State of Play in Virginia
Sports Betting in Virginia
Virginia introduced legal online sports betting with a coordinated launch in January 2021. Several different mobile sports betting apps went live at that time.
That number of different online sportsbooks has since expanded to include about a dozen options. Online casinos and poker aren’t legal in Virginia as of yet.
Land-based casinos are under construction in the Old Dominion, and retail sportsbooks will eventually debut as well.
John Allaire (Arlington, VA)
FanDuel is the easiest to use sportsbook out there. Takes less than 5 seconds to log in, which is great for live betting. Their UI is extremely easy to navigate. The aesthetic is nice and clean with a white background, making the text easy to read. I love how you can see a ton of information—spreads, totals and moneyline prices are available in the same view. Decent promos that are given to users, and it’s also very fast. The live betting feature is also a lot better than other apps because of the speed. Sometimes they don’t have as many special props on games as other sportsbooks, and their offers to new customers aren’t as great as others. However, the ease of use and other features make it the most attractive for seasoned betters and newcomers alike.
Sportsbooks in Virginia
- How old do you have to be to bet online in Virginia? The legal sports betting age in Virginia is 21 years of age. There are only a handful of states throughout the country that allow anyone younger than 21 to bet on sporting events or do any form of online gambling.
- Can I bet on college sports in Virginia? Yes, betting on college sporting events is allowed in Virginia, but there is a pretty big restriction. Sportsbooks cannot offer betting on college games featuring teams from Virginia.
- Are there any mobile betting apps in Virginia? Yes, mobile betting apps are currently the only way to legally place a wager in the state, except for online sites. Retail betting has not started in Virginia, but that option is coming in the near future.
- Is FanDuel offering an online casino app in Virginia? No, online casino gambling is not yet legal in Virginia, and therefore FanDuel does not have an online casino app available. FanDuel is a site that has online casino options available in other parts of the country and could become a leader in Virginia if this were an option.
- How do I get paid when I win at Virginia legal betting sites? When you win money at legal betting sites in Virginia, you will go through that site directly to receive your winnings. Each betting site will have its own banking department with different types of deposits and withdrawal options available.
Virginia Online Betting
Virginia online betting went live in January 2021. Virginia sports bettors enjoy access to many of the top brands in the U.S. sports betting industry.
Lawmakers made online sports betting legal in 2020. Retail sportsbooks will eventually join the Virginia sports betting market as well.
VA Legalization Timeline
Virginia online sports betting officially launched in January 2021 after it took a few years for a bill to pass through the state legislature. The state had been extremely restrictive with its gambling laws up to that point, but the state gave sports betting a chance to launch.
The state put the Virginia Lottery in charge of overseeing the sports betting industry, and it started accepting applications in October 2020. Both online and retail sports betting were in HB 4, but entering 2022, there are still no retail sports betting options.
The legal sports betting age is 21, and there is no requirement to be a resident of the state to create a sports betting license. In addition, remote registration is allowed, so bettors don’t have to enter a casino to place a bet on a sporting event.
It wasn’t hard for Virginia to attract some top online sportsbook operators, and most are already live. In addition, the state collects a 15% tax on sports betting revenue, reasonable compared to some other states in the U.S.
Which Online Sportsbooks Are Legal In Virginia?
FanDuel Sportsbook was the first to launch in Virginia after partnering with the Washington Football Team (now known as the Washington Commanders). There are now 11 online sportsbooks available in less than a year in Virginia, and more could be on the way in 2022.
Since Virginia is a state without tribal or commercial casinos, online-only sportsbook operators could apply for a license to accept bets. As a result, when Virginia sports betting first launched, it became the second online-only sports betting market in the United States.
One interesting feature of the Virginia sports betting law is a minimum number set for how many licenses had to be available. According to the bill, the state had to approve at least four online sportsbooks, and that number could climb to as high as 19 at some point.
Here is a list of online sports betting apps that are live in Virginia:
- Bally Bet
- BetRivers Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Golden Nugget
Virginia’s online sportsbook operators generally offer their services on desktop and mobile devices. Mobile apps are available on both Android and iOS devices, and customers can sign up through the mobile app as long as they are at least 21 years of age and located in the state.
Top Virginia Online Sportsbooks
Which Retail Sportsbooks Are Available In Virginia?
Retail sports betting is not an option in Virginia yet, but those sportsbooks are coming. There will eventually be four casino properties in the state, and each casino can offer a retail sportsbook on-site.
Here is a list of the four casinos coming to Virginia:
- Hard Rock Bristol Resort and Casino
- Horseshoe Danville: Caesars
- Norfolk Resort & Casino
- Rivers Casino Portsmouth- Rush Street Gaming
The Washington Commanders can also offer retail sports betting if the state builds a new stadium. The Commanders have partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook, and it could ultimately become one of the top retail sportsbooks in the state.
The state does not expect retail sports betting to become a major market in Virginia as online sportsbooks will continue to attract the most betting action.
Are Fantasy Sports Sites Legal In Virginia?
Even though Virginia is a state with pretty restrictive gambling rules, it was one of the first to legalize daily fantasy sports. This happened back in 2016 when the state legislature passed the Fantasy Sports Act, and the state signed it into law.
When lawmakers in Virginia were able to pass this law, it created strict regulations for operators looking to offer this type of gaming in the state. Operators must pay a licensing fee of $50,000 before receiving a license to offer DFS games.
The legal betting age to play DFS sites is just 18 years of age, making it the first legal gambling option available to anyone in the state. At the time of the bill, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services was named the regulatory body.
Sites that receive a DFS license are eligible to offer a mobile app, and the top sites have done that. In addition, some sportsbook operators in Virginia also offer DFS games all on the same app.
Daily fantasy sports was the only betting option in the state for several years, and it remains popular to this day.
Salary Cap DFS Sites
When it comes to DFS sites, salary cap games remain the most popular option. Out of all of the DFS sites in the United States, DraftKings and FanDuel remain the two biggest options.
Both DraftKings and FanDuel had little issue with the $50,000 licensing fee and were the first two sites to launch in the state. These two companies have built up a terrific rivalry over the years, and that competition is available in Virginia as well.
Salary cap games are the most common games offered by these two operators, and these types of games are pretty easy to play. These games require players to draft a roster based on a certain salary cap, and then that roster can be entered into a contest.
Other sites have looked into offering salary cap DFS games, but they are simply no match for what DraftKings and FanDuel can provide.
Fantasy Player Prop Games
Salary cap games continue to bring in plenty of business at DFS sites in Virginia, but there are new options now. Prop betting is growing in popularity at sportsbooks, which has bled into the DFS industry.
Instead of creating a roster and entering that roster into contests, the bettor can find some player prop games in Virginia. Player prop games are much different from traditional DFS games, as players make picks based on options found on the site.
These player prop games will require players to put up a particular stake to enter the contests, which is similar to traditional sports betting. Each site with player prop games will operate differently. Each site will also continue to launch new types of games.
Some of the other popular DFS sites in Virginia include:
Best Ball Games
Another solid DFS option in the state of Virginia is Underdog Fantasy. Underdog is a DFS site specializing in best ball games, which is a new twist on salary cap games as the site has some control over what takes place.
Sites will offer best ball games for daily, weekly, and season-long contests, and the site will choose the optimal lineup for those matchups. This takes some pressure off the player, but there is still the task of drafting a roster.
The top DFS sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel have started to offer best ball, but this new game has allowed different operators to get involved. Underdog Fantasy is still not one of the biggest names in the DFS industry, but things are trending in that direction.
Is Online Poker Legal In Virginia?
Online poker currently is not legal in Virginia. State lawmakers have never approached online poker legislation, but that could change in the future.
Virginia gaming laws are changing, and poker will soon be available at commercial casino properties. Of course, these casinos will also have other games. Still, poker will be available for the first time once construction is complete.
There are only a handful of online poker sites available anywhere in the United States, and only a couple of states have made this a legal betting option. Online poker sites could be launched simultaneously as online casino gambling, but there is plenty of work to do for that.
Does Virginia Have Legal Online Casinos?
Before 2020 the thought of online casinos in Virginia was non-existent, but things have started to change in a hurry. Don’t expect to see online casinos in Virginia anytime soon, but it’s now a real possibility that these sites launch at some point.
It was House Bill 4 that allowed for casinos to be approved and built throughout the state of Virginia. Congress chose five cities as potential casino sites, and there were specific criteria in place when choosing these locations.
The four cities lawmakers chose to receive a casino are:
Lawmakers also chose Richmond as a potential site for a casino, but voters in that city decided to vote against the project. Nevertheless, having four casinos in Virginia is still a significant improvement over where things stood just a few years ago.
Once these casinos are finally up and running, that could ultimately lead to online casino gambling. Then, of course, the state will need to take additional steps, but having casino gambling in the state will be a big first step.
How Do I Know That Online Gambling Sites In Virginia Are Fair?
In Virginia, online gambling sites might be an entirely new concept, but these sites are coming into the state as a fair gambling option. It won’t take long for you to realize that these sites are fair, especially when it comes to betting odds and lines.
Since the state expects online gambling to be such a competitive industry, the state will weed out sites that are not fair in a hurry. The betting odds and lines might not always seem fair, but the sportsbooks set them for a reason.
Who Regulates Legal Online Sportsbooks In Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery regulates all legal online sportsbooks and other forms of in-person gambling in the state. The Virginia State Lottery launched 1987, but it remained the sole gambling option in the state until 2016.
Potential sites submit applications to the Virginia Lottery, and it will determine which sites can launch. The bettor with any problems should direct their questions to the Virginia Lottery.
Why Should I Trust Legal Online Sportsbooks?
The most important reason to trust legal online sportsbooks in Virginia is that they are licensed and regulated by the state. There is a strict application process, and the state will only hand out licenses to the top sportsbooks.
If you have an issue with a legal online sportsbook, each site will have its customer service or support team that can handle those complaints. These sites will be working hard to earn your trust, or else they will face the possibility of losing out on customers.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
Virginia online sportsbooks offer several different ways to get paid when you when. You will find a complete list of withdrawal options available from every site, and you can simply choose the one that works the best for your needs.
Most payouts will turn around within 24 hours, and some might even be much quicker than that. Using an app such as PayPal or Neteller will allow you to link your accounts, and the site will send money back and forth quickly.