Charitable Gaming 1973
Pari-Mutuel Wagering 1988
Fantasy Sports Contests 2016
Sports Betting 2020
Commercial Casinos 2022
Charitable Gaming/Lottery/Pari-Mutuel Wagering/Fantasy Sports Contests 18+
Commercial Casinos/Sports Betting 21+
Commercial Casinos: 5
Virginia has made a push in recent years to amend its constitution to authorize more forms of gambling. This began with fantasy sports contests in 2016, followed by sports betting in 2020. We expect to see the first commercial casinos in 2022. Better late than never!
Traditional forms of gambling, including charitable gaming, the Virginia Lottery, and pari-mutuel wagering, date back decades in the state. Virginia state is not exactly in a neighborhood teeming with land-based casinos. To be fair, neighboring Maryland has 6 state casinos, and West Virginia has 5 commercial casinos. However, Kentucky has none, and North Carolina has just 2 tribal casinos.
While interactive gaming is not legally permitted in Virginia, the temptation can be hard to resist. Not surprisingly, some Virginians play at offshore online casinos, including ones that we recommend below. Find out more on what Virginia has to offer next.
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What red-blooded American doesn’t enjoy an online casino bonus? The best bonuses in Virginia casinos are designed with this in mind. It’s why they offer generous percentages on match deposit bonuses and higher maximum limits on bonus money. Many of these casinos also offer free spins on qualifying slots when making your first deposit. Find out more about our recommended casino bonuses, including bonus T&Cs and playthrough wagering requirements.
Although Virginia has been traditionally conservative with its gambling laws, this has changed in recent years, and it’s now playing catch-up. Beginning in 2016, Virginia became the 1st state to authorize and regulate fantasy sports contests. Online and retail sports betting followed 4 years later, and commercial casinos, under construction, are expected to operate in 2022/23.
These activities join charitable gaming, a state lottery, and pari-mutuel wagering, already around for decades.
Virginia is distinguished for being the first state to officially legalize and regulate fantasy sports contests. Players must be 18 and over to participate at licensed operators, including DraftKings and FanDuel. Operators must pay an annual fee and undergo two audits every year.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is responsible for controlling charitable gaming in the state. However, regulations are prescribed by the Charitable Gaming Board. Each year, nearly 300 charitable gaming permits are issued or renewed.
Authorized forms include bingo, instant bingo, seal cards, pull-tabs, network bingo, raffles, and event games. These tax-exempt charitable organizations must use at least 10% of gross gaming receipts for charitable, community, religious or educational purposes to which it is chartered or organized.
The Virginia Lottery is the official operator responsible for lottery gaming in Virginia. Through a network of 5,000+ authorized retailers, Virginians can purchase scratch games ($1-$30), draw games, and other tickets. The Virginia Lottery is also a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, allowing them to sell Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life draw tickets.
Proceeds are used to fund kindergarten to grade 12 public education. In 2020 alone, the lottery contributed over $595 million or 10% of the school funding budget. That same year, lottery sales reached a staggering $2.15 billion.
The Virginia Lottery is responsible for regulating casino gaming in the state. These casinos are expected to begin operating in 2022/23 at the earliest. Casino wagers using credit cards are prohibited. The casinos will offer 1,000+ slot machines, accepting bets as little as one penny, with RTPs in the range of 89%-94%. Table games are also authorized with minimum bets of $5 and maximum bets of $50,000. The casinos will also offer retail sportsbooks.
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Horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering on horse races is regulated by the Virginia Racing Commission. Colonial Downs is the only live racetrack in Virginia, located between Richmond and Williamsburg. Here, players 18 and older can make pari-mutuel wagers.
OTB can be placed at several Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums locations, Buckets Bar & Grill (in Chesapeake), Breakers Sports Grille (in Henrico), and The Windmill OTB Sports Grill (in Collinsville). Satellite locations are permitted to operate machine games resembling slot machines.
Simulcast operators like TVG, Twinspires, NYRABets, and Xpressbet accept players from Virginia.
Sports betting is overseen by the Virginia Lottery, with revenue used to help fund infrastructure, education, and other social services. Virginia legislation authorized 4-12 online sports betting operators, offering an online and mobile sportsbook on most major leagues and college sports (outside the state).
Virginians must be physically located in the state to participate at licensed operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, MGM, Wynn, and Barstool Sports.
In 1988, Virginia authorized pari-mutuel wagering and created the Virginia Racing Commission. The historic Colonial Downs racetrack opened in 1997 and ran until 2014 before surrendering its license the following year. In 2018, Virginia enacted a law that would permit historical racing machines at the racetrack and OTB locations. Colonial Downs would reopen in August 2019, offering its first horse race since 2013.
Charitable gaming was authorized in 1973 with oversight provided by local governments. In 1995, the Charitable Gaming Commission was created. It took over responsibility for all charitable gaming within Virginia on July 1, 1996. The shift was due to several bingo scandals that led to prosecutions early in the 1990s.
Virginia lotteries go back much further, before even statehood. In 1612, “The Great Virginia Lottery” was used to fund struggling settlements in Jamestown. It wasn’t until 1987 that Virginians voted to approve a state lottery with the first ticket sold on September 20, 1988. The largest prize ever won in Virginia state history was $239 million on a Mega Millions jackpot.
On March 7, 2016, Virginia became the 1st state to legalize fantasy sports contests when Gov Terry McAuliffe signed it into law. Just over 4 years later, on July 1, 2020, Virginia would legalize retail and online sports betting.
SB 36, incorporating several other Bills, authorized casino gaming in Virginia to be regulated by the Virginia Lottery Board. Casino gaming is restricted to authorized cities in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Richmond, Danville, and Bristol. Furthermore, each city would first need to approve casino gaming in a referendum, except for Richmond, which held a referendum as part of the November 2020 general election.
Additionally, the Virginia Racing Commission was required to allow 600 historical racing terminals for every city that approved a referendum. The total number of machines in Virginia may not exceed 2,000.
Bristol voters approved casino gaming that would allow a Hard Rock Casino & Resort. Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Danville have also approved casino gaming in their respective cities. In 2021, the Board adopted proposed regulations that went into effect on April 7, 2021. The final regulations are expected to be in place by October 7, 2022.
For pari-mutuel wagering, charitable gaming, DFS, and the state lottery, Virginia’s legal age is 18+. This rises to 21+ at online casinos and sports betting.
Yes, Virginia has a state lottery that sells instant games, daily games, jackpot games, and keno.
Virginia withholds 24% for federal taxes and 4% for state taxes on prizes of $5,000 and over. A W2-G reform is issued on winnings above $600.
Yes, online and mobile sports betting is authorized and regulated by the Virginia Lottery. Retail sports betting will also be available at casinos.
Yes, live pari-mutuel wagers are available at the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent, VA. Virginia also has several OTB locations where it is also possible to place bets.
Although Virginia does not currently have any land-based casinos, 5 commercial casinos are in development/construction. They are slated to open in 2022 or 2023.
Fantasy sports contests are offered by licensed operators in Virginia: Yahoo Fantasy Sports, SportsHub, RealTime Fantasy Sports, OwnersBox 3.0, Fantasy Sports Shark, FanDuel, and DraftKings.
With the first land-based casinos expected in 2022, Virginia is proof that it’s never too late for a good thing. The Old Dominion State has also introduced fantasy sports contests and sports betting in the last few years. This suggests that perhaps Virginia might be a candidate for legal interactive gaming in a few years.
Still, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, which is why you can find recommendations on the best online casinos and bonuses in our article above. As the gambling rules & regulations in Virginia continue to evolve, revisit us soon for updates.