Legal Virginia Sports Betting

Virginia joined the ranks of states that have a legal sports betting industry on April 29, 2020. But, it wasn’t until November 3rd of 2020 that retail sportsbooks were legalized in five different towns. Constituents of the Commonwealth took to their ballots to vote on the pastime and decide if they were in favor or against having casinos and casino sportsbooks in their town. By majority vote, they chose to approve them. Starting January of 2021, online sportsbooks launched in the state and gave sports bettors a chance to bet before the Super Bowl using in-state regulated sportsbooks.

Due to the entire process, from discussions to constructing establishments and everything in between, the opening of land-based sportsbooks in Virginia may take some time. While a launch of the casino industry would be preferable by sports bettors in 2021, Virginians may have to wait until 2022 to allow time to get all the correct puzzle pieces in place for the best, most beneficial sports betting industry the Old Dominion has ever seen. There are still options for sports betting in the Commonwealth with the use of legal online sportsbooks in the meantime as the area is surrounded by terrific sports organizations holding games. There are now in-state options to go along with offshore options that give sports bettors a chance to shop lines in Virginia.

Virginia Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

Virginia’s state laws, as we have already mentioned, are on the restrictive side but contain some curious omissions that nevertheless allow legal Virginia sports betting to go on unimpeded at our top recommended legal offshore sports betting sites. However, we’ll go over some of the particulars of the Commonwealth’s gambling-related laws in this section in greater detail than we have up to this point.

First of all, Virginia Code 18.2-325 defines illegal gambling as “the making, placing or receipt of any bet or wager in the Commonwealth of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance, whether such game, contest or event occurs or is to occur inside or outside the limits of the Commonwealth.” That means that practically speaking, most kinds of gambling are expressly forbidden in Virginia, and the punishment for breaking this law, as outlined in Virginia Code § 18.2-326 is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which carries with it a fine of not more than $500.

All things considered, Virginia’s penalties for illegal gambling aren’t that bad (though this may be a relic of the past, as $500 was truly a lot of money a century or more ago), especially since there are no jail times associated with a guilty sentence for engaging in illegal gambling. However, the penalties for being an illegal gambling operator, particularly of a gambling operation that has been in continuous operation for more than 30 days or has a gross revenue of $2,000 or more in a single day are much stiffer. Individuals who fit that bill will be looking at fines of up to $20,000 and/or a yearlong stint in jail – a Class 1 misdemeanor as listed in Virginia Code § 18.2-328.

Some of the Old Dominion’s legal peculiarities include a provision in Virginia Code § 11-15 that allows any person who loses at least $5 on a bet may, at any time within three months after losing the bet, recover from the winner the amount that was lost. If the winner of such a bet pays back the amount illegally wagered to the individual who lost then he, that is, the winner, won’t be charged or punished under the law, as listed in § 11-16.

#1

Bovada Sportsbook

Virginia’s All-Around Online Sportsbook

Virginia is one of the latest states in the US to launch full-scale legalized sports betting. Among the fresh options for legal online sports betting in Virginia, Bovada is leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. The easy-to-use mobile betting site at Bovada can be accessed from the internet browser from any mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. This means that Bovada doesn’t require an app download or will take up space on your mobile device. Bovada has been legal in Virginia for years and if looking to bet on the MLB, NBA, or NFL this is one of the best sites to do so.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

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#2

BetOnline Sportsbook

Online Sports Betting For Everyone In Virginia

BetOnline has become one of the top online legal sports betting options available to those living in or visiting Virginia. BetOnline for years has been among the top-rated  online sports betting sites in Virginia. BetOnline allows bettors to legally wager on NFL, MLB, and NBA games from anywhere in Virginia. BetOnline is one of the best legal sportsbooks in Virginia to open an account on and begin betting immediately with. The banking options available at BetOnline are safe and secure allowing Virginia bettors to quickly deposit or withdraw their funds.

Rating: 5 Star Rating

  • Exclusive College Betting
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  • In-Game Betting Odds
  • Legal In Virginia
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#3

MyBookie Sportsbook

Bringing The Best Sports Betting Odds To Virginia

MyBookie is one of the more popular legal betting outlets in Virginia because of the site’s reliability and competitive betting lines. With many new sports betting options flooding Virginia’s gambling market, MyBookie has proven why many Virginia residents continue to choose them over other legal land-based betting options. MyBookie has game lines, futures, and player props on popular the most popular sports to bet on in Virginia such as the NFL, College Football, and MLB.  If any problems arise for Virginia sports bettors while using MyBookie they have a dedicated 24/7 customer service department ready to assist.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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#4

SportsBetting Sportsbook

Sleek Sports Betting Site For Virginia Bettors

Sports bettors looking to join one of the best legal Virginia online sportsbooks need to look no further than SportsBetting. For decades this site has been a betting outlet for Virginians to bet on the NFL, NBA, horse racing, and more. The generous welcome bonuses and competitive game odds keep SportsBetting among the best legal betting options in Virginia. Since Virginia is seeing an influx of sports betting operators entering the gambling market, SportsBetting is a trusted and reliable way to bet on any sport of your choosing in Old Dominion. To sign up for SportsBetting, all that’s needed is an email and debit or credit card.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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#5

XBet Sportsbook

A Reliable Legal Online Sportsbook In Virginia

XBet is one of the legal online sportsbooks that every bettor in Virginia should be familiar with. No matter your level of expertise in sports betting, XBet has odds and betting lines for everybody. One of the biggest features that draws many Virginia sports bettors to XBet is live betting. This allows gamblers to place a wager on any sporting event that has already begun. The mobile suite for XBet is designed so users can easily navigate the full variety of legal sports betting odds. All of these features and more are exactly why many Virginians have been safely using XBet for almost a decade now.

Ratings: 5 Star Rating

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Virginia Sports Betting Revenue

Virginia launched legal sports betting on January 21 and in just 11 days of activity, the Mother of Presidents saw over $58.9 million wagered on sports. Virginia sports betting fans placed a lot of action towards the end of the month, likely due to betting on the NFL playoffs. FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM were all active in the first few days of sports betting in Virginia, which helped boost the early market into its strong start. Sportsbooks saw $3.2 million in revenue, with the state collected $39,710 in state tax from the sportsbooks. For such a new market, Virginia legislators should be happy with the early numbers.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

Virginia has the unhappy distinction of being the most populous state in the nation without a major professional sports franchise in any of the four main professional leagues. This is due to several factors, not least of which is the Commonwealth’s close proximity to teams located in Washington, D.C. and the Carolinas, and the additional impediment of a lack of political will to finance the construction of sports stadiums using public monies. The situation among college teams in Virginia is a little different than that of professional teams, but Division 1 schools like the Virginia Cavaliers and the Virginia Tech Hokies are successful in the realm of athletics in spite of, not because of, politics at the statehouse. State funds are ineligible for use by collegiate athletics programs for either operational or capital expenses, so no new facilities can be built with taxpayer support.

Nevertheless, Virginians love their sports. They have good reason to be, being geographically situated near the home turf of the NFL’s Washington Football, who play in nearby Landover, Maryland close to the nation’s capital across the Potomac River. Washington’s two primary training camps, however, are located in Virginia, with the team’s headquarters and training facility being situated in Ashburn and Richmond, Virginia. Aside from these, VA sports fans can place bets on any professional and collegiate teams on websites such as Bovada, BetOnline, and SportsBetting. Unlike the upcoming state-sanctioned sportsbooks, these books allow bettors in Virginia to safely place bets on in-state collegiate sports teams and players.

Popular Teams To Bet On In Virginia

Washington Football Team– NFL Washington Capitals – NHL Virginia Cavaliers – NCAA
Virginia Tech Hokies – NCAA

The Outlook For Legalized Sports Betting In Virginia In 2021

Virginia has launched their legal sports wagering industry in 2021 but they have already asked the Virginia General Assembly to consider expanding the cap set on mobile sportsbook licenses. The current cap is 12 while the Virginia Lottery received 25 applications from potential operators. House Bill 1847 would expand the cap for mobile sports betting apps in Virginia as well as include wagers on the Olympic Games that occur every two years. The General Assembly will be holding a short session in 2021 with an adjournment scheduled for March 7. There has been no word on whether or not there is a favorable outlook for the raised cap request.

Where To Bet On NFL Games In Virginia?

Although there are no professional NFL teams calling Virginia home, there are a couple of different locations where you can bet on the Washington Football Team, Baltimore Ravens, and all the other NFL teams. Cross Lanes, Wheeling Island, Sulphur Springs, Ranson, and New Cumberland are the cities where you will eventually be able to find a retail sportsbook. If you do not live near these locations, mobile sports betting is available statewide as well. You also have the option to use one of our recommended online offshore sportsbooks to bet on your favorite teams. Bovada is a legal online sportsbook that has been serving VA customers for years. You are likely to find better odds on these websites. As you can see, there are plenty of options available for you to bet on NFL games in Virginia.

Where To Bet On Sports In Virginia

Although sports betting has been legalized in Virginia since April 2020, land-based locations have not officially launched yet. This means there is no location for in-state sports betting as of yet. Thankfully, online sportsbooks allow sports bettors in Virginia to bet on sports right now. And since these online sites are mobile compatible, Virginians are able to bet on sports from wherever they are in the state. Anywhere at any time, you have access to legal sports betting in Virginia. You do not need to travel outside of the state to a land-based casino in order to bet on your favorite sports teams.

 

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

You can technically bet on sports in Virginia anywhere as online sportsbooks allow for access anywhere in the state. Virginia voted on sports betting in November of 2020 and now four cities have been approved to offer sports betting in their respective casinos. In the meantime, surrounding sports betting states such as Delaware and West Virginia and Washington DC have land-based sports betting. You could go to Wilmington Delaware or New Cumberland West Virginia. Also, although state-wide mobile sports betting has not launched in Virginia, online sites allow for sports betting to all Virginia residents from anywhere outside of the state as well.

Cities Approved For Legal VA Sportsbooks

  • Norfolk
  • Danville
  • Bristol
  • Portsmouth
  • Richmond

Horse Racing Betting In Virginia

Betting on horse racing in Virginia is legal, but its pari-mutuel sibling, greyhound racing, is not. Furthermore, off-track betting at licensed satellite facilities is also legal at any of the state’s local tracks. Legal horse racing betting sites are usually the most convenient option for horseplayers in Virginia. With these online racebooks, residents have instant access to major tracks all over the United States and across the seas. We recommend sites like SportsBetting and Bovada for legal horse racing betting in Virginia.

Daily Fantasy Sports In Virginia

With the signing of the Fantasy Contests Act, Virginia’s legislature could be said to have saved the entire daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry. This act outlined how DFS can legally operate in the state, becoming the first state in the nation to formally recognize DFS for what it is: a game of skill that, yes, allows players to win money for correctly picking the right lineup of athletes. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the bill into law in the face of attempts around the country to designate daily fantasy sports as sports betting, which would make it an illegal practice in many states.

However, Virginia was having none of that, and the voice of the people was heard, preserving DFS as a regulated industry which residents in the Old Dominion can freely enjoy. DFS operators have to pay a fee of $50,000 to operate in the state, ban employees of DFS sites from participating in public contests and ensure all players are 18 years old and up, among other common-sense consumer protections. The reaction from the fantasy sports industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel was understandably ecstatic, calling the Fantasy Contests Act a thoughtful and appropriate regulatory framework for the protection of fantasy players’ rights.

Legal Virginia Sports Betting FAQs

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In Virginia?

You can absolutely bet real money on sports in Virginia, but the only way to do so without running afoul of the law is to do your wagering at what we think are the best of the best among legal offshore sportsbooks like Bovada, SportsBetting, and BetOnline. In order to get started betting on your favorite teams though, you will need to first deposit money in your account and to do that you will have to jump through a few hoops created by the passage of the UIGEA.

The UIGEA’s prohibitions against financial institutions processing transaction requests related to online gambling mean that even legal offshore sports betting sites like our top picks won’t be able to reliably accept all the major US credit cards all the time. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, but the best options for making deposits remain the faithful ole method of a check in the mail or the newfangled Bitcoin, which will discuss in a later section of this guide to legal Virginia sports betting.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In Virginia?

Yes, since Virginia regulated sports betting, online in-state sportsbooks offer the same betting options for all Virginia residents. These sportsbooks are accessible from anywhere in Virginia and residents and tourists alike can trust these operators to be fair and safe. The gaming authorities of both the local books and international sportsbooks demand the highest levels of security for players’ personal and financial information.

Will Sports Betting In Virginia Ever Be Legal?

Sports betting in Virginia has already been legalized as of April 2020. Online sportsbooks launched in January of 2021. Also, online offshore sportsbooks right now offer legal sports betting so Virginians can get in on the action without having to wait for the official launch of casino sportsbooks.

Will I Get Arrested For Online Sports Betting In Virginia?

The simple answer to this question is no. There has never been an instance of a Virginia resident getting into trouble with the law for online sports betting because the Commonwealth doesn’t have any law on the books that relate specifically to online gambling. Who could be liable to land themselves in a mess of trouble are operators of unlawful sports gambling sites based in the US. Federal law does specifically target gambling operations it deems to be illegal and the operators of these businesses can face severe penalties including fines and prison sentences if found guilty. Nevertheless, individual players have nothing to fear from federal or state laws. Legal Virginia sports betting online is called “legal” for a reason – there’s no law to break, so you aren’t breaking the law.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In Virginia?

The minimum age necessary to participate in any of the few forms of gambling that Virginia allows is 21, so we can only recommend that you follow that lead and wait until you are at least that old before betting on sports at a legal offshore sportsbook like the ones we recommend. Because these sportsbooks are based overseas where gambling laws only require that players attain a minimum age of 18 before gambling, our top recommended sites will accept players as young as 18. However, it would be a wise course of action to wait until you’re 21 just to be on the safe side. There’s nothing to be gained a much to be lost by tiptoeing around the line of legality.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In Virginia?

Yes, there is both in-state and out of state options available. All the legal sports betting sites we recommend every so often in this guide have mobile sports betting apps available in Virginia and everywhere else in the world too. The apps are free to download, but due to Google and Apple policies on gambling, the apps can’t be found on either operating system’s app store. In order to download our top recommended legal Virginia sports betting apps, you will have to go to the respective website – Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline or MyBookie (or all of them, because you should definitely consider having more than one legal sports betting account), and follow the instructions there.

These mobile sports betting apps replicate the desktop version of each site 1:1, meaning there is no new interface or unfamiliar menus to navigate. The only difference is that you can do all your sports betting directly from your phone, and that includes other cutting-edge sports betting options like live in-game sports betting. Mobile betting lets you take your hobby with you anywhere and makes sports betting available to you anytime, so it’s almost a must-do if you plan on betting on sports at our leading legal offshore sportsbooks.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In Virginia?

There isn’t anywhere in Virginia that you can legally bet on sports, but you can drive to Delaware Park Casino in Delaware or Hollywood Casino at Charles Town West Virginia and place land-based bets there. A much better solution on multiple levels is to simply head over to Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline and MyBookie, the industry-leading legal offshore sports betting sites. Those are our highest-recommended sites for legal Virginia sports betting because they combine reliable payouts, tight security for your personal information and tons of odds on all Virginia’s favorite sports with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are doing so legally. All our top picks among sports betting sites based overseas are regulated and licensed by their home countries’ gaming authorities, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

Should I Use A Local Bookie In Virginia?

There is no situation imaginable in which you should even feel somewhat slightly tempted to use a local bookie in Virginia. It’s illegal according to the state’s laws against most forms of gambling and according to all-pervading federal prohibitions on sports betting in all but four states – of which Virginia isn’t one. But what’s more, there is simply no need to use a local bookie for any reason, not given how easy it is to place bets on sports legally at offshore sports betting sites like the ones we’ve recommended throughout this guide.

The sports betting sites we think best represent the ultra-competitive segment’s virtues are far more reliable than any shady local bookie and they even have more options when it comes to odds available on a Redskins or Hokies football game than do many of the brick-and-mortar sportsbooks out in Las Vegas. If you’re interested in legal Virginia sports betting, don’t even give a local bookie a second thought.

Do Any Casinos In Virginia Have Sports Betting?

There are no casinos in Virginia per state law, so there couldn’t be any casinos in Virginia that have sports betting either. However, the legal offshore sports betting sites we recommend – Bovada, MyBookie, BetOnline and SportsBetting, all have the very best in available moneylines on the sports Virginians love, from football to NASCAR. Additionally, all our leading sportsbooks picks have got casino sections on their sites as well, so you can enjoy legally playing table games, card games and even slots – all for real money and all perfectly legal.

Can I Bet On Sports With My Friends In Virginia?

Betting on sports with your friends in Virginia is easy due to mobile sports betting apps available to be downloaded for free at our leading legal offshore sports betting sites, but it’s good to know that the Commonwealth doesn’t have a single law on the books to stop you from betting with sports in the privacy of your home either. Virginia Code § 18.2-334 makes a provision for participating in any game of chance so long as it is conducted in a private residence (and one that “is not commonly used for such games of chance”) and if there is no “operator” as defined in Virginia Code § 18.2-325. According to that section of the legal code, an operator is “any person, firm or association of persons, who conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs or owns all or part of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation.”

When Will Sports Betting Become Legal In Virginia?

Since Virginia has already passed the sports betting bill to bring regulated betting to the state in April of 2020. Virginia sports bettors won’t have to wait long for legal sports betting at casinos. The official launch of online sportsbooks in Virginia happened in late January of 2021. But, there are also other internationally-regulated online sportsbooks that have been serving VA bettors for many years.

How Many Sportsbooks Are In Virginia?
Virginia is one of the few states that has zero gambling establishments from sportsbooks to casinos. Their mindset is soon to change, as legislators have agreed to begin the discussion of gambling expansion. Still, there are no sportsbooks in Virginia and those looking to wager at a brick and mortar venue will have to travel into Washington DC, West Virginia, or take the even longer trip to Pennsylvania or North Carolina. If these aren’t legitimate options, using an offshore sports betting site remains to be the best situation.
When Will Virginia Have Legal Sportsbooks?

Virginia will see legal retail sportsbooks launch in late 2021 at the earliest. After a majority vote by constituents in November 2020 to legalize casinos in five different towns, 2021 will see the construction of these venues. The best-case scenario for sports enthusiasts of the Old Dominion is late 2021 but 2022 is not out of the question as sometimes delays can occur when launching a new industry like that of sports betting. As for online sportsbooks, those launched at the start of 2021.

Is Bovada Legal In Virginia?

Yes, Bovada is a legal sportsbook that is available in Virginia. VA residents can log onto Bovada today and create an account to get in on all the sports betting action we mention on this page.

Has Virginia Opened Their Own Mobile Sportsbooks?

Yes, Virginia has launched their mobile sports betting industry as of 2021 even before their retail venues have fully opened their doors. FanDuel became the first sportsbook to unveil their mobile platform to the sports bettors of Virginia just in time for Super Bowl 55. Other platforms like DraftKings, BetMGM, and BetRivers launched less than a week after FanDuel.