There is very limited gambling opportunities in Virginia. However online casinos based offshore are able to accept Virginia players. Offshore providers are regulated and licensed at jurisdiction that have strict compliance offset by tax concessions.
Players from Virginia continue to play online most for casino games and sports betting. Poker and bingo also are played at, but not as popular as the fore mentioned.
- Offshore online casino providers whom are regulated and licensed, accept players from Virginia.
- There are no state regulated online onshore operators.
- Virginia State Lottery holds monopoly on lottery products
- No commercial licenses are awarded for land based casinos, slots facilities or Tribal establishments.
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Online casino activity is currently available and offered through various sites that are based offshore. These sites are safe and secure to play at, with no risk posed to Virginia players, both regarding legality or to player data protection.
The best online casinos all use the latest SSL internet technology, and feature secure payment methods that are common, trusted and processed by reputable financial institutions. These include: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Bitcoin (BTC), direct wire transfers and many other methods.
Casino Bonuses are extremely important in selecting an online casino. We have therefore displayed some of the best casino bonuses that can be found whilst balancing other important criteria such as safety and security as previously mentioned. However, for ease of reference, we have listed them according to the size of bonus.
Without doubt, at the time of writing, El Royale Casino offers the best casino bonus deal. It is also one of the safest. Coupled with excellent customer service, El Royale is our top recommended online casino for Virginia players.
Online sports betting sites, however, do exist and they are based offshore. They accept Virginia bettors, with no precedence of any bettor being informed of a breach in law, let alone charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports is growing fast in popularity. New to the gambling scene, it is considered a game of skill by many which requires bettors to create a fictitious team based on real players. The performance of the real sports players in real life determine how successful the fictitious team is. As a result, it truly is those with the most “skills” will win.
The two dominate daily fantasy sports providers is DraftKings and FanDuel. On this site, we do not actively promote daily fantasy sports as we understand that it is a game of “skill” which is being exploited by bettors who have the best risk modelling. That is, it isn’t nearly about how well you know your sport, the sport players etc, it is very much about who has the best statistical model and who has access to the most detailed sports player data.
As someone who may be a big fan of sport, and thinking that they would have a good chance of winning money in DFS, think again. You are pitted against statistical modelling experts who deliberately target games that mostly have new players to DFS. In fact, it has been alleged that those who are extremely good at DFS have been known to collaborate among themselves and not compete with each other. Thereby creating a sustainable winning formula shared by the experts.
We therefore want our readers to be aware that DFS is not what is appears to be. In fairness, DFS is legal in Virginia and many DFS onshore operators accept Virginia players.
Top 3 Virginia Online Bingo Sites
Virginia bingo laws are stipulated under Charitable gaming state legislation. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address nor permit online bingo by onshore operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Virginia players are based offshore (which is the same as online casinos and sports betting sites).
The recommended online bingo sites all accept players from Virginia. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!
Legal Minimum Gambling Age
- The gambling age for players is 21 for online gaming and betting
- The gambling age for players is 18 for lottery products
- Virginia Statutory Code expressly voids all forms of gambling, with the exception of the State lottery, pari-mutuel wagering and charitable and social gambling.
- State law authorizes online horse race betting through the Colonial Downs (the sole horse race track in the State).
- State law does not expressly prohibit online gambling but does prohibit onshore online operators from operating within the market.
The surplus from the State Lottery is circulated to fund education in Virginia.
Regulation and Governance
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Virginia Statutory Code
- Charitable Gaming Statute
Virginia Gambling Market Developments
- Virginia lawmakers continue to review online gambling legislation, including mobile connectivity.
- Sports betting has been approved and is to be regulated by the Virginia Lottery Commission, with the expectation of onshore retail betting available by January 2021.
The legislature passed a bill to authorize and regulate electronic pull tab machines.
Attempts were made to authorize and expand the land-based casino market and a Bill to that effect was introduced in 2012, but this was unsuccessful.
For players that wish to engage in casino activity, West Virginia offers land-based casino games and number of interactive gaming sites are available.
The State Lottery awarded NeoPollard Interactive, a five (5) year contract to provide enhanced subscriptions and digital platform services.
Senator Ryan McDougle introduced a bill to the senate which seeks to define and authorize daily fantasy sports contests in the state. SB646 seeks to define fantasy sports as a game of skill and specifically exempt them from the definition of illegal gambling. The bill also sets out a basis for a regulatory framework to govern the activity.
Delegate, Jackson Miller, introduced a House version of SB646, which seeks to regulate daily fantasy sports contests, HB775 was referred to the Committee on General Laws following its first reading
SB646, was passed by the Senate with a majority vote of 28 to ten (10) after its third reading in this chamber. The bill was sent to the House for its first reading;
HB775, was passed by the House in its final vote with 79 in favour to 19 against. The bill progressed to the governor who will decide whether to sign it into law.
State Governor, Terry McAuliffe, signed HB775 into law to specifically authorize daily fantasy sports contests making Virginia the first state to enact DFS legislation. The bill puts the contests under the governance of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service and imposes an initial application fee of $50k for operators wishing to target the market;
IGT secured a seven-year contract with the Virginia Lottery to supply new lottery technology and services. The contract will see IGT supply 5,500 draw-based lottery terminals, self-service ticket machines, instant ticket distribution and a new retail software solution.
Senator Louise Lucas introduced a bill to classify poker as a game of skill and therefore exempt it from the State’s definition of illegal gambling. SB1400 would authorize licensed organisations to conduct poker games for charitable causes and entrust regulation of the industry to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Charitable Gaming Board. The bill was referred to the Committee on General Laws and Technology
Regulated poker bill SB1400 was passed by the Senate following its third reading. The bill progressed to the House and was referred to the Committee on General Laws.
Legislators introduced concurrent bills, HB849 and SB348, to the legislature to permit the sale of state lottery tickets over the Internet
House Delegate Michael J. Webert introduced HB1609 to permit historical horserace betting at racetracks and satellite betting facilities across the state.
HB1609 (historic horserace betting) was passed by the House and progressed to the Senate for consideration.
HB1609 (historic horserace betting) was passed by a majority vote 31:9 in the Senate and progressed to the state Governor for final approval.
The State Governor signed HB1609 (historic horserace betting) into law. The bill took effect on 1 July 2018.
The Racing Commission approved the Historical Horse Racing Regulations, which will permit the operation of up to 3,000 betting machines offering historical (virtual) horse race betting at Colonial Downs and specific off-track betting parlors in the state. The temporary regulations will remain in effect for 18 months to enable the Commission to introduce amendments prior to deciding on a formal adoption of the regulations.
House Delegate Mark Sickles pre-filed legislation ahead of the 2019 legislative session which would direct the Virginia Lottery to regulate interactive sportsbetting. HB1638 would impose a 15% gross win tax on operators, with a 2.5% of the tax being retained by the lottery. Prospective licensees may apply for a three-year permit and pay $250k, with a $200k renewal fee.
Senator Louise Lucas pre-filed legislation to authorise casinos in specific cities in the state. The bill SB1126 would entrust the regulation of industry to the Virginia Lottery Board and proposed a gross win tax of 13% to 15%. The bill also included language to authorize sportsbetting and online gaming. In order to take effect, casino gaming must be approved by a majority of voters in a statewide referendum before 1 January 2021.
Senator Peterson introduced SB1238 to authorise and regulate retail sports betting in the state. The Bill would establish the Virginia Sports Betting Department to oversee the industry and proposed a tax rate of 10% on gross win. Under the provisions of the Bill, betting on college sports and youth sports would be prohibited. Licenses would be available: (a) at a racetrack or off-track betting facility in a locality that as of 2019 had approved such facilities by referendum; or (b) in a locality that votes to allow sports
betting by a referendum;
State Delegate Marcus Simon pre-filed the Virginia Electronic Sports Betting Law ahead of the 2019 General Assembly session. The Bill, HB 2210 directs the Virginia Lottery to authorise and provide for the operation of interactive sportsbetting and would repeal the prohibition against sale of lottery tickets over the internet. The Bill would impose a 10% Gross Win tax on licensed operators and prohibit betting on amateur sports events.
The Senate passed SB 1126 to authorise casino gaming in specified cites subject to voter approval. Before it passed the bill was amended
The House also passed SB 1126 and the bill progressed to the Governor for final approval.
Governor Ralph Northam signed legislation that paves the way for land-based and online casino gaming regulation and also provides a route to regulate sportsbetting in the state. SB1126 allows for cities and Indian tribes to host casino venues according to specific economic criteria. The Virginia Lottery Board would act as state regulator of the sector. In order to take effect, casino gaming must be approved by a majority of voters in a
statewide referendum before 1 January 2021.
The Virginia Lottery launched MobilePlay, its new mobile app enabling customers to buy lottery draw tickets and play a number of mobile instant games. Customers are only able to use the app to make purchases whilst in a lottery retailer.
Colonial Downs launched 600 historical horserace wagering terminals at the racetrack’s new gaming floor on 23 April 2019.
Voters in Dumfries and Danville approved ballot measures to allow Colonial Downs to establish one (1) new gaming machine facility in each locality. Each facility will be permitted to operate between 150 and 700 historic racing terminals dependent upon the population of the County in which it is located. The enabling legislation (HB1609) imposed a statewide maximum of 3,000 terminals.
Representative Mark Sickles introduced legislation to authorise and regulate retail and online sportsbetting in the state. The bill, HB 896, would allow for a maximum of 10 licenses which would permit operators to take wagers on professional sports only and impose a 15% tax on gross win.
The Virginia House Appropriations Committee passed casino bill HB 374, which will now go to both the Senate and the House floor. HB 374 is a re-enactment of the Senate Bill SB 1126 that was passed last year, which authorises casino gaming in specified cities, subject to voter approval;
The House approved HB 374 to permit casinos in five cities and the bill progressed to the Senate floor for consideration.
Online sportsbetting bill, HB 896, was passed by the House and the Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee. The bill must be approved by the full Senate before 7 March 2020 if it is to be sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval.
The Senate unanimously voted against the passage of casino bill HB 374 due to amendments made in the House to reduce the proposed tax rate. The House amendments would have set a gross win tax ranging from 15-28% dependent on the scale of the capital investment each licensee would make. The Senate rejected the proposal in favor of a range between 27-40%.
A number of gambling expansion bills were passed by the Senate and sent to the Governor’s desk for final approval – HB 896 would permit retail and online sportsbetting at the state’s five (5) proposed casinos as well as the Washington Redskins stadium and would set a 15% gross win tax on the activity
HB 896 would authorize five (5) land-based casinos in the state provided the
development of the casinos is authorized in the proposed counties in the
November referendum. The bill proposed an incremental tax rate of 18% of gross win under $200m, 23% under $400m and 30% for all gross win above $400m.
Governor Ralph Northam acted on a number of gambling related bills that had progressed to his desk for approval. The Governor made a number of small amendments to proposals to authorize and regulate retail and online sports betting as well as 5 (five) land based casinos in the state. The bills were resubmitted to the legislature for approval. The Governor also requested the legislature delay the proposed ban on ‘unregulated’ gaming
machines in operation in the state in order to support the small businesses likes bars and restaurants in which they operate, during the Covid-19 crisis;
The legislature gave its approval to Governor Ralph Northam’s amendments to casino and sports betting bills which subsequently passed into law.
The Virginia Lottery has agreed an intergovernmental deal with Maryland’s Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) to support Virginia’s sports betting licensing process.
The MLGCA has developed an e-licensing system to allow casinos to submit applications for sports betting licenses, and enables agency staff to review the applications.
The Virginia Lottery on 1 July launched an online lottery website for sales of its most popular games over the internet. Previously, the lottery had launched a mobile app which communicated via Bluetooth with the lottery terminal within a retailer’s store, but this has now been superseded by the full online lottery product.
Caesars Entertainment has moved closer to launching the state’s first casino, having had a performance agreement agreed by Danville City Council, following legislation passed in March allowing five (5) land-based casinos. However, the project is still contingent on voter approval in November.
The Virginia Lottery Board approved operational regulations for the state’s sports betting market. The Board is expected to begin the licensing process in October and has targeted a January 2021 launch date for its online sports betting market.
Is it legal to gamble online in Virginia?
Gambling laws vary for each type of game. Online games are not permitted to be offered by onshore gaming operators. As a result, online operators are based offshore at regulated and licensed jurisdictions. Virginia players are accepted by the offshore operators. In regards, to player legality, the laws neither explicitly declare online gambling as illegal or legal. As a result Virginia players can continue to enjoy playing online games.
What is the legal minimum age to play at online casinos?
Legal minimum ages vary from online casino to online casino, however their requirement is that the higher of the player’s jurisdiction the the online casino’s own legal minimum is taken to be the determine age limit. Therefore, for Virginia players the legal minimum age is 21.