Virginia Sports Betting
Legal sports betting is very popular in Virginia. To the shock of many, the state of Virginia acted quickly and decisively in early 2020, passing SB384 in the Senate and HB896 in the House to legalize online sports betting. After a few amendments at the suggestion of Governor Ralph Northam, the final bill officially became law in late April. Taking a few months for licensing, the state’s first online sportsbook officially went live on January 21, 2021.
With room for a dozen online sportsbooks plus retail betting at the state’s new casinos, and at professional sports venues – there’s a lot happening in the Commonwealth. On this page we’ll break down everything related to Virginia online sports betting.
Top Sports Betting Sites in Virginia
Sports Betting is LIVE in Virginia
The Virginia Lottery closed its online sportsbook application window on October 31st, 2020, and had 90 days to issue licensing approval. The Super Bowl on February 7th looked like the main launch target, but everything came together quicker than expected. FanDuel Sportsbook officially opened the Virginia online sports betting market on January 21, 2021.
- 1 Top Sports Betting Sites in Virginia
- 2 Sports Betting is LIVE in Virginia
- 3 Virginia Sports Betting Requirements
- 4 Top Virginia Online Sportsbooks
- 5 Virginia Casino Sportsbooks
- 6 Betting at Sports Venues
- 7 Funding a VA Online Sports Betting Account
- 8 Virginia Sports Betting Markets
- 9 A History of Gambling in Virginia
- 10 Virginia Sports Betting FAQ
Virginia Sports Betting Requirements
There’s nothing revolutionary here, Virginia’s sports betting eligibility requirements are largely par for the course. The state uses the same two pillars that have defined the industry in every legal market throughout the country: age and location.
- Age: To bet on sports in the state of Virginia you must be at least 21 years old. In almost every state, 21 is the standard age for sports betting and casino eligibility.
- Location: You must be in Virginia to bet. Sports betting in the United States is regulated on a state-by-state basis. With PASPA out of the way, every individual state has to create its own, separate laws and industry that you can only access while in that specific state. Virginia relies on geofencing technology to prove that bettors are physically in the state before they can legally bet. This is conducted through a quick download to your computer, or by enabling location services on your phone or tablet.
All sports bettors need to create an account with their preferred sportsbook, which in itself requires certain pieces of personal information. Participants must provide the following:
- Email: Be sure to use an actual email. Sportsbooks rely on them to pass out important bonuses and promotional information that you won’t want to miss.
- Last 4 Digits of their Social Security Number: This is used to verify your identity, and is required by every legal online sports betting or casino site in the U.S.
All personal details will be kept safe using strict security protocols. Don’t stress about your data being stolen – the Virginia sports betting industry is completely legitimate, overseen by the state government.
It is possible to create an account on a Virginia online sportsbook from anywhere, but to wager real money you need to be within the state’s borders.
Top Virginia Online Sportsbooks
The state’s sports betting law permits at least 12 online sportsbooks, though there is some flexibility here. Virginia elected not to count partnerships established through sports venues towards the limit. With this in mind, Virginia’s 8 million+ residents have plenty of options to choose from.
FanDuel Sportsbook VA
- Virginia Launch: January 21, 2021
- In-State Partner: Washington Commanders
After starting out as a top operator, FanDuel has transitioned into a top iGaming operator in the United States. FD Sportsbook has paced the New Jersey sports betting industry (and many others) for years, offering excellent pricing, service, and software. It is generally amongst the first online sportsbooks to go online in new states, and Virginia was no exception.
FanDuel Sportsbook officially opened the Virginia sports betting market on January 21, 2021. The company accepts legal bets in VA through its agreement with the NFL’s Washington Commanders. The company has also agreed to run a retail sportsbook on-site at Audi Field, the home Major League Soccer’s D.C. United.
DraftKings Sportsbook VA
- Virginia Launch: January 24, 2021
- In-State Partner: N/A
While FanDuel was first, DK wasn’t to be outdone. DraftKings Sportsbook made Virginia its 12th legal state of operation at the time, accepting its first bets on January 24, 2021.
DraftKings has a leg up on much of its competition due to its Daily Fantasy Sports prominence. Though it requires a separate download, the popular DraftKings DFS experience can actually share wallet/banking options with its online sportsbook.
- Virginia Launch: January 27, 2021
- In-State Partner: N/A
BetMGM is the poster-brand for ROAR Digital, the spawn of MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings. Born of elite brick-and-mortar and iGaming roots, BetMGM has emerged as one of the U.S. online sports betting industry’s lead dogs. Backed by 9-figure investment, BetMGM has been amongst the first to launch in new states like Colorado and Tennessee. BetMGM officially launched its sports betting app in Virginia on January 27, 2020.
- Virginia Launch: January 27, 2021
- In-State Partner: Rivers Casino Portsmouth
Rush Street and its Rivers brand brought brick-and-mortar casino games and sports betting to the Hampton Roads area through the Rivers Portsmouth casino project. The company’s BetRivers Virginia online sports betting platform is live, accepting mobile bets from users around the state.
Caesars Sportsbook VA
- Virginia Launch: February 3rd, 2021
- In-State Partner: Caesars Virginia (Danville, VA)
Famed U.K.-bookmaker William Hill was purchased by Caesars in early 2021, and Caesars quickly kept the technology, but cut the brand in the US market. Replacing William Hill is Caesars Sportsbook, an excellent new and improved online sportsbook that is live in Virginia. As for a retail casino, Caesars Virginia has the green light and looks to become a fixture of the Danville area for generations to come. Caesars Sportsbook is be the venue’s retail sports betting partner when they opened in Danville in May of 2023. They had already started offering online sports bets in VA as well.
ESPN BET VA
- Virginia Launch: November 14, 2023
The newest online sportsbook in Virginia, ESPN BET is live as of November 14, 2023. PENN Entertainment is running ESPN BET through a partnership with the sports television network. The welcome is Bet Anything, Get $250 in Bonus Bets. Use the promo code GRIDERS to sign up!
- Virginia Launch: April 28, 2021
- In-State Partner: N/A, stand-alone permit
Unibet Sportsbook was the seventh online sportsbook to take action in Virginia. Kindred Group brought the Unibet brand to the state by securing a stand-alone licensing permit, as opposed to linking with a future casino project or sports franchise. Virginia became the fourth state at the time to join Unibet’s quickly growing sports betting CV. They are known for having great promotions, a solid cashier, and smooth running mobile apps.
Fanatics Sportsbook VA (formerly PointsBet)
- Virginia Launch: December 15, 2021 (as PointsBet)
- In-State Partner: Colonial Downs
Fanatics Sportsbook is now available in Virginia. It is one of the newest sportsbooks on the market and has been a great success in the states in which it now operates. Fanatics purchased and has replaced PointsBet, which had been operating in Virginia since 2021. Fanatics is licensed in the Commonwealth through the Colonial Downs race track.
SI Sportsbook VA
- Virginia Launch: May 9, 2022
- In-State Partner: N/A
SI Sportsbook is live in Virginia after being approved for a license in December 2021. Better late than never, because SI is a solid sportsbook that uses data in very creative ways to improve the sportsbook experience. It’s worth checking out when looking for new betting opportunities or just to cash in on the great promotion.
- Virginia Launch: May 18, 2022
- In-State Partner: N/A
Betway is the most recent sportsbook to launch in Virginia, and due to the limited number of licenses available, might be one of the last ones to arrive in the state. If that’s the case, bettors in Virginia are left with a great group of sportsbooks. Betway is easy to use and has great prices. It’s one of the better sportsbooks out there and should do well in the Commonwealth.
- Virginia Launch: January 31, 2023
- In-State Partner: N/A
Bet365 was the first sportsbook to launch in Virginia in 2023, and this might finally be the year that the world-renowned sportsbook expands its presence in the US. Bet365 has an only-only license in VA and is a great option for bettors in the state.
- Virginia Launch: February 1, 2023
- In-State Partner: Loudoun United FC (USL soccer team)
Betfred launched in Virginia on February 1, 2023, just a day after bet365 opened up shop. The two European powerhouses have long had plans to expand operations in the US, and it appears that 2023 is their year to finally grow here in the States. This is good news for bettors in Virginia, because both sportsbooks are great.
Virginia Casino Sportsbooks
Retail casinos and sportsbooks are on their way to the Old Dominion. However, it’s going to take some time for them to get set up. While online betting has already begun, in-person wagering is still a ways off. With that being said, current estimates for brick-and-mortar gaming, sports betting included, fall between early and mid-2023.
Each of the proposed casinos will be a fairly ambitious construction project that is likely to take time to complete in full. 2023 is a solid estimate for grand openings with full amenities.
Casinos have been approved in four Virginia cities, with Richmond likely to follow. Each is expected to offer in-person sports betting options:
Caesars Casino Sportsbook Danville
Danville, another small, rural area, is home to its very own Caesars resort and casino. Caesars Virginia is a $400 million project that will look to draw tourists to its southern VA location. 300+ hotel rooms, a spa, theatre, convention space, and a fully equipped casino and sportsbook are all a part of the casino. Caesars Virginia is just a stones throw from North Carolina. It serves as a great option for bettors in cities like Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Durham, and Raleigh. The casino had their grand opening in May of 2023.
Norfolk Casino Resort Sportsbook
Norfolk, one of the main population centers in the state of Virginia, will have retail sports betting in the near future. The Norfolk Casino Resort will be situated on a beautiful plot of land on the Elizabeth river, right in the heart of downtown Norfolk. The Pamunkey Indian Tribe will own and operate the resort which will boast a wealth of amenities. These include numerous pools, a hotel, theatre venues, and an impressive casino. Plus, the Pamunkey Casino Resort will also have a retail sportsbook.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth
Rush Street Interactive has found a foothold in Virginia with opening the Rivers Casino Portsmouth in 2023. Rivers Portsmouth won’t be far from the Norfolk Resort, but there’s plenty of people to go around. Restaurants, bars, convention space, a luxurious hotel, and all the casino and sports betting action you could ask for are all in the area. Rivers is one of the premier names in casino gaming in the U.S. It has branded properties in several states including Pennsylvania, New York, and Illinois. Expect its online faction, BetRivers, to perform well in Virginia, too.
Richmond Casino Resort
Back in November 2021, Richmond residents voted against the construction of a new casino resort located in the city. The majority vote all but put the idea to rest, making Richmond the only city out of the five listed to reject the proposal.
On January 20, 2022, the proposal was brought up for a second time and unanimously passed by the city council committee, with a goal in mind to get it on the ballots for November 2022. They failed to get it on the ballot for the fall of 2022, so 2023 may be the year they finally vote on it again.
Betting at Sports Venues
Virginia’s primary sports venues are also eligible to apply for and host sports betting on site. Since Virginia is lacking (for now) on the professional franchise front, the law also includes those that have headquarters or practice facilities in the state. This extension allows the local NFL (Washington Commanders) and MLS (DC United) franchises to get involved.
We touched on it a little earlier when discussing WynnBET, but the company has already agreed to a partnership with NASCAR and has established brick-and-mortar betting lounges at both of Virginia’s major tracks, Martinsville and Richmond.
War for the Washington Commanders
Virginia is the largest state (by population) in the country that doesn’t have a professional sports team in one of the marquee leagues (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, etc.), but there may be opportunities on the horizon. The Washington Commanders are leased at their current stadium, FedEx Field (Landover, MD), until 2027. The team’s owner wants sports betting to be available at the team’s stadium on game day.
After this realization, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. all began efforts to court the team. While D.C. had already moved forward with legal sports betting, the owner’s comments were undoubtedly on the minds of state legislators in Virginia and Maryland. Virginia was first to act, approving sports betting in early 2020. Maryland followed, successfully passing a ballot measure during the November 2020 election. Virginia was first to market, but Maryland’s timely response could be vital in helping them retain the team in a few years.
The Washington Commanders already practice at their training facility in Ashburn, VA, and annually hold a training camp for fans in Richmond. Under its new laws, this in-state home base allowed the Commanders to partner with FanDuel for Virginia sports betting.
Funding a VA Online Sports Betting Account
Before you can wager on sports, a deposit needs to be made. Funding an online sports betting account is a straight forward process these days. Virginia’s regulated sportsbooks have a multitude of easy-to-use banking choices to pick from. The cashier for each sportsbook is different, but the most common methods now within the industry include:
- Credit/Debit Cards: Slide out your Visa or Mastercard, type in a few numbers, and the deposit is charged right to the account. The transactions are super fast too, which is a big plus. Discover and American Express are also accepted on occasion.
- PayNearMe: In-person cash deposits are possible with PayNearMe. Take the barcode they issue you to a local participating Family Dollar, CVS, or 7Eleven and deposit your cash right with the store’s cashier.
- Online Bank Transfer: Link your online bank account directly to your online sports betting account. You can move funds in/out at your leisure.
- ACH eChecks: Its possible to pull a few numbers off of a paper check and turn it into an online transaction. eChecks are both safe and quick.
- PayPal: The same eWallet you’ve been using to facilitate online purchases for years can also be used to transfer funds to and from the Virginia online sports betting app of your choosing.
- Play+ Prepaid Card: Credit or debit card getting declined? No worries! Simply activate a Play+ prepaid card, upload funds from your credit/debit card, and Play+ will work as a middleman to send those funds directly into your sportsbook account. Players will also be mailed a physical copy of their card that can be used for real cash withdrawals at any ATM.
Retail casinos are up and running in Virginia as of 2023, so in-person deposits and withdrawals are available on certain sports betting sites. Those who bet online with BetRivers are able to deposit and cash out their money in-person at the Rivers Casino Portsmouth cage.
All online banking transfers with legal Virginia sportsbooks are secure, safe, and fast. Your online money is always at your disposal.
Virginia Sports Betting Markets
Now that sports betting is legal in VA, what can you bet on? Legal sportsbooks spread a ton of different markets. Bettors can place bets on all of their favorite athletic events. From the Super Bowl, to March Madness, to the World Cup, to the Olympics. Odds are offered on just about everything:
- European Soccer (Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.)
- NCAA football and basketball
…and then some. The only notable sports that Virginia bettors don’t have access to involve in-state college teams. For example, you can’t bet on the Virginia Cavaliers or the Virginia Tech Hokies. It may seem like a let down, but these sorts of stipulations are pretty common within the industry. Similarly, college props are also prohibited – for example, you can’t bet your favorite college running back to score a touchdown. These carve outs help to protect amateur athletes from undue betting-related pressures.
As for the types of bets, Virginia books are well equipped. Bettors can pick from moneyline wagers, spreads, totals, build parlays and round robins, pick props, and even engage in Live Betting. With Live Betting the odds are updated in real time, on the fly. This allows a ridiculously fun level of engagement with a given event, since you can bet on virtually every play or action.
A History of Gambling in Virginia
While some forms of gambling have been around since settlers first landed at Jamestown, it took a few years (or centuries) for the state to make them legal. Virginia’s first foray into legal gaming took place in the early 1970s when the state gave the OK for charitable gaming. The Virginia Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs was later created to oversee such activities, typically bingo, within the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Lottery was established in 1987 and still operates today. In fact, the VA Lottery serves as the regulatory body for the state’s (now legal) sports betting industry. The Lottery offers a wide selection of daily draw games, plus interstate options like the Mega Millions and Powerball. All proceeds from the lottery feed directly into the state’s K-12 public schools.
Daily Fantasy Sports are now clear of legislative purgatory in Virginia, too. The Fantasy Contests Act passed in 2016 and placed the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as the regulatory group. It was one of the first such laws to pass in the U.S., inspiring a wave of similar legislation to sweep the country.
Virginia Horse Racing and HHR
Horse racing is also legal in the state of Virginia. Colonial Downs is the state’s primary track and has been hosting races (with a few disruptions) since it opened in New Kent in 1997. Off-site wagering for the site has also existed over the years in more populated areas like Hampton.
While popular in its own right, horse racing had an even bigger role to play in the growth of gambling in Virginia. In 2018 the state passed House Bill 1809, which established ‘Historical horse racing as a form of horse racing’. In a sense, this allowed operators to design slot-like machines that allow the user to bet on old, historical horse races. While playing you don’t know which race you’re betting on, so you can’t research the results, meaning the outcome is largely random.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is the state’s leading Historical Horse Racing (HHR) operator, with locations in places like New Kent, Vinton, Richmond, and Hampton. On the inside they look, and feel like a casino – and may have provided the onus for state legislators to go ahead and approve full resort-style casinos.
Sports Betting, Casino Gaming Legalized
In 2020 Virginia passed both SB384 and HB896 to officially legalize spots betting, and online sports betting in the state. At the same time the state government also cracked on casinos, permitting certain municipalities to vote on referendums. During the November ’20 election Norfolk, Portsmouth, Bristol, and Danville all approved resort-style casino projects. Richmond voters rejected their city’s proposal, making it the only city in Virginia to vote against the building of a brand new casino resort. Richmonder’s may have a second opportunity to vote on their local casino project in November 2022 if the referendum once again appears on the ballot.
Per its new law, Virginia awards sports betting licenses on a three-year basis. Each application will require a fee of $250,000 per principal, with an additional $250,000 fee if approved. Overall the industry will be taxed at 15%.
While retail betting and casino games may not arrive until 2022 (or potentially later, pending construction), online sports betting began in January 2021. Place your bets today: The Mother of Presidents is now the Mother of Sports Betting.
Virginia Sports Betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
It sure is. Virginia officially legalized sports betting in 2020.
When did legal sports betting start in Virginia?
FanDuel Sportsbook became the first online sportsbook to accept legal wagers in the state on January 21, 2021.
How old do you need to be to bet on sports in Virginia?
You must be at least 21 years old to bet on sports in the state of Virginia.
Are online poker and casino games legal in Virginia?
Unfortunately, no, they aren’t. Virginia has not legalized online casino or online poker. If you’re a fan of either activity, you’ll have to wait. Of note, brick-and-mortar casinos are coming to the state for the first time so there will be in-person options soon.