Virginia Online Gambling - All You Need to Know -

Online Gambling in Virginia

When it comes to Virginia online gambling, the state has recently made great strides. The most notable addition came when legally approved sportsbook apps became available for wagering in late January of 2021.

Furthermore, the fact the state has changed its long-time conservative approach to gambling can be seen in the state’s approval of its first-ever land-based casinos. This is the result of a bill recently voted into law to make casino and online gambling legal in the state. Prior to these developments, the only types of approved gambling were the lottery, daily fantasy sports and pari-mutuel horse race bets.

With a much different approach to gambling underway, keep in mind things are happening fast and it’s very much a work in progress. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to making online bets in Virginia.

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Virginia Online Gambling: The Facts

  • Legal Virginia online gambling options: Sports, fantasy sports, horse racing, lottery
  • Legal gambling age: 21 for online sports betting
  • Who regulates online gambling in Virginia? The Virginia Lottery
  • Legal mobile gambling: Yes.
  • Do I need to physically be in Virginia to gamble? Yes
  • Do I need to be a resident of Virginia to gamble? No
  • Sports available to wager: College and pro sports, horse racing
  • Sports not available to wager: In-play college sports

Online Gambling in Virginia

Virginia online gambling is a recent phenomenon. This is a state that previously had long reflected the Southern states' traditional conservative attitude towards betting. The first form of approved wagering in Virginia was charitable gambling in 1973. The state lottery then followed in 1988. 

While it's open to debate if it is a true form of gambling, in 2016 Virginia became the first state in the country to recognize daily fantasy sports as legal for its residents.

The biggest breakthrough in Virginia online gambling came with the approval of sportsbooks apps. These became operational in the state in early 2021. In the past there were not any land-based casinos and sportsbooks in the state. However, this is also changing with the approval of physical casinos to go along with the online sports apps.

In addition to the return of live horse racing in Virginia, the state now also allows you to wager on horse race betting apps on races around the country and at its own Colonial Downs track. It's also possible to bet on the lottery through the Internet in Virginia by creating an account to play draw games online. This form of online gambling, however, is limited in that it does not include scratch-offs and instant win games.

The bottom line in Virginia is gambling is on the rise and as the revenue it generates will no doubt prove to be popular, look for more gambling options to become available in the future.

Virginia Online Gambling: The Current Law

The laws regarding online gambling in Virginia are pretty simple. All it requires is you be 21 years or older to place a bet with one of the online sports apps or 18 for wagering on daily fantasy sports, horse racing and the lottery.

To legally gamble on sports on one of the approved sports apps you must be located within the state borders at the time you place your bet. There is no law to allow or regulate online casino betting in the state.

The first online sports betting apps to go into operation was FanDuel on Jan. 21, 2021. Within days DraftKings, BetRivers and BetMGM were also up and running. They were followed shortly thereafter by the William Hill sportsbook. 


After getting its start in daily fantasy sports in 2009, FanDuel is one of the giants in the industry and instrumental in helping to lead the boom in mobile sports apps. In addition to offering the full range of sports available for gambling, FanDuel excels in offering betting advice and analysis. Among its many bonuses and promotions is a free bet up to $1,000 when you open an account.


DraftKings is another one of the heavy hitters in the sportsbook industry. It launched its mobile app in Virginia on Jan. 24 of 2021 and is known for its very intuitive and helpful website. It also has a reputation for offering some of the best odds in the industry as well as the full assortment of sports you can bet on and wagering options. DraftKing's promo codes are easy to find and among its incentives is a deposit bonus up to $1,000.


BetRivers is rapidly making a name for itself as a quality sports betting app. Its promotions include matching a deposit bonus up to $250. Look for this to be a popular app in Virginia as it owners are expected to also open a physical casino in the state.

William Hill

Offering a risk free bet of over $2,000 as one of its own bonuses, William Hill is another of the most renowned names in the industry around the country. Caesars Entertainment is the parent company of William Hill, and is expected as well to open a physical casino within the state. William Hill has a well deserved reputation for its expertise and provides the full range of sports betting possibilities.

Online Sports Betting in Virginia

Although it can vary a bit by the sportsbook app, all of them provide opportunities to wager on a huge variety of sports. All the major professional sports are available for wagers and because of their proximity to Virginia pro teams such as the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles as well as the Washington Football Team and Senators draw some of the heaviest betting action.

Among the events that attract a big betting interest are the Super Bowl, World Series and the NCAA basketball tournament. With four NASCAR races held each year within the state, auto racing also draws a lot of betting action in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In terms of betting on collegiate sports, you can wager on all the major sports providing one of the schools involved is not from Virginia. For instance, you could place a bet on a University of Maryland team, but not one on the University of Virginia.

Among the types of wagers you can make in Virginia are moneylines, points spreads, totals (over/unders), props, futures and parlay bets.


A moneyline bet is a wager on which team you think will win and has nothing to do with the spread. The payoff you receive for betting on the underdog is larger than the one you receive for betting on the favorite. After you pick which team you think will win, the second part of the bet tells you the payout. If it says +110, you get $110 if you bet $100. If it says -110, you must bet $110 to win $100.

Point Spreads

One of the most common forms of bets, point spreads are wagers on what you think will be the margin of victory in a game. You get points if you bet on the underdog. You give points if you pick the favorite. If the final result is the same as the spread, it's called a push and you get your money back.


Also known as over/unders, totals are bets where you bet on the total number of points that will be scored. You simply pick if you think the total will be greater or less than the line the sportsbook has set. Totals are especially popular in football.


As its name implies, future bets are when you predict what will happen in the future. Common examples of this are picking the eventual Super Bowl or World Series champion before the season even gets started.


Many gamblers like prop bets, which allow you to bet on what might happen during the game as opposed to just picking a winner or against the spread. Examples of prop bets include what running back may have the most rushing yards or which basketball player will score the most points.


Offering a bigger payout but more difficult to pick, parlay bets are when you pick the outcome of two or more events or games on the same ticket . Typically with a parlay the type of bets you make are moneylines, spreads or over/under wagers.


Some bettors also like in-play bets whereby you make wagers as the game is unfolding. These are legal in Virginia for pro sports only. You can not make in-play bets on college sports in the state. 

There are no legal online casinos or poker rooms in the state of Virginia. However, it is possible that online casino and poker gaming may become legal at some point in the future.

For what it's worth, Virginia does allow social gambling in which you can host poker games in your home. The caveat here is there can be no rake. A rake is when operators of a poker game takes a percentage of the pot for their own profit.

Setting Up a Virginia Online Gambling Account

Keeping in mind the current main form of online gambling is on sports apps, setting up an account with one of those is relatively easy.

To successfully create an account on a Virginia sports betting app you will be asked to provide your name, address, phone number, email address, date of birth and the last four numbers of your social security number.

Top online sports betting apps provide a page layout that makes it easy to create an account. They also have sites that make it easy to bet with an interface that allows bettors to wager instinctively by pressing the appropriate button.

Another thing to consider when  creating an online gambling account is to make sure the app has the proper security and safety features. Look for apps that have a section dedicated specifically to your security.

The reason you want to do this is obvious. Money is involved and the last thing you want to have happen is for someone to hack into your account and gain access to your funds.

To protect yourself, create a password that is virtually impossible for anyone to guess. Also make sure the app has a two-step verification system whereby you have even more peace of mind when it comes to your security.

Because mobile technology is constantly advancing, creating an online gambling account with your phone is generally very easy. In many instances, it is even easier to create an account on a phone than a computer.

Virginia Online Gambling: Banking Methods

Bettors have a wide variety of options when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals with the approved online sportsbooks in Virginia.

A very popular way to do your banking is by using an electronic wallet such as PayPal. In addition to being very affordable - if there is a fee at all - electronic wallets are easy to set up and have excellent security features.

Another popular method is the use of credit cards such as American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Discover. Prepaid cards in which you load a card with funds from your bank and use it with your sportsbook is another way to handle your online gambling banking account. 

Online banking transfers in which bettors use their bank accounts to put money in their sportsbook accounts as well as the use of an ACH or e-checks are two more options. An e-check is simply an electronic funds transfer (EFT) that utilizes the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network.

Depositing your funds is easy by going on the sportsbook site and pressing the deposit button after any necessary  banking information has been set up. While the speed in which money is deposited and withdrawn can vary, it is usually pretty fast. Keep in mind withdrawals can at times take a little longer and electronic transfers will normally occur faster than other methods such as a check.

Online sportsbooks usually have multiple withdrawal options and it shouldn't be difficult to find one one that works well for you. The speed on how fast you can withdraw your money can depend on any fees that are charged. Gamblers often will be able to cash in their winnings faster if they pay a small extra fee.

The Future of Online Gambling in Virginia

The state has come a long way in a short amount of time with online licensed sportsbooks now operating within the state and land-based casinos on their way.

Look for more sportsbook apps to come online shortly. As of early 2021, the state had decided it would allow 12 online sportsbook licenses in the state. As a result, look for more to be shortly approved to go along with the five that are already operational.

Online Gambling in Virginia FAQ

What Sports Can You Bet on in Virginia?

All the major United States and international professional sports are available through the approved online sportsbooks in Virginia. You can also bet on college sports as long as one of the teams is not from Virginia. You can wager on daily fantasy sports and horse racing as well.

Do You Have to Register In Person to Set Up a Sportsbook Account?

You can do everything through your phone or computer to set up account as well as make withdrawals and deposits. The only restriction is you must be within the state borders at the time you make your bet.

What are the Most Popular Sports to Bet On in Virginia?

In most states that allow gambling there’s usually a lot of action on its top Division 1 college teams. This is not the case in Virginia because bets are not allowed if one of the teams is located in the state. While betting on major college sports is still big in Virginia, it’s the professional teams in Baltimore and Washington that are at the top of the list in terms of betting popularity. Betting on NASCAR races is also big because four if its races each year take place in Virginia.

What Sports Apps Can I Bet on in Virginia?

Right now, the available apps aere FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, William Hill and BetMGM More apps were expected to be up and running shortly.

What Must I Do to Bet on Sports in Virginia?

It’s easy to get in on the action. Select the sportsbook that works best for you, register your account and choose a deposit method. After choosing the sport and game you want to wager on, place your bet on the betting slip that is on the page.

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