Keen to know about Virginia betting sites? Our guide gives an overview of sports markets, banking options, and the top online sports betting operators in the state.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia? What kinds of markets are available? These are among the key questions answered in this comprehensive guide to gambling in the Old Dominion. Read on for the lowdown on how to set up accounts with Virginia sportsbooks, how to manage your funds, and much more. You’ll then be all set to compare our top-rated bookies and pick the right site for you. Let’s get into it.
Are online betting sites legal in Virginia?
Yes, they are. New legislation passed in April 2020 that legalized sports betting in the Old Dominion, almost two years after the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on the practice. This was a momentous decision for a state that previously had no land-based casinos or sportsbooks whatsoever. Nonetheless, the launch of online-only Virginia sportsbooks in early 2021 proved a huge success, and the stage is now set for brick-and-mortar venues to throw open their doors to bettors.
Sports gambling sites in the Mother of States are regulated by the Virginia Lottery. This state body audits and oversees the licenses for individual gaming providers. As is the case with other jurisdictions, sportsbook customers need to be at least 21 years old and located within Virginia state lines to place real money wagers.
Why play at a licensed Virginia online betting site?
The Virginia Lottery boasts nearly three decades of experience as the overarching gambling authority in the Old Dominion state. Since the legalization of sports betting sites, the regulator’s remit has expanded to include the vetting of all new online gaming providers. Licenses are only granted to operators that behave with integrity, comply with regulatory requirements, have internal controls to prevent fraud, and are committed to encouraging responsible gambling. This means you’ll be in safe hands when you sign up for a licensed Virginia betting site. Plus, you’ll be able to take any complaints to the state authority in the event of any issue or dispute.
Why should I avoid offshore online sportsbooks?
Can you bet on sports in Virginia at offshore sites? Technically yes, but we’d strongly advise against it. Sportsbooks licensed by the Virginia Lottery undergo checks to ensure they operate correctly and that bettors’ rights are protected. If you wager at a site that’s based offshore, you won’t have those protections and may face issues like uncommunicative customer service, unfair odds and bonus terms, and late or non-existent withdrawals. You may also find it far more challenging to raise a complaint and take legal action if you fall victim to fraud.
How to identify a legal online betting site in Virginia
Confirming that Old Dominion sportsbooks are licensed by the Virginia Lottery is easy. Just click over to the homepage of the site and look for a declaration to that effect, you could also check the Virginia Lottery website, which has a list of all licensed gaming sites. The third and easiest option? Just stick to any sites recommended right here at Gambling Spotlight, as we only include Virginia online sports betting sites that are legal in the state.
Which online betting sites can Virginia residents play at?
Although online sports betting only launched in Virginia in early 2021, there are already some big-name players available for residents and visitors in the state. Here are a few of our top picks:
DraftKings made a name for itself in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) sector, way before sports betting started rolling out across the US. The DraftKings sportsbook offers a comprehensive betting platform to sports fans in Virginia, covering top American organizations like the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, plus overseas leagues like the English Premier League.
Along with a 20% matched deposit bonus up to $1,000 for newcomers, DraftKings has an invite-only high-roller VIP program, not to mention a generous refer-a-friend promo offering a free bet of up to $100.
Another DFS site that’s expanded to provide a plethora of sports betting options, FanDuel gives new members a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. Basically, if you’re not a winner on the first real money bet you make, FanDuel will credit you the whole value back, up to that impressive $1,000 cap.
Other things we like about FanDuel include a slick, easy-to-use interface, a multitude of markets in both professional and college sports, and a comprehensive in-play betting section that’s enhanced by the ability to watch live streams as you bet.
If there’s one thing that helps BetMGM stand out from the crowd it’s the interface. The site’s gold and black aesthetic provides a Vegas-like sheen and makes it a pleasure to wager at this Virginia sportsbook. You’ll also be able to bet on a wide range of sports, from football to MMA to boxing, and take advantage of ongoing promos like parlay insurance on college football games. Speaking of bonuses, BetMGM offers newbies a $1,000 risk-free bet, which means the sportsbook will refund you in bet credits if your first wager isn’t a winner.
One of the most eye-catching things about BetRivers is its welcome bonus, which is up there with the best in the state. New members can claim a 100% matched deposit of up to $250. Other plus points include the expansive range of sports that you can bet on and tools for creating same game parlays and cashing out certain selections early. The latter can be a very good way to secure a return or cut your losses if luck isn’t on your side.
You can give your bankroll a big boost shortly after joining WynnBET. Simply make a minimum deposit of $20, then place a qualifying bet. Whether you win or lose, the sportsbook will give you 200% of your stake back in the form of free bets, up to a high $1,500 max. There’s plenty more to look forward to here, with odds boosts, parlay bonuses, and same game parlay functionality. The site’s pretty easy on the eye, too.
Virginia’s land-based bookmakers
Virginia is a little bit unusual in the world of US online betting, as the state legalized online sportsbooks at a time when in-person betting wasn’t possible. Gambling expansion legislation has given the green light to land-based casinos and sportsbooks in the Old Dominion, however, and these are expected to open in 2022 or 2023. Watch this space.
How to bet on sports with real money
It only takes a couple of clicks or taps to register at a Virginia online sportsbook. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to go about it:
- There are quite a few Virginia betting sites out there, so it’s important to settle on the one that’s right for you. We recommend considering the depth of market coverage, the kinds of bonuses available, and how well a sportsbook’s customer service is rated. We can help here, as we have listed the best Virginia online sportsbooks all in one place.
- Once you’ve decided where you want to play, it’s time to sign up. Simply follow our link, which will take you to the registration page. Enter your personal information, show any ID verification documents that may be required, and remember to input the bonus code if necessary.
- Now it’s time to add some money into your account. You’ll need to do this to start wagering – unless you’ve scored a free bet with your welcome bonus. To deposit some dollars, head to the banking area and choose the payment method that suits you. A minimum amount may be needed to access the welcome bonus.
- Most deposit methods are instant, so you should find your money is there straight away. Navigate to the betting sections of the site, choose your betting markets, and away you go!
Which sports can I bet on in Virginia?
There are only a few significant limitations on what sports you’re allowed to bet on at Virginia betting sites. This means you can expect quite a wide variety of options, including:
- Football (incl. NFL)
- Basketball (incl. NBA)
- Baseball (incl. MLB)
- Hockey (incl. NHL)
- Soccer (incl. MLS)
- Golf (incl. the PGA tour)
- Motorsports (incl. NASCAR)
The main restrictions in Virginia mean you’re not allowed to place prop bets on college sports events, and no bets of any kind can be placed on events featuring in-state college teams.
Local sports teams to bet on
Virginia is the most populous state in the country to have no major league teams. However, many locals like to get behind the teams in neighboring Washington DC:
- Washington Football Team (NFL)
- Washington Capitals (NHL)
- Washington Nationals (MLB)
- Washington Wizards (NBA)
- DC United (MLS)
When it comes to college sports, there are plenty of top-quality teams based in the Commonwealth of Virginia including the James Madison Dukes and the Liberty Flames, to name just two. However, as we touched on earlier, state gambling law expressly forbids bets on events featuring such teams.
There’s no denying that sports betting comes with some jargon that can make newbies scratch their heads. So let’s have a quick run-through of the main markets on offer at Virginia betting sites:
- Moneyline – The simplest, most fundamental bet type, simply predict who you think will win.
- Point Spread – This market levels the playing field by giving the favorite a handicap to overcome, and the underdog an allowable margin of points to lose by.
- Props – Side bets that aren’t tied to the overall outcome of a game. Typical props include betting on whether a player will make it over the touchline, or if the referee will hand out a penalty card.
- Totals – Head for the totals – or over/under markets – if you think you can predict how many times a particular event will occur. For example, whether the number of goals or home runs will be above or below a certain figure.
- Live Betting – These sections at Virginia sportsbooks let you get in on the action after a game has started. It can be a thrilling way to bet, and you may be able to capitalize on more lucrative odds compared to pre-game markets.
- Futures – Get your bets in early on the outcomes of championships and tournaments. For example, you can place futures on the winners of the Stanley Cup Finals or the World Series.
- Parlays – Place multiple selections on the same bet slip with a parlay. It’s a high-risk, high reward strategy since the combined odds can lead to bigger returns, but only if every selection goes your way.
Mobile betting apps in Virginia
Virginia betting sites are 100% optimized for mobile use, and top sportsbook operators like DraftKings, WynnBET, and FanDuel provide native apps that you can download to your smart device.
Native apps are far easier to use, as they remove the need to open up the browser on your device. Plus, these apps tend to offer faster functionality, which can be a major perk when you’re placing in-game bets. What’s more, push notifications can be activated to keep you in the loop when it comes to the newest promos.
Virginia betting payment methods
There are plenty of deposit and withdrawal options at Virginia betting sites. While the list of available banking methods will differ between sportsbooks, these are the most common ways to manage your funds:
Most deposit methods allow the money to land in your account pretty much instantly, options usually include:
- Debit or credit cards – for example Mastercard, Visa, Discover, AMEX
- Prepaid Play+ cards
- Online bank transfer
There tends to be slightly fewer options when it comes to withdrawing from your online betting account in Virginia. Withdrawal times will vary depending on which site and method you’re using:
- Prepaid Play+ cards
- Check by mail
- Online bank transfer
History of gambling in Virginia
Wondering how the Old Dominion went about joining the new cohort of US territories currently allowing sports betting? Here’s a timeline that explains the most notable moments:
2018 – The Supreme Court rules that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which has for decades forbidden sports betting across most of the country, is unconstitutional.
2019 – Early legislation seeking to legalize sports betting in Virginia is stalled in the General Assembly. However, a report commissioned to assess the potential revenues of legalized sports betting suggests hundreds of millions of dollars in profit can be made.
2020 – Following some legal wrangling, sports betting bills are passed by Governor Ralph Northam, meaning that sportsbooks can gear up to operate in the Mother of States.
2021 – FanDuel becomes the very first online betting site to launch, in January 2021, with more Virginia sportsbooks swiftly following suit.
Problem gambling support in Virginia
Gambling comes with some inherent risks, so always try to keep an eye on how things are going. If you feel like you’re spending too much money or time gambling, or that it’s gone from a fun pastime to an emotionally taxing habit that’s negatively impacting your life, it might be time to get help. Here are some of the organizations that can offer help and support:
Virginia Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling
Get started with sports betting in Virginia
Now that you’ve got all the info on wagering at Virginia betting sites, you might feel ready to try them on for size. If so, you can browse our recommended options, compare and contrast the welcome bonuses, and sign up whenever you’d like.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in Virginia since 2020, online sportsbooks have been taking bets since early 2021.
How do I know if I’m playing at a licensed Virginia online sportsbook?
There are a few ways to check. First, you could look at the website of the sportsbook itself and see if it mentions having a Virginia Lottery license. Alternatively, you can check the Virginia Lottery site, or simply stick with any sites we recommend right here.
Will I be taxed for my gambling winnings?
All gambling winnings in Virginia are subject to state and federal taxes.
What other forms of gambling are allowed in Virginia?
Fantasy sports betting, horse racing betting, real money bingo, and the lottery are all permitted in Virginia. In-person casino gaming is expected to be available from 2022 or 2023 onwards.
Do you need to be in Virginia to play at a Virginia online sportsbook?
You do. In fact, Virginia betting sites will check that you’re within the state using geolocation technology.
Is Virginia online betting fair?
Licensed Virginia sportsbooks are strictly regulated, so you can rely on them to provide a fair, safe online gambling space. However, no such assurance exists if you venture towards offshore sites.
Which is the best online betting site in Virginia?
We’ll let you be the judge of that. For example, you might prefer the welcome bonus at one sportsbook over another. Or, you might have a particular fondness for the look and feel of a specific site.
If you fancy, you could join more than one bookmaker, so you can try different options out and see which one you like best.
Are there any new online betting sites in Virginia?
Virginia sportsbooks only launched in 2021, so they all fall into the ‘new online betting site’ category. The market is sure to expand, however, and the team here at GamblingSpotlight will be ready to review and recommend the best ones as they appear.