Virginia became one of the states to willingly join the legal sports betting market after the US government canceled the federal ban. Yes, online and retail sportsbooks are now legal in Virginia, but how do you choose a good sports betting venue, and what are the details of the Virginia sports betting law? This article will answer these questions and let you know all ins and outs of VA sportsbooks.
Virginia sports betting news
The latest news in Virginia is mainly related to the prospective retail venues. Although the sports betting bill of the state allows both online and offline sports betting, the brick-and-mortar bookmakers are not there yet. No wonder that media keeps publishing predictions on the future online bookies’ collaborations with local casinos and new opportunities for Virginia sports bettors.
Fortunately, several venues are going to open within the next couple of years. Most probably, the first ones will be the Barstool sportsbook in August and the Golden Nugget — somewhere in the nearest time this year.
The other news is speaking about the profits, of course — what can be more exciting about any deal than the real figures? Not everything in the garden was rosy, though: while 2020 showed an average monthly profit of about $400, the revenues fell down closer to 2021. However, the last year’s overall Virginia sports betting revenue hit all records and keeps growing in 2022.
While we’re on the subject of sports betting revenues in Virginia, let’s speak about it in more detail. How much the mobile sports betting bring to the state, and what are the taxes that bookies pay for the state’s welfare?
The Virginia Lottery, the central authority responsible for sports betting activities and revenues in the state, collects 15% in taxes. Where does the money go? The 97.5% of the tax goes to the General Fund, which means that gambling helps support public safety, healthcare, education, etc. The rest of the revenue is aimed at developing the gambling problem support.
So, how much does the state collect? The latest records showed that October was almost 50% more profitable than September, with the $427,3 million handles hit. Overall, Virginia bookies paid $1,7 taxes in October 2021, and hopefully, it will be an average tax revenue for the state soon.
A bit more of figures:
The whole amount of sports wagers that Virginia bettors have made since sports betting was legalized exceeded $2,795,000,000 today. The total taxable income is almost $19M now, with approximately $465,000 sent to the gambling problem support.
Virginia sports betting regulations
So, Virginia made sports betting legal. Famous US online sportsbooks launched their mobile sports betting apps in the Old Dominion, and retail sports betting venues are about to open. But what is the VA sports betting law? What sports bets can you place, and what is prohibited? Is pre-game and live betting is equally legal? How can you register at Virginia sports betting sites, after all? Let’s sort it out.
Basically, the sports betting bill of Virginia is very straightforward. Here are the main points of the bill:
A sportsbook must apply for the license of the Lottery Board; the application fee is $250,000. If the board approves the application, a sportsbook must pay an extra $250,000. The permit is valid for three years, and the renewal fee is $200,000;
The bill prohibits prop bets on the physical condition of the athlete without their consent;
Every sportsbook must provide all sports bettors with a self-exclusion opportunity. It means that every bookmaker customer can ask for restricting access to their sports betting account for a particular time or forever;
Every sports betting site must pay a 15% tax;
The bill prohibits betting on Virginia college and youth sports. Live betting on any college sports events is strictly banned, so you won’t find such offers at sports betting sites and apps registered by the Virginia Lottery Board.
One of the main conditions for the bill’s approval was the creation of the problem gambling fund that will support people suffering from gambling addiction and provide various sorts of help.
How did legal sports betting come to be in Virginia?
Sports betting in Virginia became officially legal in July 2020, and the Old Dominion became the second state to legalize betting in 2020. The whole process did not take long, so two bills (SB 384 and HB 896) filed in winter were approved in April. The Virginia Lottery Board started working on the sports betting regulations, and finally, the first sportsbook, DraftKings, opened its doors for Virginia bettors.
Later, more top American bookmakers entered the market: BetMGM, PointsBet, FanDuel, BetRivers, Caesars, WynnBet, and more.
The next step might involve legalizing casino games: at the moment, gamblers can visit land-based casinos in some cities, but the Lottery Board might consider extending gaming options, like in New Jersey, Michigan, or West Virginia.
How does Virginia compare To Other States?
Virginia has become one of the first states to legalize sports betting. Compared to many other states, it wasn’t much reluctant to do it. The whole process went relatively smooth, and the gambling law fixed by the betting bill is not much different from the other regions.
However, unlike most states, Virginia doesn’t have brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. There are only three states, including Virginia, that have online-only legislation, but VA is going to launch retail sportsbooks very soon and will fall into step with the most significant US gambling markets like Nevada or New Jersey.
One of the things making Virginia sports betting an auspicious thing is a comparatively lax law. It implies lower fees and taxes than most states apply, so it becomes very profitable for sportsbook operators to launch in Virginia, even though it doesn’t have any major league franchises to collaborate with.
How to start betting in Virginia?
Now that you know Virginia has legal sportsbooks and approves online sports betting, you need to find the best online betting sites or apps to place your very first wager. What are the top options available in VA, and what kind of bets can you place after you sign up?
Virginia’s Legal Sportsbooks
We gathered online sportsbooks we consider the best for betting in Virginia: here they are in the table below. Later, we will tell you more about how we chose them and why we regard them as the worthiest places for sports betting.
In short, all bookmakers in our rating are not some random picks. What is common about them? They all have a gambling license issued by the VA gambling commission (Lottery Board) and have gained much trust among local bettors and gamblers all over the US. Besides, they are superior in customer service, betting odds, apps and sites design, and extra features that make the whole experience different.
What do all these sportsbooks offer to bettors? Obviously, you will find all the most straightforward wagering options like money lines, spread bets, and totals. It comes by default for every sport, including college events, but is there anything more?
Of course, it depends on a sports betting site. Most of them try to give as much as possible to bettors, while some focus on the essentials, trying to do their best when it comes to the most popular sports. In the following several paragraphs, we will overview a sports bettor’s opportunities at VA legal sportsbooks and see if they are any better than the offshore ones.
Betting Markets Available at VA
Most US local sportsbooks don’t try to add as many sports as possible. Unlike offshore bookmakers and many European and British sportsbooks, American betting sites, including the ones in Virginia, focus more on the national leagues.
You will find the best coverages, most profitable bonuses, and various extra offers for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL — it all comes by default at any Virginia sportsbook. Although the Old Dominion can’t be proud of any local team — there are simply no professional franchises of major leagues in Virginia, VA bettors are still much interested in US sports and willingly place bets on football, basketball, and baseball.
What else? Overall, the number of available sports at legal Virginia betting sites rarely exceeds twenty. The list is usually limited by very popular disciplines like soccer, tennis, MMA, etc. Sometimes it can also include horse racing and some betting markets not related to sports: entertainment or political wagers.
What types of bets are available in Virginia?
All markets that you will see at Virginia sports betting sites and apps are not unique. Long before the PASPA law repeal, which made online sports betting legal, VA bettors had to go with the offshore bookmakers, so they’ve seen it all before.
As you already know, you can’t bet on prop markets if it comes to collegiate sports. Luckily, there is no such limitation for professional leagues, and the best online sports betting sites in Virginia are full of offers. Props for a single game may include up to fifty variants, from the team props (like the First Team to Score) to player props like the first goalscorer or A Player To Get a Yellow or Red card.
Some bookies offer more exotic sports bets types: for instance, DraftKings has Asian handicaps in their NFL and NBA lines. Another example: BetMGM and other sportsbooks cooperate with BetBuilder, a service allowing you to create props based on players’ stats. Special betting options may also include single-game parlays and Suggest your best service. The first one allows you to create a multiple bet using markets from a single game (a classical parlay can only consist of the picks from different games). ‘Suggest your bet’ implies that you can create your own market that is not on the list and send your idea to a sportsbook’s team. If they approve your market, you get the odds for it and can place a unique wager.
Getting back to the topic of multiple bets, there are also some alternatives.
All bookies offer parlays as the most straightforward multiple wagers option: you add several picks, combine them into one multiple bet, and this bet wins if all your selections are correct. Sometimes sportsbooks offer parlay insurance that allows you to have one pick lost and still get a payout.
However, the parlay is not the only way to risk and have a chance to win more significant amounts. VA sportsbooks offer pleasers, if-bets, and teasers. Not that you will find all of them at every Virginia betting site, but it’s still possible.
How do we rate a sportsbook in Virginia?
You saw our list of the best legal sports betting sites in Virginia, but how did we make it? If you are already familiar with gambling, you may have noticed that we included very big famous names. Still, a trusted brand is not everything for us, although it obviously plays a significant role.
In the following paragraphs, we will tell you what we look at when we decide if a sportsbook is a worthy place or it’s better to avoid it. In short, these things include a sports betting license (from the Virginia Lottery, in our case), a legal status of a sportsbook in the Old Dominion, its reputation, and, of course, its sports betting offers: odds, lines, available betting markets, bonuses, and some extra features.
License and legality in VA
A sports betting site is obviously legal in Virginia if it holds a license from the Lottery. Thus, our list consists of the official sportsbooks approved by this local gambling commission. Still, as you may guess, local sports betting sites are not the only option.
Offshore bookies are also here: BetOnline, 5Dimes, Bovada, and more. They are not illegal, despite holding remote licenses of various jurisdictions outside the US: Curacao, Isle of Man, and others. The VA sports betting law does not prohibit gambling at such places. Of course, the government is not too friendly towards such sportsbooks: why should they, if the gambling revenue leaks offshore? However, there is no punishment for it, and you can safely create sports betting account at some foreign sportsbook to enjoy a more comprehensive selection of sports and bet types.
If a site has a lot of negative feedback, we don’t include it in our ranking. Luckily, it’s not too hard to guess if a bookie is reputable or not.
Here is the easiest way how you can check it if you want to find an online gambling place beyond our recommended bookies list:
Read the reviews on various independent platforms. Don’t focus on overemotional messages containing complaints about big losses. Still, pay attention to negative experiences related to long-pending payouts, zeroed deposits, or some unfair gaming;
Check the license. Yes, we already mentioned that the license is important, and we’ll repeat: a sports betting license shows that some commission controls the bookmaker and may suspend this permit if a bookie tends to abuse the rules;
Mind the payment methods. We’ll speak about it further in detail, but remember for now: the more reputable banking systems are available for you to make deposits and withdrawals, the better. In short, it shows you are dealing with a respectable brand.
Available betting markets
A rare sports betting site has its oddsmakers team. It means most of them to use some third-party data, and the more accurate this data is, the better is your experience. How do you know that a sportsbook uses a good provider? One of the ways to check it is to look at the list of sports available for wagering. If the number of options is too small, it’s not only dull for a gambler but may also show an overall poor quality.
Still, American sportsbooks tend to focus on the local leagues rather than providing bettors with a large selection of disciplines, so you must keep it in mind choosing your next fav bookie.
Most VA sports betting sites don’t offer more than ten-fifteen sports with some rare exceptions, so if you need some exotic options, consider offshore bookies with up to sixty variants in the library.
Although Virginia online betting sites don’t usually offer thousands of bets for a single event, their number reaches its maximum when the event is very close. Just try comparing the coverage a month before a matchup and a day before: most likely, there will be a significant difference.
Odds and Lines
The best online betting sites in Virginia (and other states, licensed by the local US commissions) must use the sports data from the official leagues if we speak about odds for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB. The other sports can come with the odds from third-party providers, but make sure they are accurate enough. You can always shop around and compare the odds and margins for the same markets at various sportsbooks: luckily, most of them show such info for unregistered users, too.
Bonuses at VA Sportsbooks
We won’t claim a sportsbook can’t be good if it doesn’t offer many lucrative bonuses. Still, a bonus is always a pleasure, so if we speak about the best betting sites, we always notice all welcome offers and other promos.
What are the most popular ones? Almost every bookmaker offers a welcome bonus: a first deposit match or a risk-free bet. Besides, some sportsbooks go further and give some special prices for significant markets or partly refund losses for a certain event. Some seasonal promotions may involve rebate and cashback bonuses and valuable prizes.
All bonuses involve some wagering requirements, so don’t forget to read terms and conditions before using any promo codes. Remember, a bonus mustn’t look ‘too good to be true: the terms must be fair but reasonable.
Most US sportsbooks are aimed at mobile bettors. In fact, all sports betting sites have native iOS and Android apps. It is a great advantage of the local sportsbooks over the offshore ones: you will hard find any apps for foreign bookmakers.
If you prefer mobile betting, make sure a sports betting app works fine and is convenient enough for you: doesn’t crash or lag, and gives access to all services: from betting lines to customer support.
Best sports betting apps in Virginia
Here we gathered the best sportsbook apps available in Virginia. As you see, all of them are the same brands we mentioned before, so this selection contains the ones with the best mobile experience. User-friendly interface, perfect design, and convenient navigation — this is what makes these apps shine out and gain our highest rankings.
You can register at all these apps without leaving your home. Unlike in some states with sports betting legislation requiring gamblers to come to some brick-and-mortar venue to sign up, Virginia gives you freedom to do it within a couple of clicks. Still, remember that no matter what you use, an app, or a website, you will need to provide a sportsbook with your real information: name as per passport, residence address, and sometimes the other data.
Is it safe? Yes, it is — one of our primary criteria is the app’s safety. Although you need to share your private data, including your geolocation, this data will never go to any third party, and your payment information is safe, too.
iOS app version
Android app version
Live Betting Options
Although the US sports betting market is overall not superior in terms of live betting, having some options to make in-play bets won’t hurt. Yes, American bettors prefer pre-game markets, so live betting sections at local sportsbooks might seem very modest and limited compared to offshore bookmakers. Still, if you want to feel the thrill of an in-play wagering experience, take your time to check if the offer is good enough and at least major events go live. Match broadcasts, cash-out features, and other extra services might be a great bonus, but don’t expect much from the US sportsbooks here: at least ten games available daily will be already a great deal.
Despite being out of the major professional sports and having no teams in the NFL, NBA, etc., Virginia still has a pretty large sports fan base. Football, basketball, baseball, and other sports are no less popular in the Old Dominion than in other states, so no wonder sports betting generates large revenues and will develop further after the launch in 2020.
Hopefully, the new year will bring more opportunities for local bettors and the whole sports betting industry in VA: for instance, retail venues or online casino options. Still, Virginia has already become a very betting-friendly state with dozens of legal sports gambling apps with quick and straightforward registration, relatively lax laws, and developed gambling problem support.
How does Virginia sports betting compare to Tennessee?
Like Tennessee, Virginia is a state offering sports betting in an online format — without any retail venues options. Besides, Virginia and Tennessee both prohibit college sports betting if the game involves a local in-state team. In-play wagering on collegiate sports is also banned. The main difference between Virginia and Tennessee is the gambling age: you must be 21 years or older to bet on sports in Virginia and 18 in Tennessee.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, Virginia legalized sports betting in 2020 and allows online wagering on sports as well as brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Although retail betting has not started yet, the next year might bring some sportsbook contracts with local VA casinos. At the moment, bettors can use sport betting apps and sites to place their wagers unless they are younger than 21.
Can I use DraftKings in Virginia?
Yes, DraftKings came to the Virginia sports betting market and offers online and mobile gambling all over Virginia. At the moment, you can only wager on sports in a fixed-odds DraftKings sportsbook or play Daily Fantasy Sports in a separate dedicated app. DraftKings casino offering is not available in Virginia.
Can I use the FanDuel sportsbook in Virginia?
Yes, Fanduel offers daily fantasy sports and bookmaker options for the VA bettors in their mobile betting app and website.
Last updated on 26 Jan 2023- 10:39
Author: Delton Irvin
After graduating from Ithaca College with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Irvin worked in various sports magazines as a sports columnist. Several years in the sports industry have brought him to... a fresh start in sports betting when he was invited for an oddsmaker position in a local online sportsbook. The years of dealing with sports forecasts made him a huge expert in betting and he willingly shares his experience with readers in his independent journalist works.Show more
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