Virginia isn’t known for its sports teams, and while it only has college basketball and football teams, they mostly piggyback off neighboring states to get their professional sports team fix.
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Virginia Sports Betting Timeline
Virginia has had a great relationship with sports betting in recent years, which we'll explore here.
The Legalization of Sports Betting In the State
As of January 2021, Virginia bettors have been able to lace legal sports bets both in-person and online. The biggest restriction is the ban on betting on Virginia-based college and youth sports. Much like Vermont, Virginia does have tribal casinos legalized, but there are no tribal casinos anywhere to be found. The Pamunkey tribe attempted to submit a proposal to build a casino in 2015, but they were not approved.
Many state officials see gambling and gambling establishments as immoral, and with Atlantic City in the neighbouring state of New Jersey, they took a long time to even address gambling legalization of any kind.
However, it was a huge shock to the gambling industry when two sports betting bills, HB 896 and SB 384 were approved and became effective July 1. This means that Virginia was the second state to legalize sports betting in 2020.
Online Betting and Fantasy Sports
Sports betting in Virginia will be primarily online, but proposed future casinos will have priority for sports betting licenses if they choose to apply for them. This bill also paved the way for casinos to sprout up in the state. There are ten online operators permitted to obtain a license in Virginia at this time.
Also, if a professional sports team were to move to Virginia they would have priority and be able to obtain a license as well.
Daily Fantasy Sports was legalized in 2016 when states decided that it was more skill than a game of chance. Virginia residents are open to signing up at sites like DraftKings or FanDuel. Dog and horse betting is legal in the state as well, but this only applies to off-track betting.
Can I bet on sports in Virginia?
Yes, on July 1, 2020, sports betting will be live in Virginia. While this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic - it still means that sports betting is legal in Virginia.
Online operators are welcome to obtain licenses to offer mobile sports betting products, sports betting apps, and can offer a variety of sports - but NASCAR was specifically listed in the laws that it must be offered. Also there is no betting on in-state colleges allowed - so fans of their hometown collegiate basketball or other sport will have to use an offshore sportsbook if they want to bet.
You can bet online at offshore books in Virginia as there are no laws or regulations around online gambling, so you are able to sign up at an online sportsbook and get in on the action with no issue. It’s easy to sign up at an online sportsbook and takes minutes to start betting on your favorite teams.
Due to the new Virginia legislation, only five cities can house a casino: Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Richmond.
- In Bristol, there are two proposed casinos, the Hard Rock Casino Bristol, a $150 million dollar casino, and the Pinnacle Virginia which would be owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
- The Danville Casino named after its town was permitted to house casino gambling in January 2020.
- In Norfolk, the Pamunkey Casino and Hotel is a proposed $700 million dollar casino and hotel on the Norfolk waterfront near the city’s minor league baseball stadium.
- In Portsmouth, a casino named after the town would be built on the Elizabeth River near the marina.
- In Richmond, another Pamunkey tribal casino is seeking authorization to build a $350 million dollar casino and hotel in South Richmond.
Betting on Virginia Sports Teams
While there are no professional sports teams in the state, the NBA is eyeing Virginia Beach as a potential destination for an upcoming team. If that is approved and an NBA team comes to the state, that could change everything.
Currently, though, the only teams in the state are on the collegiate level. The Virginia Commonwealth Rams college basketball program has recently become one of the country’s more recognizable basketball programs. They’ve made it to March Madness every year for the past 9 years, and in 2011 shocked everyone and made it to the semi-finals.
The Virginia Tech Hokies college football program is a force, making it to 24 consecutive Bowl games, with an even split of wins and losses at 12 a-piece. In 2016 they had one of their best records yet – 10-4, which in a few years could mean they will be in contention for one of the major Bowl games if they continue to improve.
Now, as we mentioned, if you want to bet on these teams, you will need to use an offshore sportsbook.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Virginia
Since online sportsbooks are currently the only form of betting for Virginia residents until July 1st, so choosing a good one is of the utmost importance. Important factors to look for include deposit options, cashout options, minimum deposit limits, and bonus details.
Sometimes a bonus can be too good to be true or a sportsbook might have a minimum deposit or cash-out option, making it irritating to deal with once you’ve signed up and made a deposit already.
We have compiled a list of the top sportsbooks in the country, and with that, we have written a series of sportsbook reviews for you to browse, and make the right betting decisions based on your individual needs. Ensure you get the full picture before signing up at an online sportsbook and read our reviews.
Sports Betting Laws by State
Find the full list of states with legalized gambling in the US.