Virginia Sports Betting

Virginia Sports Betting Info And The Best VA Sportsbooks

Virginia online sports betting is live and legal. The state has been one of the most surprising successes of this era of sports betting in the US. There are 12 sportsbook apps in Virginia, which is impressive if you consider that the first one launched only in January 2021. As you would expect, the apps come with plenty of options and bonuses for new users in the state. Since more operators can get the licence in Virginia, additional sportsbooks are in the pipeline to launch later this year. In addition, Virginia is one of the only three states to offer sports betting in an online-only format since there are no retail casinos or gambling venues in the state at the moment. The law that has legalized sports betting also allows the construction of several casinos in Virginia, so these could host new sportsbooks later on. The betting market is regulated by the Virginia lottery.

Virginia Sportsbooks

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Best sports betting apps in Virginia

State law in Virginia says that sports bettors could use up to 19 different apps for sports betting. Additionally, there are provisions for future land-based casinos in the state. At the moment, around a dozen apps are up and running in Virginia, and below we have provided some information on who the main online sportsbooks in Virginia are:

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM Sportsbook is the sportsbook operator of casino giant MGM Resorts International. Although MGM doesn’t have explicit partnerships in Virginia, it owns and operates MGM National Harbor, which is just southeast of Washington, D.C., and very close to the border state of Maryland. One of the most popular features of BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia is the “Edit My Bet” feature, which allows players to add elements to their bet, modify the elements involved, or alter the amount of their bet. They offer plenty of betting types to their customers.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers Sportsbook is the sports betting app owned by Rush Street Interactive (RSI). RSI owns and operates the Rivers brand of casinos and will open a location in Portsmouth in 2023. BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia is well-known in the state for having one of the best loyalty programmes for sports betting. 

Caesars Sportsbook

The Caesars Group, which runs the Virginia Caesars Sportsbook and will also open and run a location in Danville in 2023, is part of the Caesars Group. The experience of buying the sports betting giant William Hill has helped make the sportsbook app even better. As a result, bettors can find and place any type of wager without any problems with this no-frills product. 

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings Sportsbook has pretty quickly become one of the most successful sportsbooks in America. They have a very innovative app that makes it possible for US bettors to use Cash Out. DraftKings Virginia also has an offering for each bettor. On their custom betting carousels, they show a list of likely bets based on how each customer has bet in the past and what they like. 

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel is now offering sports betting in Virginia because it has a deal with the Washington Football Team. The FanDuel Virginia app is one of the best on the market because it is easy to use and has a lot of options for single-game parlays.

PointsBet Sportsbook

PointsBet is an Australian company that offers sports betting. Thanks to a deal with Colonial Downs Group, which owns Virginia’s Colonial Downs racetrack, PointsBet now has a stake in the state. PointsBet has a unique betting product: points betting is like a standard spread or total bet, but it rewards or penalizes players based on the distance the actual game’s statistic is from the prediction. Since this type of betting is only offered by one company, it is especially appealing to bettors who want to try out new ways to bet on sports. 

Unibet Sportsbook

Unibet Sportsbook is not yet well known to US bettors, but it is part of one of the biggest gambling companies in Europe. Unibet Virginia brings plenty of experience to the state and has one of the simplest and easiest-to-manage apps in the market. 

Other apps available in Virginia

Other active sportsbook apps in Virginia are listed below, with new ones likely to appear in the next few months: 

  • Bally Bet
  • Barstool
  • Golden Nugget
  • WynnBet

No retail sportsbooks in VA are available as yet

Virginia’s sports betting market was launched as an online-only affair in 2021. The law, however, also allowed the launch of five land-based casinos that will come to Old Dominion soon. All these casinos will have the opportunity to also have sportsbooks if they decide to do so. Before building can start, the law also says that the cities where each casino will be built must hold a vote on the matter. Below you will find a list of the four cities that have approved their referenda for 2020: 

  • Bristol voters approved the development of a Hard Rock casino. Hard Rock doesn’t have a mobile sportsbetting license in the state yet. 
  • Danville voters approved the development of a Caesars casino. The company already have a mobile sportsbook license with the app that is already operating. 
  • Norfolk voters approved the development of a casino by the Pamunkey Indians. They are yet to select a sportsbook partnership. 
  • Portsmouth voters approved the development of a Rush Street casino. Rush Street is already operating in the state with its BetRivers app. 

Voters in Richmond rejected placing a fifth Virginia casino in their city. So, for the time being, there will be only four casino locations in Virginia, in addition to physical sportsbooks at sporting venues like Virginia’s two auto racing tracks and the horse racing track Colonial Downs. Here, we’ll tell you what’s going on with the retail sports betting market in Virginia. 

How to start legally wagering in Virginia

Below is a quick overview of how you can get up and running with legal betting apps in VA. 

  1. Choose which app or apps you are keen to try. There are several in Virginia, so you won’t be short of options
  2. Download the sportsbook app you have selected. VA sportsbooks apps are available for both iPhones and Android devices, so you shouldn’t have problems downloading them. 
  3. Open a new account. During the registration process, you will be required to provide your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. The sportsbooks use this to comply with the gambling law that dictates to verify who you are and that your age is 21 years or older. 
  4. Deposit into your account. Once your account has been verified, you can deposit funds using any of the different payment methods provided. 

At this point, you can simply start using the app and locate the bets you want to place. 

How to deposit and withdraw at Virginia sportsbooks

Depending on which sportsbook you use, you may have different ways to add money to your account. The most popular ones, however, are the following: 

  • Online banking
  • Electronic Check
  • Pre-paid cards
  • PayPal
  • PayNearMe (funding method at 7-Eleven and select other stores)
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards

Sometimes credit cards might not work, this will depend on your bank. If that is the case, simply change the payment method.  

Live betting opportunities in Virginia

One of the most innovative ways of wagering is live betting, also known as in-game wagering, which is available at legal VA sportsbooks. Most people think that sports bets have to be placed before a game begins, but with the improvement of technology in recent years, the betting industry has been able to offer betting while the games are on and actions are unfolding. With most Virginia sportsbook apps, you will find lots of live betting markets with odds that are updated continuously during the game. These are the most popular in-play betting markets available: 

  • Points spreads
  • Moneyline
  • Over-under point totals
  • Results of a quarter or a half
  • Proposition bets on player performance

Sportsbook offers and bonuses in Virginia

As mentioned, the Virginia sportsbook online market is very competitive, and it is not surprising that companies are going the extra mile to attract bettors’ attention. In addition, legal sports betting is pretty recent in the state, and this is the best time for bettors to take advantage of these generous offers. Companies usually try to get their fair share of the market as soon as possible, so they make aggressive offers and bonuses. But to make the most of opportunities, you need to understand what is being offered. The following is a simple guide to the most popular sportsbook promotions in Virginia: 

  • Risk-free bets: After making the first deposit, a bettor will get a free bet that is usually equal to that value. The bettor can use that credit to place a wager. If the wager wins, the bettor can keep the amount like a usual winning bet. If the bet loses, the sportsbook will refund the losing bet with the credits that can be used to place other wagers. 
  • Deposit match bonuses: sportsbooks will match, whole or partially up to a certain amount, the first deposit made by a customer. The credits won’t be available for an immediate withdrawal but can be used to place more bets. Once the bettor has met the playthrough requirement, which varies from operator to operator, the money can be withdrawn. 
  • No-deposit bonuses: rarely you will find sportsbooks that will give you a small amount of money to try their platform, even before you have made the first deposit. The credits cannot be withdrawn immediately but have to be playthrough. 
  • Odds boosts: sportsbooks sometimes boost the odds of an outcome for new or existing customers, intending to stand out from the competition. It is basically an innovative way to give out free money to customers, linking them with a sporting event. 

Virginia sports betting law and current regulations

Virginia law allows sports betting by members of professional sports leagues that call Virginia home. So far, the only sports team to take advantage of the regulation has been the Washington Commanders, which has formed a partnership with FanDuel, which became the first sportsbook app to launch in the state’s history. It is illegal to wager on Virginia’s NCAA college teams, but this rule doesn’t apply to tournaments that involve Virginia teams and in which other college basketball teams are also taking part. 

Virginia sports betting revenue and taxation rate

Virginia sportsbooks have to pay a 15% tax rate on all sports betting revenue made in the state. But since sportsbooks can deduct promotional expenses aimed at customer acquisition, the actual tax rate is far less. This has made it favourable for the exponential growth of sportsbooks operators in the state. 

Virginia sports betting history

But how did Virginia manage to legalize sports betting? Let’s look at the different steps that have made this possible. 

2021: Virginia sports betting launch

Virginia’s sports betting industry officially started in mid-January when FanDuel became the first sportsbook to formally launch on the back of a partnership with the Washington Football Team. Already in March, there were nine mobile sportsbooks licensed in the state. Following some changes to the betting law, the market could have 18 or more licenced mobile sportsbooks. This is because there are up to 12 mobile licences, five sportsbooks licences that can be acquired through casinos, and sports team deals that can also launch a sportsbook in the future, as was the case with the FanDuel-Washington Football partnership. 

2020: Getting everything prepared for the final hurdle

A 2019 study showed that sports betting could bring in a lot of money, so Virginia lawmakers decided to take some important steps to make it legal. The state House and Senate bills made quick progress in the chambers and were eventually approved in April 2020. The Virginia sports betting bill allowed online wagering and set the rules for using official league data to regulate and settle in-play bets. 

2019: Virginia’s legalization efforts were not enough

Virginia showed interest in legalizing sports betting immediately after the repeal of PASPA. The legislation, however, stalled, and it was decided to commission a study to find out in detail the pros and cons of legalizing sports betting in Virginia.

Most popular sports to wager on in Virginia

Not surprisingly, the four major professional sports, together with college football, account for the bulk of wagers at legal US sportsbooks. Unfortunately, there are no professional sports teams based in Virginia, but sports fans indeed have plenty of options in the neighbouring states. So let’s take a look at the major sports betting trends in VA. 

NFL betting in Virginia

Betting on the NFL is a massive business in the US, and Virginia is not an exception to this rule. NFL betting, especially on the Super Bowl, is where most of the action is for most sportsbooks. In Landover, MD, the Washington Football Team of the NFC East division plays its game very close. Also, the Baltimore Ravens of the AFC South division play their games close to Maryland. The Ravens’ headquarters and training facility are both in Virginia, and it’s likely that they will also build a new stadium there at some point. Additionally, some areas of Virginia are close to North Carolina, where the Charlotte Panthers are playing their trade in the NFC South division. 

MLB betting in Virginia

Wagering on Major League Baseball is key for many sportsbooks during the summer months. During the summer, most of the bets in US sportsbooks are on MLB games, and the same is true in Virginia. The state is close to the Washington Nationals in the National League East and the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East division. As a result, most fans in Virginia are focused on these two teams. 

NBA betting in Virginia

Even if there aren’t NBA teams based in Virginia, this doesn’t stop local bettors from enjoying pro basketball action during the whole season. The NBA is one of the most popular choices for in-play wagering due to the fast nature of the sport. Virginia is also close to the Washington Wizards and the Charlotte Hornets, who both play in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. 

NHL betting in Virginia

Betting on the NHL is not incredibly popular across the US, but it is trendy in this part of the country. Virginia doesn’t have NHL professional teams, but the state is close to the Washington Capitals of the NHL’s Metropolitan Division and the Carolina Hurricanes of the Atlantic Division. As a result, they tend to attract the majority of the local wagers. The Capitals have a lot of fans in this city since they won the Stanley Cup in 2018. 

MLS betting in Virginia

Soccer is a growing sport, with the English Premier League (EPL) and the UEFA Champions League attracting significant wagering attention. The closest Major League Soccer team to the Virginia region is DC United. 

Virginia sports betting FAQ

Is sports wagering legal in Virginia?

Yes, sports betting in Virginia has been legal since April 2020 and has been active since January 2021. The legal age for betting in Virginia is 21 years old. 

Who regulates sports betting in Virginia?

The Virginia Lottery is the body responsible for overseeing the new sports betting industry. The lottery took the lead in creating rules and regulations and reviewing applications from sportsbooks operators. 

Where can I wager on sports in Virginia?

As long as you are within the state borders of Virginia, you can wager from anywhere. Simply download the sports betting apps for your smartphone, and once you have opened an account, you are free to wager from home or anywhere else in Virginia. 

Is mobile sports betting legal in Virginia?

Yes, and currently, mobile sports betting is the only method available to wager in the state. You don’t have to be resident in Virginia to sign up for a local online sportsbook, but you would have to be within state borders to place a wager. Sportsbooks use geolocation technology to verify that you are, in fact, located inside Virginia when accepting your bets. 

Who can apply for a Virginia sports betting license?

Anyone who runs a sportsbook can apply for a sports betting licence in Virginia. The law says that there can be no more than 12 operators. The license fee is $250,000 and lasts for three years. Applicants also need to pay a fee for a background check on all key members of their operation. The cost for this can be as high as $50,000 per person. 

How many additional VA online sportsbooks will there be?

There are many active online sportsbooks right now, and Virginia might eventually have up to 17 mobile platforms, some standalone and some connected to casinos, according to the lottery. According to the law’s text, the state must have four mobile books at the very least and a maximum of twelve. However, such figures aren’t as reliable as they seem. According to the Lottery, Virginia will have a least of 11 online/mobile applications (the two current pro teams with presences here don’t count toward the minimum, nor do the five proposed casinos). There will also be a maximum of 14 apps (the two pro teams don’t count toward the maximum).

Why? 

Licences granted to professional teams, venues, or casinos would NOT count toward the minimum, and licences granted to pro teams/venues would NOT count toward the maximum, according to the terms of the law and the FAQs section on the Virginia Lottery’s new sports betting website.

In addition to those linked to the state’s casinos, the Washington Football Team, or DC United, there will always be at least four independent mobile platforms. Both teams are qualified since they use state-approved facilities. However, there might be up to 14 mobile licences in Virginia (the stated maximum of 12 plus two professional teams or venues), which would foster the open, competitive market that is advantageous to bettors. WynnBET has also partnered with two car racetracks, which it sees as giving it access to the market.

We’ve already licenced 14 sportsbooks, so technically, we’ve reached the limit set by state law. As we’ve already said, these laws aren’t as binding as they seem. Perhaps a few more will come to the state in the near future as the market develops. 

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John Pentin
John was born and raised in London, John has always been in love with American sports. He started to write football articles back in 2006 on his own blog and has also worked for several newspapers. John other passion was betting and has worked as a trader for several top sports book in the UK. As sports trader and has joined leading UK betting tipping site BettingTips4You in 2013 and he is now head of content. He has a great passion for US Sports so hasn't wasted the opportunity to write also for NewJerseySafeBetting, now that online sportsbetting has been legalized in the state.