Legal online sports betting in Virginia officially went live on January 21, 2021.
FanDuel Sportsbook was first to market thanks to a partnership with the Washington Football Team. DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill launched shortly after, and multiple other online sportsbooks are expected to launch in the coming weeks.
This is a welcome relief for bettors as other wagering opportunities in Virginia are limited. Sports fans can now place bets on the upcoming Super Bowl 55.
Betting in the Old Dominion is simple – you just need to be at least 21 years of age and be physically located within VA state lines when placing wagers.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about betting on sports in Virginia.
Best Virginia Online Sportsbooks
DraftKings has grown from a daily fantasy powerhouse into one of the most popular betting apps and online sportsbooks in the United States. If you’re looking to wager on sports in Virginia you’ll find a large menu of betting options and many promotions at DraftKings Sportsbook.Bonus: Up to $1,000 Credit
FanDuel has built on their daily fantasy success with a flawless betting app and excellent online sportsbook. Virginia users can expect a superior live betting experience and lots of features for new bettors.Bonus: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
Enjoy BetMGM's wealth of experience in the industry. Sports bettors in Virginia can take advantage of impressive sign-up bonuses, weekly free bets, and tons of in-play betting options at BetMGM's sportsbook.Bonus: $600 Risk-Free Bet
BetRivers is ready to make their mark on the Virginia sports betting scene. You can sign up with BetRivers from anywhere in VA, and their welcome offer will make you happy you did.Bonus: Up to $250
Virginia Sports Betting at a Glance
Virginia first attempted to bring sports betting to its state in 2019. However, efforts stalled, and lawmakers elected to pursue a study on the potential for legalized sports betting instead.
Fast forward to 2020, both the House and Senate passed similar bills, House Bill 896 and Senate Bill 384, which were approved after some amendments from the conference committee. One of the amendments was to allow any pro team in Virginia to offer sports betting. While only The Washington Football Team has headquarters in the state, NASCAR facilities, Martinsville Speedway, and Richmond Raceway were included in the law and can offer online and retail sports betting.
Governor Ralph Northam signed off on the legislation in April 2020, allowing legalized sports betting to begin in Virginia as of July 1, 2020. The law was also written to include the potential to build up to five casinos in Virginia in the future.
Sports betting launched state-wide in January 2021 when FanDuel and DraftKings began taking bets online just in time for the NFL Championship Weekend. BetMGM and BetRivers soon followed, and as many as 12 licenses could be available to online operators in the future.
The license to operate a sportsbook in Virginia is $250,000 for a three-year permit, and each key team member is subject to a background check, which can cost up to $50,000 per person. If that isn’t a hefty enough price, operators will also be taxed 15 percent of revenues made.
Bettors should know that bets on local college and high school teams are not allowed, but betting on all the other major sports teams in nearby states is fair game.
Latest VA Sports Betting News
Sports Betting Dime keeps track of all the latest updates as Virginia’s legal sports betting market continues to evolve. We’ll use this page to keep you informed with the latest Virginia sports betting news as more sportsbooks enter the state and we learn more about the future of sports wagering in the Old Dominion.
March 1, 2021: The Virginia Lottery reports a sports betting handle of $58,896,564 and gross gaming revenue of $3,586,077 for January 2021. This is a very solid start for sports wagering in the state, given that sportsbooks were only live for the final 11 days of the month. Virginians were clearly excited to get in on the action after a long wait.
February 3, 2021: William Hill launches in Virginia in partnership with Caesars Sportsbook.
February 1, 2021: SB 1254 passes in the Virginia Senate by a 21-18 margin.
January 27, 2021: BetMGM and BetRivers launch in Virginia. Caesars also receives approval but does not announce a launch date. Further, HB 1847 passes in the Virginia House of Delegates by a 67-33 margin.
January 24, 2021: DraftKings Sportsbook launches in Virginia, just in time for the NFL’s AFC and NFC Championship games. BetMGM was also approved by the Virginia Lottery and is expected to launch soon.
January 21, 2021: Online sports betting goes live in Virginia as FanDuel Sportsbook opens in virtual doors.
January 12, 2021: Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike files Senate Bill 1254 to clarify some sports betting regulations (similar to HB 1847).
January 7, 2021: Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles files House Bill 1847 to clarify some regulations for sports betting, including the number of licensed operators and what events are considered youth sports, which are prohibited.
November 12, 2020: The Virginia Lottery announces it is reviewing 25 applications for mobile sports betting permits. By state law, the Lottery must issue between four and 12 permits to qualified applicants. The cap of 12 permits does not include applications linked to certain major sports franchises that are headquartered in or play at a facility in Virginia.
November 3, 2020: Voters in four VA cities approve of casino construction through a referendum on election day.
September 15, 2020: The Virginia Lottery Board approves sports betting regulations, moving the Commonwealth one step closer to the launch of legal sports wagering.
July 1, 2020: Sports betting officially becomes legal in Virginia.
Where to Bet on Sports in Virginia
Online sports betting launched in Virginia on January 21, 2021. FanDuel was the first sportsbook to go live in the Old Dominion, thanks to a partnership with the Washington Football Team. DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill launched just a few days later. Adults aged 21+ who are physically located within VA state lines can now sign up, make deposits, and place wagers online or through a mobile betting app.
Sports Betting Dime expects other top online sportsbooks to follow soon.
The state currently has no casinos, but voters in four cities approved of casino construction in a November 2020 referendum. There’s also a possibility of a fifth casino in Richmond, the state capital.
Best Virginia Sports Betting Apps
As of January 21, 2021, Virginia sports fans can place a bet from anywhere in the state, at any time.
Mobile betting apps are the most convenient way to get in on the action. Mobile apps make it easy to sign up, manage your bankroll, see the odds, and place your bets. As an extra perk, several of the best sportsbook apps now allow you to live stream sporting events on the go.
With no casinos in the state currently, mobile betting is off to a head start on retail betting and will undoubtedly dominate the Virginia market for years to come.
Here are the sports betting apps available in the Old Dominion:
|Betting App||Launch Date||State-Specific Version?||Learn More|
|FanDuel||January 21, 2021||Yes||Read Review|
|DraftKings||January 24, 2021||No||Read Review|
|BetMGM||January 27, 2021||No||Read Review|
|BetRivers||January 27, 2021||Yes||Read Review|
|William Hill||February 3, 2021||No||Read Review|
This list will be updated as other sportsbooks go live. In the meantime, visit the links in the table for complete reviews of the features and promotions you can expect at each of these top sports betting apps.
Best Virginia Sportsbook Bonuses
Online sportsbooks offer a wide variety of bonuses and promotions to entice customers. Taking advantage of promotional offers is a great way to bolster your bankroll.
The more competitive the market, the better the overall product, and the more valuable and creative the promotions will be. With just four sportsbooks live thus far, we’ve not seen any VA-specific promos currently. That said, we expect this to change in due course as more sportsbooks go live in the state.
Luckily, some of the biggest players in the US sports betting market have already launched in the Old Dominion, so there are plenty of promotions that Virginians can now access.
Examples of ongoing offers include:
- Sign Up Bonuses
- Boosted Odds
- Free Bets
- Parlay Insurance
- Refer-A-Friend Bonuses
- Sport-Specific Contests and Bonuses
- Free to Play Pools
For a complete guide to the various types of bonuses offered by top sportsbooks, visit our Bonuses section.
Let’s take a quick look at what other sportsbooks likely to launch in Virginia soon are offering new customers elsewhere.
Virginia Sign Up Bonuses
Sign up bonuses are often the most lucrative promotions sportsbooks will offer. They typically take the form of a risk-free first bet, a deposit match, or a no-deposit bonus.
Virginians have no shortage of welcome bonuses to take advantage of. Here are some notable sign up offers from online betting sites in Virginia:
|Betting Site||Virginia Welcome Bonus||Get Started|
|FanDuel||$1000 Risk-Free Bet||Bet Now|
|DraftKings||$1000 Welcome Offer||Bet Now|
|BetMGM||$600 Risk-Free Bet||Bet Now|
|BetRivers||$250 Deposit Match||Bet Now|
|William Hill||$500 Risk-Free Bet||Bet Now|
Terms and conditions vary from promotion to promotion, so we recommend always reading the fine print first. And no matter which sportsbook(s) you decide to bet with, be sure to check out our comprehensive reviews to get an honest and informed opinion.
Legal Virginia Sports Betting
A moderate state, the Old Dominion has taken a very pragmatic and measured approach to the embrace of legal sports betting.
Virginia sports betting is authorized under Senate Bill 384 and House Bill 896. The industry is regulated by the Virginia Lottery, which has an extensive online info center for casinos and sports betting.
Virginia’s sports betting laws will create space for significant consumer choice within a competitive market. The state plans to issue at least four and up to 12 licenses for online sports betting, and retail sports betting will be available at soon-to-be-built casinos.
Thanks to persistent lobbying by Washington Football Team owner Dan Snyder, and others, state law stipulates that authorized professional sports facilities within Virginia can operate retail sportsbooks on their premises. Such licensed facilities are not included in the cap of 12 permits.
Of note, sports leagues are legally entitled to access betting data in Virginia whenever they request it from sportsbook operators in the state. This includes information regarding a bet’s amount, type, the time it was placed, where it was placed (including the IP address), and the outcome. To access the data, leagues must be licensed suppliers in the state of Virginia.
You can find the complete letter of the law in Chapter 40 of the Code of Virginia. We summarize the most important details below.
Online Sports Betting
Much of the excitement around Virginia’s sports betting market is due to the state’s full-hearted embrace of online betting.
Virginia’s rules make it very easy for bettors to get started with a mobile betting app or online sportsbook in the state.
Let’s summarize some key points from the Virginia online sports betting framework.
Remote Registration Allowed
You can register and fund your sports betting accounts from anywhere in the country, which is a blessing for bettors and sportsbooks alike.
Bettors in states such as Iowa and Nevada Iowa must first visit a casino or retail location to confirm their identity in person before placing any wagers from an online betting account.
Bettors must be physically located within Virginia state lines to cast a bet with a Virginia sportsbook. Sportsbooks will use geolocation verification software to confirm your location each time you place a wager.
Most mobile betting apps have integrated this functionality with the location services on your phone. Computer users may need to download an unobtrusive software package directly from their sportsbook website.
You do not need to be a Virginia resident to use a betting app or online sportsbook in the state. Location requirements apply to your physical presence in the state rather than your place of residence.
Sportsbooks Must Use League Data
By law, sportsbooks in Virginia must use official league data to settle all in-play wagers. This is a win for sports leagues themselves but adds further operating costs for sportsbooks. Unfortunately, these are likely to be passed on to bettors through increased vigorish.
Online Sports Betting Licenses
Online operators in Virginia do not need to partner with a land-based casino or retail location, as is the case in some states. This would have been highly restrictive in Virginia, given the state doesn’t have any casinos currently.
State law requires at least four and up to 12 online sports betting permits to be issued. According to the Virginia Lottery, 25 operators submitted applications, including many of the nation’s biggest players.
A three-year sports betting permit costs a modest $250,000. However, there is an additional $50,000 fee for each principal – defined as any person who owns five percent or more of a permit-holding entity, as well as any individual employed in a managerial capacity for a sports betting platform on behalf of a permit holder.
Licensed operators are charged 15 percent on all sports betting revenue in Virginia. This is considered a reasonable tax rate, with most states falling in the six percent to 20 percent range.
Virginia Retail Sports Betting
While not strictly prohibited by law, Virginia does not have any retail sports betting locations. The main reason for this is the Commonwealth doesn’t have any casinos currently.
Virginia voters approved casinos to be built in several cities in the coming years, so expect sports betting to be available at each of those in the future.
In the meantime, bettors looking for the excitement of in-person wagering can head over to nearby Washington, D.C., where retail sports betting is available at major sports arenas and select bars and restaurants that have obtained licenses.
Virginia Sports Betting Rules and Restrictions
Before you begin placing your bets in Virginia, it’s important to be aware of any rules and restrictions determined by state lawmakers and the Virginia Lottery, which oversees sports betting within the Commonwealth.
Who Can Bet on Sports in Virginia?
Most adults can legally bet on sports in Virginia through online sports betting sites and mobile apps.
You Must Be At Least 21 Years Old to Bet in Virginia
The legal gambling age in Virginia is 21. This age restriction applies to all bets placed in-person or through the internet. All legal operators will verify your age and identity upon registration.
Some operators require you to upload a government-issued photo ID, while others rely on approved e-verify software to confirm your age and identity electronically.
You Must Be Physically Located in Virginia
You must be physically present within state lines to place a wager with any licensed sportsbook in Virginia.
For this reason, online sportsbooks and mobile apps will require you to enable location services on your devices. If you sign up for a sportsbook that doesn’t do this, consider it a red flag: that sportsbook is not legally authorized in Virginia.
Industry Insiders Are Restricted
To mitigate potential conflicts of interest or unfair advantages, Virginia placed the following restrictions on industry insiders:
- Employees and board members of the state lottery are prohibited from sports betting
- Sportsbook employees and members of their households cannot place bets on their own platform
- Any competitor, coach, trainer, employee, referee, or owner of a sports team in a professional or college sports event is prohibited from betting on any event in a league they participate in
These restrictions are in line with the sports betting regulations in place in other states. Ultimately, the vast majority of adults in Virginia are legally allowed to bet on sports in the state.
Which Events Can I Bet on in Virginia?
Virginia bettors can wager on most major sports and events, with a few notable exceptions.
No Betting on Local Colleges or High School Sports
You cannot bet on a game where a Virginia college sports team is a participant, and betting on youth sports is strictly prohibited.
No Betting on the Olympics
Unlike most other states with legal sports betting, Virginia’s regulations currently do not allow any wagers to do with the Olympic Games. This is due to the Virginia Lottery’s concern that there could be minors involved in Olympic events.
However, a recent bill put forth by Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles (D) seeks to allow betting on the Olympics, among other amendments and clarifications to HB 896. This bill could potentially pass in time to allow betting on the Tokyo 2021 Games.
Political Betting is Off Limits
Unfortunately, wagering on the Presidential Election and other political outcomes is prohibited in Virginia. Betting on American politics is very popular at many international sportsbooks, but the only way to do so legally from within the United States is by using a political prediction market.
Which Types of Wagers Are Allowed?
Virginia’s sports betting law allows for all the most popular wagering types, including:
- Straight bets (Moneyline, Spread, O/U)
- Parlays & Accumulators
- Pleasers & Teasers
- Player & Championship Futures
- Live Betting
- Props & Exotics
- Exchange Betting
The only restrictions in place affect proposition betting. Virginia prohibits prop bets on all college sports events. This applies to both pre-game and in-play wagering.
Virginia Sports Betting FAQs
Can you bet sports in Virginia?
Yes. Legal sports betting launched in Virginia in January 2021. FanDuel and DraftKings were the first operators to begin taking bets online, while BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill soon followed. Others are expected to be available soon.
Do I need to be a Virginia resident to place bets in the state?
No, you do not need to be a resident of Virginia to bet on sports from within state boundaries. Furthermore, you can transfer money in and out of your account from anywhere with internet access. You just need to be physically in Virginia when placing bets.
Can you play fantasy sports in Virginia?
Virginia signed into law the “Fantasy Contests Act” in 2016, making Virginia the first state to formally legalize daily fantasy games.
Does Virginia have any sports teams?
No major professional team calls Virginia home. However, the Washington Football Team and Washington Capitals have practice facilities or a team headquarters in Virginia.
Local Teams Worth Betting On
Virginia has the unfortunate distinction of being the most populous US state that doesn’t have any major professional teams of its own. That said, many Virginians back teams from neighboring jurisdictions, including:
- Washington Capitals
- Washington Football Team
- Washington Nationals
- Washington Wizards
Sports Betting Dime provides comprehensive betting tools and editorial coverage to help you make confident and informed bets no matter who you support. Remember to always bet with your head and not your heart!
Find the Best Sportsbooks for Virginia
Home to more than eight million people, Virginia is sure to be a hot new sports betting market in 2021 and beyond.
Sports Betting Dime is here to provide valuable resources for new and experienced bettors alike. We have detailed betting guides to help you gain the edge you’re looking for, plus in-depth reviews of all the best online sportsbooks and bonuses available.
If you’re curious about where betting in other states is legal, our legalization tracker is the best place to find out where sports betting is authorized. From there, you can explore our recommendations on a state-by-state basis.