Sports betting in Virginia became legal in April 2020 following the approval of bills SB 384 and HB 384. This was made possible by the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional.
The Virginia State Lottery was designated as the industry regulator and betting in Virginia went live in January 2021. However, just a couple of months later Del. Mark Sickles and Sen. Jeremy McPike introduced HB 1847 and SB 1254 respectively. This legislation was needed to add further clarity to the issuance of mobile sports betting licenses and allows them to be issued without ties to casino licenses.
The launch of the industry was considered a major success with the first 11 days of legal sports betting in Virginia attracting $58 million in bets.
Who regulates the Virginia sports betting industry?
The Virginia sports betting industry is regulated by the Virginia State Lottery. The lottery is responsible for all regulatory matters including the license application and approval process.
Which legal sportsbooks are available in Virginia?
Despite the fact that there’s no specific law prohibiting the opening of retail sportsbooks, there are none in Virginia.
Virginia voters approved a 2020 ballot measure to legalize casinos in the state and these are likely to be the first locations to launch retail sportsbooks. Five casinos have been approved for development and construction will likely start in 2021/22.
Local legislation also allows sporting venues such as the state’s two auto racetracks to open retail sportsbooks but none have taken up this option as of yet.
Virginia mobile sports betting apps
Virginia’s sports betting legislation allows for a minimum of four and a maximum of 12 mobile-only sports betting apps in the state.
The first to launch was FanDuel followed closely by DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars/William Hill, and BetRivers.
According to the Virginia Lottery these are the licensed operators offering mobile sports betting in the state.
|Mobile Sportsbook||Partner/License type||Launch Date|
|FanDuel||Washington Football Team||January 21st 2021|
|DraftKings||Stand-Alone License||January 24th 2021|
|BetRivers||Rush Street Gaming||January 27th 2021|
|BetMGM||Stand-Alone License||January 27th 2021|
|Caesars/William Hill||Caesars||February 3rd 2021|
|WynnBet||NASCAR||March 11th 2021|
|Unibet||Stand-Alone License||April 28th 2021|
|Barstool Sportsbook||Stand-Alone License||TBD|
|Golden Nugget||Stand-Alone License||TBD|
State legislation allows for a maximum of 17 mobile sports betting licenses (12 stand-alone and 5 in partnership with a local casino/sporting venue) so we can expect this list to grow in the coming months.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Virginia
In March 2016, Virginia enacted the Fantasy Contests Act that legalized Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state. This made Virginia the first state in the USA to launch an officially regulated DFS market.
The DFS market is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and all operators must pay a licensing fee of $50,000 and allow a yearly state audit of their operations.
According to the department’s list of registered license holders there are seven DFS operators in the state.
- Fantasy Sports Shark, LLC (Monkey Knife Fight)
- RealTime Fantasy Sports
- SportsHub Games Network
- Yahoo Fantasy Sports
What about online poker in Virginia?
Virginia voters recently approved the construction of five casinos in the state, but there have been no moves as of yet to discuss the launch of an online casino or poker industry. However, the signs are looking good. Following the legalization of both DFS contests and sports betting along with the construction of those casinos, the next logical step will be to look at the viability of a regulated online casino market.
Both the DFS and sports betting markets have revealed that Virginians have embraced online gambling and the success of both markets should be a clear enough indication that online poker could be yet another lucrative revenue stream for the state.
However, the topic won’t be up for discussion again until the bicameral legislature reconvenes in January 2022.
Virginia sports betting frequently asked questions
What sports can you gamble on in Virginia?
Sports fans in the state can bet on all major sports and college events with the exception of Virginia-based college teams.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, sports betting is legal in Virginia and launched in January 2021.
Is mobile sports betting legal in Virginia?
Yes, mobile sports betting is legal with as many as 17 potential licenses (12 stand-alone and 5 in partnership with land-based operators) available in the state.
What is the legal age for sports betting in Virginia?
The legal age for betting on sports in Virginia is 21 years old.
Can I use a Virginia sportsbook when in another state?
No, you must be physically located in the state to use a Virginia sports betting app.
How do I deposit money into a Virginia sports betting account?
Most Virginia sportsbook apps will allow you to deposit using the following methods — credit/debit card, online banking, PayPal, Skrill, PayNearMe, and Echeck/ACH Transfer.