Bet VA✅ Mobile
📱SI Sportsbook VA✅ Mobile
📱SuperBook Sports VA✅ Mobile
📱Unibet VA✅ Mobile (Closing Soon)

Latest Virginia Sports Betting News

Legal VA Betting Markets

Virginia bettors can place wagers on everything from badminton to water polo. Of course, all of the major North American leagues are covered. They’re easy to find at your favorite sportsbook.

Illegal VA Betting Markets

Unfortunately, Virginia is a bit conservative about college sports wagers. Sports betting apps aren’t allowed to carry odds for Virginia’s in-state NCAA programs. You can still bet on college teams outside of Virginia’s borders.

The state doesn’t allow pro sports draft position bets, postseason award bets, or bets on the July 4 hot dog contest.

Pros and Cons of Virginia Sports Betting

Virginia Sports Betting Overall Score
Reader Rating19 Votes
Pro's
Licensed by the Virginia Lottery
Sportsbooks offer plenty of variety
Player friendly sportsbook sign-up offers
Con's
Limited college betting
4.6

How Virginia Compares To Other States

Virginia’s sports betting legislation is 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.

Virginia sportsbooks can’t take bets on individual games, but March Madness bets like “Virginia to reach the Sweet 16” or “Virginia to win the National Championship” are allowed.

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 in up to 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 Sports Betting Revenue and Handle

The Virginia Lottery’s report for October 2023 showed the state’s sportsbooks reported $571.4 million in bets for the month. That’s about 8.2% higher than the same month in 2022.

Adjusted gross revenue (after customer winnings, allowable bonuses, and other deductions are taken out) was about $56.4 million in October. Altogether, sports betting contributed just shy of $8.6 million to the tax base for the month.

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 15% tax rate will apply to most sports betting revenue. 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), BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings top the list of operators who have the largest market share in Virginia.

DateTotal Amount Bet (Handle)Adjusted Gross RevenueTotal Tax
January to December 2021$3,221,790,714$130,867,157$20,340,022
January to December 2022$4,914,954,448$348,313,223$51,765,746
January to October (YTD)$4,318,010,047$384,174,571$58,390,376
Lifetime Total$12,454,755,209$863,354,951$130,496,144

Virginia Responsible Gaming

The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling is in place to improve the well-being of Virginians impacted by gambling.

If your gambling behavior disrupts your career or your relationships with friends and family, please consider the professional resources available.

Virginia Council on Problem Gambling’s 24-hour, confidential toll-free helpline is 1-888-532-3500. The VCPG site has a chat option as well.

The Virginia Lottery website includes a voluntary self-exclusion form, which is available for anyone who wants to limit their access to betting products.

Why Use a Legal Sportsbook in VA?

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 Sports Betting Successes and Failures

Successes

Certainly, the numbers indicate that the Old Dominion has enjoyed a lot of early success in sports betting. More than $4.9 billion in sports wagers were made in Virginia during its second 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, the Virginia General Assembly decided to launch online sports wagering before retail casinos were constructed.

A new casino or resort takes a few years at a minimum, so Virginia residents were no doubt relieved they were still able to enjoy online sports betting before those brick-and-mortar locations were 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, up to 19 sportsbooks could launch over the next few years.

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.

Failures

Virginia could definitely improve its online gambling sphere by expanding it. Online casinos and real money poker sites are banned.

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

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 online gambling. Hopefully, we’ll see many more gambling opportunities launch over the next decade.

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

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, Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock was the first land-based casino to launch in Virigina, on July 8, 2022. 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. Operators would like to have a temporary casino open in the summer of 2023.

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. Operators will start with a temporary casino near the city’s AAA Minor League ballpark.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Rivers Casino Portsmouth became the first full-service casino to open in the state of Virginia. It joins Bristol’s temporary casino as the state’s two land-based casino options for now. The casino features more than 62,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space that includes an entertainment venue and the BetRivers sportsbook.

Virginia Sports Betting FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in Virginia?

Yes, Virginia offers 16 sports betting apps. 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 FanDuel, BetMGM, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, ESPN Bet and DraftKings. 

What is the best sports betting app in Virginia?

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

Who regulates online sportsbook apps in Virginia?

The Virginia Lottery regulates all online sportsbook activity. In addition, the agency oversees retail sportsbook operations as they launch at brick-and-mortar casinos throughout Virginia.

Do I need to be a resident of Virginia to bet online?

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.

Is it safe to use an online sportsbook app in Virginia?

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.

Is it legal to bet on college sports in Virginia?

Yes, but there are restrictions. You can’t place any sports wagers on games involving Virginia 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.

Virginia Sports Betting Industry: More Resources

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About the Author
Emma Carlin

Emma Carlin

Senior Writer
Based in Washington, D.C, Emma Carlin is a senior writer at Gaming Today. She has spent most of her career in public relations, writing and producing content for professional teams and athletes. In her downtime, you can find Carlin at a D.C. United or Washington Capitals game.

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