Virginia Sports Betting 2024: Top VA Sportsbook Apps to Explore

Virginia sports betting has been legal since Jan. 20, 2021. There are 14 regulated sports betting apps currently operating in the state.

With more than a dozen VA sportsbook apps to choose from, bettors have several opportunities to claim Virginia sportsbook promos and shop for sports betting odds at the top-rated sportsbooks.

Here, we break down everything you need to know about the VA sports betting industry, from news and revenue data to sportsbook reviews, and much more.

Best Virginia Sports Betting Apps

Rank
Sportsbooks
Bonus
Features
Play
1
UP TO $1,000
In Bonus Bets
First Bet Safety Net up to $1,000, or Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets
Sign Up, Deposit and Play Today in VA!
Gambling Problem? Call or TEXT 1-800-Gambler 21+
Use Bonus Code: GTODAYVA
2
up to $1,500
In Bonus Bets
Up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets if Your First Bet Doesn't Win*
*Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Use Bonus Code: TODAY
3
$1,000 FIRST BET
On Caesars
Up to $1,000 Back as a Bonus Bet if Your Bet Loses
Stream NFL Games In-App for Free
21+ Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER
Use Promo Code: TODAY1000
4
Bet $5
Get $200
If Your Bet Wins
Bet $5 Get $200 in Bonus Bets if Your Bet Wins
PLUS a Daily Boost or Bonus All Summer
Available on Desktop, Android & iOS
To Claim: Click Play Now
5
Up to $100
Bonus Bet
Up to $100 Back if Your First Bet Doesn't Win
Get Your Bets Boosted
To Claim: Click Play Now
6
$500 Bonus
2nd Chance Bet
Up To $500 in Bet Credits
ONLY 1x Play Through!
Use Affiliate Code: TODAYRIV

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. These offers cannot 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.
  • Highlights:
    • Key features: Competitive odds, ease of use
    • App Store rating: 4.6
    • Google Play Store rating: 4.6
    • Live streaming? Yes
bet365 Sportsbook Review
BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia

Best for MGM rewards across the US

  • BetMGM Virginia Bonus: Use our exclusive offer at Gaming Today! Get $1,500 in Bonus Bets Paid Back if Your First Bet Does Not Win. Use bonus code TODAY. *Bonus Bets Expire in 7 Days. One New Customer Offer Only. Add’l terms.
  • BetMGM is Best For: Players looking to use physical rewards through the BetMGM Rewards loyalty program. Frequent bettors can receive discounts and various promotions at MGM locations nationwide.
  • Local Partner: None at this time.
  • Highlights:
    • Key features: Promotions, user interface
    • App Store rating: 4.8
    • Google Play Store rating: 4.5
    • Live streaming? Yes
BetMGM Sportsbook Review
Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Caesars Sportsbook Virginia

Best for New Users

  • Caesars Virginia Promo: 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.
  • Local Partners: None at this time.
  • Highlights:
    • Key features: Rewards program, promotions
    • App Store rating: 4.8
    • Google Play Store rating: 4.3
    • Live streaming? Yes
Caesars Sportsbook Review
FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia

Best sportsbook iOS & Android app

  • FanDuel Virginia Welcome Bonus: Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets if Your Bet Wins PLUS all customers (new and existing) get a daily Boost or Bonus all summer.
  • 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.
  • Highlights:
    • Key features: Mobile app experience, betting market variety
    • App Store rating: 4.9
    • Google Play Store rating: 4.5
    • Live streaming? Yes
FanDuel Sportsbook Review
Hard Rock Bet Virginia Sportsbook

Hard Rock Bet Virginia Sportsbook

Best for Parlay Insurance

  • Hard Rock Bet Bonus: Up to $100 back if your first bet loses at Hard Rock Bet.
  • Hard Rock Bet Is Best For: Its customized parlay experience through 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
  • Highlights
    • Key features: Parlay options, app interface
    • App Store rating: 4.8
    • Google Play Store rating: 4.7
    • Live streaming? Yes
Hard Rock Sportsbook Review
BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia

Best for Deposit Bonus

  • BetRivers Virginia Bonus: Receive a Second Chance Bet Credit up to $500 with promo code code TODAYRIV.
  • BetRivers Is Best For: BetRivers offers a sleek app that’s easy to use and perfect for novice bettors. There are regular promotions for existing customers as well, so it’s an ideal platform for bettors interested in profit boost tokens and other types of bonuses.
  • Local Partner: Rivers Casino Portsmouth
  • Highlights:
    • Key features: Betting markets, odds value
    • App Store rating: 4.6
    • Google Play Store rating: 3.8
    • Live streaming? Yes
BetRivers Sportsbook Review

Latest Virginia Sports Betting News and Industry Updates

  • July 10, 2024:

    Betway Sportsbook will be exiting the US, according to a release from its parent company, Super Group. Virginia is one of nine states in which Betway currently operates.

  • June 3, 2024:

    Virginia sports betting set a record for April. The state reported about $563.5 million in bets for the month in 2024, up 32.3% from $426 million in April 2023. Gambling revenue has grown each April since the industry arrived in 2021.

  • May 16, 2024:

    Caesars Entertainment announces plans to open Caesars Danville Casino in December.

  • May 10, 2024:

    The monthly sports betting handle in March was $635.5 million, up 17.6% from February and 24.2% year-over-year.

  • April 25, 2024:

    The Virginia legislature approves an amendment to allow Petersburg residents to vote in November on whether to bring a casino to the city.

  • April 3, 2024:

    Unibet announced that they will be leaving the Virginia market on April 11, 2024.

Virginia Sportsbook Promo Codes and Bonuses To Explore

There are currently 14 online/mobile sportsbooks licensed for use in Virginia. Each sportsbook has a partnership with a Virginia casino or sports franchise. Below are the best sportsbook promos available to VA bettors.

📱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
📱BetMGM Sportsbook💰Get up to $1,500 in Bonus Bets🎯TODAYN/A
📱Caesars Sportsbook💰Get up to $1,000 on Caesars🎯TODAY1000Caesars Entertainment
📱FanDuel Sportsbook💰Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets if Your Bet Wins PLUS a Daily Boost or Bonus All Summer🎯Click to ClaimWashington Commanders
📱Hard Rock Bet Sportsbook💰Up to $100 back if your first bet doesn't win🎯Click to ClaimHard Rock Casino in Bristol, VA
📱BetRivers Sportsbook💰Get a Second Chance Bet Credit up to $500🎯TODAYRIVRivers Casino Portsmouth

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, Super Bowl odds can vary significantly across Virginia online sports betting apps.

Here, we break down the steps required to sign up with a VA betting app and begin placing bets.

1

Choose a Sportsbook App

Choosing a sportsbook app that’s right for you is the most important step in placing your first wager.

2

Claim Welcome Bonus

Once you have chosen the right sportsbook, you can claim the associated welcome bonus by either clicking through one of the links on this page or using a Gaming Today promo code, if applicable. This bonus could be a deposit match, bonus bet, or bet insurance. Note that the welcome offer will apply only to your first wager with the sportsbook.

3

Create An Account

Registering for a mobile sportsbook account is simple. Provide your name, address, Social Security number, and any other required information. These are all standard industry requirements. The app will verify your info for a moment and then allow you to log in if you are older than 21 and physically located inside Virginia. The app will also utilize geolocation to ensure you are accessing the app within the state’s borders.

4

Download Sportsbook App

If you want to bet from your phone, you can download the sportsbook app directly to your device. Most major sportsbooks are available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

5

Deposit Funds

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.

Note that 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.

6

Place First Bet

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).

If you are new to sports betting, check out the How To Bet page before proceeding.

Types of Bets at Virginia Sportsbooks

Are you getting started with a new sports betting site? Check out the basic and most popular types of bets you can expect to find at all VA sportsbooks.

Moneyline

For those looking to wager on a team to win a game, place a moneyline bet. This is just a straight wager that a team will win the game, not accounting for the margin of victory. For example, if you wanted to wager on the Washington Commanders to beat the Dallas Cowboys, you would wager on the Commanders’ moneyline.

Point Spread

Betting on a point spread involves a margin of victory. You can bet on the underdog (team with + odds) to “cover the spread,” in which case they’ll have to win the game outright or lose by less than a specific number of points set by oddsmakers. When taking the favorite to cover the spread (team with – odds), they must win the game outright by a specific number of points set by oddsmakers.

Using the Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys game as an example, the point spread may be +/- 7.5 points. So, if a bettor wanted to wager on the Commanders’ point spread (+7.5) to beat the Cowboys, they would be wagering that the Commanders would lose by less than 8 points or win outright. If you were to wager on the Cowboys’ point spread (-7.5), you would be betting that they will win by at least 8 points.

Total (Over/Under)

For any game, oddsmakers set a total. The total (Over/Under) represents the combined number of points that both teams are expected to score. Sticking with the Commanders vs. Cowboys example, let’s assume that the oddsmakers set the total at 43.5 points. They expect the combined points scored by both teams to fall right around this number. As a bettor, it’s up to you whether you think the total will exceed 43.5 points (44 or above) or fall below 43.5 points (43 or below). This is called betting on the “over” or the “under.” Most of the time, the odds are relatively even for the outcome of either to happen.

Props

Prop bets are wagers placed on what happens in a game rather than its overall outcome. These could include player-specific metrics, such as how many passing yards a quarterback will have in a game, or game-specific props, such as how many total touchdowns both teams will score. There are also non-game options, such as the length of the National Anthem or the outcome of the coin toss.

Parlays

A parlay is a string of bets that usually offer long odds and a high payout. The catch is that all of the bets need to “hit” or win for the parlay bet to cash. There are no partial cashouts; in other words, it’s all or nothing. The bets can be related or completely separate, although this may affect the odds and payout.

By combining multiple bets and betting that all of them will happen, the odds get significantly longer. While this is risky, it is associated with a much higher payout than placing these three bets separately.

Sports To Bet on in Virginia

Many Virginians consider Washington DC sports teams to be their hometown clubs. In fact, both the NFL’s Washington Commanders and NHL’s Washington Capitals have their practice facilities and corporate headquarters in Northern Virginia. Neither team plays games in Virginia, though. 

MLB’s Washington Nationals, the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and DC United of the MLS are based in DC.

Other popular professional sports teams in Virginia are those based out of Baltimore: the Orioles (MLB) and the Ravens (NFL). Some southern Virginians prefer the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), or Carolina Panthers (NFL).

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

NFL Betting in Virginia

The Washington Commanders are considered Virginia’s team. The franchise started as the Boston Braves and Redskins from 1932 to 1936. They moved south to Washington, D.C. 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).

The other top NFL teams to bet on are the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers.

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

NBA Betting in Virginia

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

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 playoff success dates back to 2017 when they lost to Boston in the second round (in Game 7).

The Charlotte Hornets are another NBA favorite in the state, especially for southern Virginia residents.

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

MLB Betting in Virginia

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 Washington’s only World Series title.

The Baltimore Orioles, one of the hottest teams in baseball, are another crowd favorite in Virginia. The O’s have won three World Series.

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

NHL Betting in Virginia

The Washington 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.

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

The famed Carolina Hurricanes are also a big rooting interest in Virginia.

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

College Sports Betting in Virginia

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 in Virginia:

  • 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 have been unsuccessful.

Virginia residents can place only 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 Betting 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 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. Champions League betting odds and odds to win the Premier League have been gaining popularity in recent years.

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.

Virginia Sports Betting: Quick Facts

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 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%

Virginia Sports Betting Laws

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 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 and passed House Bill 896. The legal market officially rolled out in January of the following year.

Sportsbook Licenses

As many as 18 sportsbook licenses can be distributed in Virginia. Currently, the state is home to 15 sportsbooks. The division of sports betting licenses is as follows:

  • 12 online-only licenses.
  • 5 licenses for retail casinos
  • 1 license for a professional sports team with headquarters in Virginia.
  • Additional license(s) reserved for if a professional sports team relocates to Virginia

These operators are subject to a $250,000 fee for a three-year license. The tax rate is 15%.

College Sports Betting Restrictions

Virginia bettors can place wagers on everything from badminton to water polo. However, Virginia is strict 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, but in-state teams are off-limits.

If a tournament (such as March Madness) has Virginia college teams participating, you can bet on games from that tournament that don’t involve in-state college teams. State law also prohibits college prop bets.

The state also does not allow bets on pro sports draft positions, postseason awards, or the July 4 hot dog contest.

VA Sports Betting Legalization Timeline

Legislators introduced SB 142 to allow betting on in-state college teams.

Virginia sportsbooks are booking more than $400 million in wagers every month in their first year. Lawmakers vote down two bills that would allow wagers involving in-state colleges.

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.

Virginia Lottery publishes its official sports betting regulations and accepts license applications from sportsbook operators.

Gov. Ralph Northam signs two bills that legalize sports betting in Virginia.

Sports betting ban is lifted at the federal level.

Virginia Sports Betting Revenue and Handle

January 2024 set a record in Virginia: the monthly handle reached an all-time high of $652.8 million. That month alone brought in nearly $10 million in tax revenue for the state. This is a busy time of year as NFL, NBA, college football, and college basketball are all in season.

Most recently, the state reported about $505.6 million in bets in May. The handle peaked in March (likely due to March Madness) but has been on a steady decline since. Sports betting revenue tends to be very modest this time of year given the summer sports schedule, so this trend will likely continue until September when football picks back up.

MonthHandleAdjusted Gross RevenueTotal Tax
May 2024$505,594,450$53,932,694$8,087,374
April 2024$563,495,540$54,629,226$8,210,372
March 2024$635,593,137$42,435,808$6,251,082
February 2024$545,068,429$44,454,518$6,342,927
January 2024$652,879,750$67,507,323$9,932,122

Full List of Virginia Sportsbook Apps

There are currently 14 sportsbooks live in Virginia.

📱Sportsbook✅ Mobile and/or Retail?
📱bet365 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

What To Look for in Virginia Sports Betting Apps

If you are new to sports betting, it can be hard to decide what sportsbook works best for you. Below is a list of some of the most important things to consider.

  • Betting market variety: Betting market variety is particularly important for those looking to wager on various sports leagues and teams. While most sportsbooks will have odds available on NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, odds on other sports like golf, tennis, and rugby may be less common.
  • Odds value: Every sportsbook is going to offer similar odds on any event, but they will vary from time to time. If getting the best odds on the market is important to you, then signing up with multiple sportsbooks may be in your best interest. Over time, consistently getting the best odds on the market can increase profitability.
  • App reliability: Some apps are easier to use than others, and this will affect a bettor’s sports betting experience. Consider how smoothly the app runs, whether the software crashes, how easy it is to navigate between pages, and whether placing a wager is as straightforward as it should be.
  • Welcome offers and promotions: Promotions and welcome offers are a big selling point, especially for new bettors. They allow your financial commitment to go further than it would have otherwise. Sportsbooks offer different promotions that may match your sports betting goals differently, so be sure to shop for all the best offers.
  • Security: The security of your personal and financial information is the most important factor when choosing a sportsbook. Luckily, all the sportsbooks reviewed at Gaming Today are vetted thoroughly for their security, so selecting any of them will ensure a secure experience. Always bet with legal, U.S.-licensed operators.

Where To Bet in Virginia: Retail Sportsbooks

In July 2022, Hard Rock Sportsbook in Bristol became the first retail sportsbook to open in Virginia. State 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.

This hotel-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 was the first land-based casino to launch in Virginia on July 8, 2022. The permanent version is on track to open in July 2024.

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 project. The casino will feature a Caesars Sportsbook, 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and 500 hotel rooms. Caesars is targeting December 2024 for the casino’s debut.

The City of Norfolk and the Pamunkey Indian Tribe teamed up to open the HeadWaters Resort & Casino in 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 a sports bar. Operators will start with a temporary casino near the city’s AAA Minor League ballpark.

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.

How Virginia Compares To Nearby States

Virginia’s sports betting legislation is similar to the rules adopted by 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.

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).

Virginia is in the middle of the pack among legal sports betting states. Once the state government sees the extra income earned from sports betting, other restrictions may eventually be lifted, such as online casino gaming.

Pros and Cons of Virginia Sports Betting

Pros

  • Accessibility to retail sportsbooks
  • Top sportsbooks available in the state

Cons

  • Strict college betting rules
  • Limited professional sports teams

Other Types of Gambling in Virginia

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

Daily Fantasy Sports in Virginia

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, big DFS platforms can operate without a license as they do in other states.

DraftKings, FanDuel, Underdog, and PrizePicks are some of the big DFS names that are available in Virginia.

Social Sportsbooks in Virginia

Social sportsbooks are legal in Virginia, although not the most popular choice because regular sportsbooks are an option. These are great for people looking to get some sports betting practice in before wagering with real money. Instead of using real money, users redeem coins and game-related currency when they win bets.

Horse Racing Betting in Virginia

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:

  • 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 horse betting apps in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Lottery

The Virginia Lottery generates approximately $2.3 million per day for Virginia’s K-12 public schools. It is also the organization responsible for regulating the legal sports betting market in the state.

Some of the most popular game offerings are Mega Millions, Powerball, Bank a Million, Cash4Life®, Virginia’s New Year’s Millionaire Raffle, Pick 3, Pick 4, scratchers, and Print ‘n Play games. Games are available both online and in person around the state.

Virginia Online Casinos

Real-money online casino games aren’t legal in Virginia, but social online can offer a similar gaming experience. Sites like Luckyland Casino and Chumba use free tokens—like Sweeps Coins or Gold Coins—as part of the gameplay.

There have been attempts in the past to legalize online casinos in Virginia, but none have been successful. Luckily, residents can travel to West Virginia, where it is legal to play online casino games.

Virginia Online Poker

Online poker is not legal in Virginia, and attempts to legalize the activity in recent years have been unsuccessful. However, Virginia allows one retail casino in each of its five major cities: Danville, Bristol, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Richmond, so those looking to scratch their poker itch can go in person.

It is unclear whether online poker will become a reality in Virginia anytime soon.

Esports Betting in Virginia

Esports betting is legal in Virginia. When standard sports betting launched in January 2021, esports betting launched alongside it.

Some of the most popular esports leagues to bet on in the state are League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Valorant, and Fortnite. There are moneyline, spread, and prop bets available for all of these games.

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 for anyone who wants to limit their access to betting products.

More Resources For Virginia Bettors

Virginia Sports Betting FAQ

Yes, 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.

Yes. DraftKings Sportsbook is legal in VA. The DraftKings DFS app is also offered for daily fantasy enthusiasts.

Yes. FanDuel Sportsbook allows you to bet on sports in Virginia. You can also use the FanDuel DFS app to enjoy daily fantasy sports games.

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 VA 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.

You need to be 21 or older to place wagers in Virginia.

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

You can bet on a large catalog of sports in Virginia, including NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. NASCAR, golf, tennis, and MMA. In-state college sports are not available for wagering in VA.

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.

Yes, online sportsbooks are illegal. They are unregulated, and your personal and financial data is not secure.

Online sports betting is legal in VA, but online casino and online poker are currently prohibited.

Latest Virginia Sports Betting News

About the Author
Mia Fowler

Mia Fowler

Sports Betting Industry Writer
Mia Fowler is a sports betting industry writer at Gaming Today. She joined Catena Media as a freelance NFL analyst in 2021 while earning degrees in marketing and journalism at Chapman University in California. Hailing from Seattle, WA, Fowler is a diehard Seattle sports fan who currently resides in Los Angeles.

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