Is Sports Betting Legal in Virginia?
Yes, betting on sports is now legal in Virginia, thanks to two new bills being signed by Governor Ralph Northam on July 1, 2020. Since then, the state has ensured bettors can enjoy safely placing real money wagers on a variety of different sports.
The legal sports betting market in Virginia is regulated by the Virginia Lottery, which sets the rules on which sportsbooks can be licensed and how they’re allowed to operate. In total, there are up to twelve licenses available, although there’s no cap on how many sportsbooks can be launched by sports organizations or state casinos. This means that in reality, there’s no real limit on how betting sportsbooks VA bettors can enjoy.
Timeline of VA Sports Betting
- May 14, 2018 – The Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which gives states the freedom to regulate and control sports betting.
- November 25, 2019 – The Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission releases a report that indicates the state could benefit from $55 million in tax revenue from legal sports betting.
- November 5, 2020 – Voters in four Virginia cities approve plans to build casinos. These casinos would also go on to offer legal sports betting.
- July 1, 2020 – After requested amendments are made to three different sports betting bills, Governor Northam signs them into law. However, one still requires voter approval.
- September 15, 2020 – The Virginia Lottery draws up rules and regulations on sports betting and begins accepting applications.
- January 21, 2021 – DraftKings becomes the first online sportsbook in Virginia to begin taking bets.
- July 1, 2021 – A new sports betting bill is signed into law, increasing the number of potential sportsbooks and approving betting on Olympic events.
- July 2022 – The Hard Rock Sportsbook in Bristol becomes the first retail sportsbook in the state.
Virginia Sports Betting at a Glance
|Virginia retail sports betting legal status||Legal and live|
|Virginia online sports betting legal status||Legal and live|
|Virginia online sports betting launch date||July 1, 2020|
|Virginia sports betting regulator||Virginia Lottery|
|Number of sportsbook licenses available||13 plus unlimited licenses for casinos and teams|
|Total bets placed in first month||$58.9 million|
|Sportsbook tax rate||15%|
Top VA Sportsbooks
Since sports betting first started in Virginia, a number of sites have launched. These are some of the most popular options among VA bettors:
- DraftKings – Best overall betting experience
- FanDuel – Best mobile betting app
- Caesars – Best welcome offer
- BetRivers – Best loyalty rewards
- BetMGM – Best live streams
- Bet365 – Best live betting
- PointsBet – Best betting markets
- Unibet – Best odds boosts
How to Choose a Virginia Sportsbook
Before you join a sportsbook, it’s important to make sure you pick the right option. There are now more than sixteen different legal sportsbooks available for VA bettors to join, and they all offer different things. It’s important to make sure you choose a site that gives you the best possible betting experience, so we recommend looking at the following factors when deciding which sportsbook to join:
Reading sportsbook reviews is the fastest way to find out what each site has to offer. Our expert review team signs up to every sports betting site that’s legal and licensed in Virginia and tests them out. We look at all the available data on each option, and our research is updated regularly to ensure you get the latest information. Check out the reviews of our current top-rated VA sportsbooks to get a better idea of what’s available.
Bonuses are one of the best parts of betting online, as you can claim rewards simply for signing up and placing bets on the sports you love. Before joining a sportsbook, it’s worth checking out which promotions are available and how easy they are to claim. While bonuses are a lot of fun, some are definitely better than others, and you want to make sure they’re worth your time.
Some examples of bonuses you might encounter include:
- Free bets/bet credits
- Risk-free bets
- No deposit offers
- Matched deposit offers
- Odds boosts
Odds and Lines
Odds and lines make a big different to how successful you are when betting. To make the most profits, you want to take your bets at the best odds. While major events often feature similar odds and lines between sites, you can find a lot of value by looking for which sites consistently have better odds. Don’t miss out on potential profits, and always compare odds before you place your bet.
Sports and Markets
While you may have a favorite sport you prefer to bet on, it’s always good to have a variety of options. The best sportsbooks feature loads of different sports and competitions from around the world, so you’ll always have something to bet on, even if your favorite sport is in the off-season.
Most VA sportsbooks we’ve reviewed feature sports, including:
- College Sports
- Premier League Soccer
- Champions League Soccer
In terms of markets, more options mean more betting opportunities and more of a chance to find value if you know where to look. Major events at big sportsbooks can have hundreds of different markets, and even smaller games can still feature lots of betting options for you to choose from.
Some of the most popular markets at Virginia sportsbooks include:
- Point spread
- Point total
- Player props
- Game props
- Same game parlays
Usability is another big factor to consider when you’re choosing your sportsbook. Ideally, you should be able to sign up and start betting within a few minutes, with no hassle or long loading times to deal with. Not only that, but the best VA sportsbooks are accessible on most devices, so you can easily start betting while on the go. The betting interface should also be clear and simple, allowing you to find your favorite events without any issues.
The payment process at your sportsbook of choice is important, too, as you’ll need to be able to make deposits and withdrawals quickly and safely. All good VA sportsbooks use encryption to protect your payment details, but the payment process can vary depending on which site you use. Make sure your preferred payment method is supported and that you don’t need to wait around for long to receive your winnings when you request a withdrawal.
It’s an easy one to overlook, but good customer support makes a big difference to how enjoyable a sportsbook is to use. Having the peace of mind that your questions or issues will be responded to quickly is important. All good sportsbooks ensure that you can get in touch through a variety of different methods so that if you ever do have an issue, you can get it resolved without any hassle.
Popular customer support options include:
- FAQ pages
- Live chat
- Email support
- Phone support
Signing Up to a VA Sportsbook
Signing up to sportsbooks in Virginia is pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps to create your account:
- Visit your chosen sportsbook, either through the website or by downloading and installing the app
- Create your account by filling in your personal details
- Verify your account by uploading your ID and accepting the location request
- Agree to the site’s terms and conditions to complete the sign up process
Making Deposits at Virginia Sportsbooks
Once you’ve joined a sportsbook, you’ll need to add funds to your account so you can start betting. Thankfully, making deposits is always pretty simple, and once you’ve approved any payment, the funds should arrive in your account instantly for you to bet with. The payment process can vary depending on the site and the method you use, but it’s always safe and secure.
Popular payment options available at VA sportsbooks include:
- Online banking
- Debit/credit cards
- Wire transfer
Virginia is also one of the few states in the country that allows legal sportsbooks to accept crypto payments. As a result, a growing number if sites now let you make deposits using popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Claiming Virginia Betting Bonuses
All of the Virginia sportsbooks we’ve tested offer bonuses to new and existing customers, putting extra funds in your account to bet with. In most cases, all you need to do to claim these bonuses is sign up, make a deposit, and start betting on your favorite sports.
However, some bonuses do have more complicated requirements, and they all come with terms and conditions. Before you try to get your hands on a VA sports betting promo, make sure you read through these carefully to make sure you’ll be getting the full value out of the offer.
Here are some common bonus terms to look out for, as well as an explanation of each term:
|Terms and Conditions||Example||Explanation|
|Wagering requirement/rollover||25x||Complete the wagering to withdraw your bonus|
|Promo code||BONUS10||Enter the promo code when making a deposit to claim your bonus|
|Minimum deposit||$20||Deposit at least this amount to claim the bonus|
|Minimum bet||$10||Make a bet of at least this amount to claim the bonus|
|Minimum odds||-200||Make a bet at these odds or greater to claim the bonus|
Virginia Sportsbook Payout Guide
Provided you have enough funds in your account, you can request a withdrawal at any time. The sportsbook will send your funds to your selected payment method after approving the payout. In most cases, you won’t have to wait long for your money to arrive, although the exact length of time can depend on the sportsbook and the payment method you use.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your first withdrawal:
- Sign into your account and check that you have enough funds to cover the minimum withdrawal
- Head to the cashier section and choose the payment method that you want to withdraw with
- In most cases, you’ll need to choose a payment method that you previously used to make a deposit
- Enter the amount you’d like to withdraw, make sure the details are correct, and confirm
- Wait for the sportsbook to process and approve your payout and for your money to arrive
Our research shows that most VA sportsbooks will process withdrawal requests within 24 hours, though you’ll need to have verified your identity first.
For some examples of withdrawal times for different payment methods, see this table:
|Payment Method||Withdrawal Time|
|Debit card||1-5 days|
|PayPal||30 minutes to 1 day|
|Bank transfer||1-7 days|
Betting On Your Mobile in VA
As long as you’re within the state borders, you can place bets from anywhere you like. Virginia sportsbooks let you sign up and bet from mobile, as all sites we’ve tested are fully compatible with smartphones and tablets. Whether you prefer to sign up and place bets through your mobile browser or you’d rather download an app, it’s incredibly easy to get started and place bets at any time.
The apps we’ve tested have been really easy to download, making the betting experience even more convenient. You can access all the same features, odds, and bonuses as you’d find on the main site. In addition, using menus to find events and markets is really simple.
Popular Virginia Sports to Bet On
Virginia is actually the most populated state without a major franchise in any of the top sports leagues. Despite this, the state is full of sports fans who enjoy following teams from all over the country. You can bet on all major sports at VA sportsbooks, including the following:
The NFL is huge across the US, and especially so in Virginia. It’s the most popular sport to watch, and according to the data from VA sportsbooks, football sees the largest amount of wagers placed compared to any other sport. While Virginia doesn’t have its own franchise, the Washington Commanders train in the north of the state. The Commanders have never won the Super Bowl but made the playoffs recently in 2020.
The NBA has grown to become the country’s second favorite sport, outranking the MLB and NHL in terms of attendance and viewership. While there are plenty of basketball fans in Virginia, there’s no NBA franchise, so most fans follow either the Washington Wizards or the Charlotte Hornets. Neither side has had much success in recent years, and the Hornets have never won the Championship in their history.
Although the MLB has faced declining popularity over the years, it’s still a massively important sport in the history of the country and has a huge fanbase of devoted fans. Virginia may not have an MLB franchise, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its supporters. Most VA baseball fans follow the Washington Nationals, but a fair few also support the Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals won their first-ever World Series in 2019.
Interest in the NHL has been steadily growing over the past few years, and the success of new franchises, such as the Las Vegas Golden Knights, has opened up the possibility of further expansion. At the moment, there’s no Virginia-based NHL franchise, but the Washington Capitals are headquartered in the state. The Caps have most recently lifted the Stanley Cup in the 2017-18 season.
Support for soccer is growing across the US, especially thanks to the continued development of the MLS and the US national teams. The MLS is quickly becoming an elite league capable of attracting the biggest talents. While Virginia may not have its own franchise at the moment, a lot of fans are turning out to support DC United, which is based in nearby Washington. DC United are currently coached by ex-England top scorer Wayne Rooney.
The lack of major sports league franchises in Virginia is perhaps one of the reasons why college sports are so big in the state. Fans of Virginia college teams such as the Cavaliers can’t bet on their games, unfortunately, as the state has a ban on any bets involving Virginia-based teams. In addition, you can’t bet on college games that take place in Virginia, even if they don’t involve a home-state team.
Why We Recommend Joining Multiple VA Sportsbooks
Although there’s nothing wrong with signing up to one sportsbook and sticking to it, you could be missing out. Whenever people ask us how many betting sites they should have, we say as many as possible!
There are loads of great betting sites available, and it makes sense to take advantage of all of them. Provided they’re licensed, legal, and safe to use, you can enjoy the following benefits by signing up to multiple sportsbooks:
The great thing about joining multiple sportsbooks is that you get to enjoy multiple welcome bonuses. Normally, you can only claim one welcome offer per site, and although there are often regular promos available, they’re not the same. By creating accounts with different sportsbooks, you can enjoy a welcome offer from each, and this can be extremely lucrative.
The Best Odds
By creating an account with all of the top sportsbooks, you can also guarantee that you’ll almost always be getting the best odds. You’ll be able to quickly compare odds before you place your bet, instantly knowing which site will give you the best profits if you’re successful. This is ideal, as you can’t always be sure in advance which site will have the best odds.
Most betting sites offer something that sets them apart from the competition. Whether it’s loyalty rewards, live betting, more detailed markets, or something else, joining multiple sites will allow you to test them out. Not only does this help you enjoy a better betting experience, but it also helps you find out which features are more important to you.
Virginia Betting FAQ
Is betting on sports legal in Virginia?
Yes, betting on sports is completely legal in Virginia as of April 2020. The state became part of a growing number of states across the country to legalize betting, with the first sportsbooks launching in January 2021.
What is the minimum age you can start betting in Virginia?
To legally sign up to a VA sportsbook and start placing bets, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old. All online sportsbooks will verify your ID when you join, so there’s no getting around the age restrictions.
Where can I bet on sports in Virginia?
You can bet on sports in Virginia at online sportsbooks and retail sportsbooks at licensed land-based casinos. There are already more than sixteen different online betting sites to choose from, and more could potentially launch.
Are betting apps legal in Virginia?
Betting on your mobile is also legal in Virginia, and all of the top VA sportsbooks offer mobile apps for you to download. Betting through an app lets you make deposits, claim bonuses and place bets wherever you go, although the app will check that you’re within the state borders.
Can I claim promos at Virginia online sportsbooks?
Yes, all of the Virginia sportsbooks we’ve reviewed offer promos to new and current bettors. These rewards are simple to claim and include things like risk-free bets, bet credits, boosted odds, and much more.