Where To Place Bets In Virginia
Virginia legalized online sports betting just last year. Whereas some states take their time before launching, Virginia was not one of them. Quick to market, online sportsbook apps launched in Virginia at the end of January 2021.
There are currently 7 online sports betting apps live in Virginia:
- BetRivers Virginia
- William Hill Virginia
- BetMGM Virginia
- FanDuel Virginia
- WynnBET Virginia
- Unibet Virginia
- DraftKings Virginia
Virginia Casinos expects more sportsbooks to launch in the coming months. The goal for both sportsbook companies and Virginia bettors was to launch apps in time for Super Bowl betting. Looks like they’ve been successful.
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When Did Virginia Launch Online Sports Betting?
Virginia is one of the latest of many states to hop on the sports betting bandwagon. The state legalized sports betting on July 1, 2020, after a series of amendments to the bills that would eventually make sports betting legal. The first online sports betting site announced its launch on January 21, 2021, with several others launching over the following weeks.
On September 15, 2020, the Virginia Lottery set its final regulations. One month later, the licensing process opened. All applicants were subject to a 90-day review period. This meant apps were able to launch before the Super Bowl.
VirginiaCasinos.com estimates that Virginia sports betting will produce $412 million in handle for the state with $61.8 million in annual tax revenue. In the first 11 days, Virginia saw $58.9 million in sports betting handle.
Old Dominion is slightly unique among sports betting markets. The state’s legislation allows for online-only sportsbooks (much like Tennessee) alongside those tethered to a land-based casino. But the added factor that makes Virginia unique is an amendment requested by Governor Ralph Northam. The amendment, which made it into the final legislation, allows for NASCAR tracks to apply for sports betting licenses.
All-in-all, Virginia, is gearing up to become a competitive sports betting landscape.
Major Players In Virginia
With no land-based casinos (yet) and online-friendly legislation, Virginia is expected to be a heavy hitter in the sports betting industry. Big operators are sure to flock to the state to offer online sports betting. FanDuel launched its app on January 21, 2021. Other brands were hot on their heels to launch in Virginia.
Visit: BetRivers Virginia
BetRivers has seen success in a number of states near Virginia, namely Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We expect BetRivers to continue its success in Virginia now that it is live in Virginia.
One of the reasons why BetRivers is so successful with bettors in new markets, like Illinois and Michigan, is because of its strong bonus offer. BetRivers offers a 100% deposit match bonus up to $250 with only a 1x playthrough requirement. Even if the dollar amount is lower than competitors such as DraftKings, the playthrough requirement is entirely attainable, even for new sports bettors.
Rush Street Gaming, the parent company of Rush Street Interactive and the BetRivers brand, was approved as the casino partner for Virginia’s new Portsmouth casino. With that casino greenlit, the BetRivers brand will have a strong foothold in Virginia, making it a top contender to lead the sports betting market and the casino gaming market in the state.
Visit: William Hill
William Hill Virginia partnered with Caesars Entertainment to bring its online app to Virginia. Caesars also has a license to build a land-based casino in Virginia. But, Virginia bettors have access to William Hill now.
William Hill has a rich history in the gambling industry, and its years of experience will bring a powerful sports betting operator to the state alongside other top-tier providers. The app offers a robust market of both domestic and international sports. William Hill InPlay is easy to access on the sportsbook, offering a wide variety of live, in-game betting options.
New bettors can claim up to $500 in risk free bets now at William Hill Virginia.
Visit: BetMGM Virginia
BetMGM is backed by one of the most successful brands in gaming, MGM. Its launch in Virginia brings a top-notch sports betting brand to the Commonwealth. Virginia bettors can access BetMGM Virginia on web browser as well as an iOS or Android app.
The MGM brand has done well in markets where they have a land-based casino as well, but they’ve also launched in states without a local presence. Even without a retail casino in Virginia, BetMGM is committed to the region. They operate the MGM National Harbor, which is in Maryland at the DC border and close to Virginia bettors.
BetMGM also recently announced a partnership with the Washington Nationals, which will also lead to a BetMGM branded sportsbook located at Nationals Park.
New BetMGM users in Virginia can claim a risk-free first bet up to $600 on sign up.
Visit: FanDuel Virginia
FanDuel is often one of the first apps to launch in a state. It’s no surprise that they were the first to launch in Virginia, almost simultaneously with their launch in Michigan. FanDuel is most known for its reputation in the Daily Fantasy Sports market but is gaining ground in legal online sports betting by operating in almost a dozen states.
New FanDuel users in Virginia can claim a $1,000 risk-free bet bonus on sign up. It’s a great way to get started with sports betting without risking too much upfront.
WynnBet has been taking the US sports betting industry by storm in 2021. Whereas other names in the industry were more familiar to online bettors because they were early entrants, WynnBet is making a big push in 2021. Virginia is the fourth online betting market for WynnBet, which is backed by the name-brand recognition of Wynn Casinos. They plan to make their mark in a dozen states before the end of 2021.
WynnBet brings its gaming experience to bettors by offering a decent bonus for new Virginia bettors. Where they shine, though, is in the quality of their app. It is easy to use, easy to navigate, and perfect for sports fans looking to place live, in-game wagers.
New bettors can claim up to $500 in a risk free bet offer from WynnBet Virginia.
Visit: DraftKings Virginia
A DraftKings Virginia launch was about the closest to a sure thing you could get. The operator already has a Daily Fantasy Sports presence in Virginia, and it was one of the first to launch sports betting in the state. Besides, it seems where FanDuel goes so does DraftKings.
DraftKings’ quest for leadership in each market is fueled by early launches wherever possible, and Virginia will be no different. DraftKings is offering new players in the state a deposit match bonus of 20% up to $1,000.
Visit: Unibet Virginia
Unibet has a strong reputation within the sports betting industry as one of the most reputable international brands. They’ve been slower to expand, though, than competitors as new states launch legal online sports betting. On April 28, Unibet Virginia launched and it is anticipated Unibet will start to launch additional apps in other legal states during 2021.
Virginia’s Legal Gambling History
Most of Virginia’s major gambling-related legislative developments have happened in the very recent past. Even in the grand scheme of things, Virginia’s legal lottery and horse race betting options are fairly new.
In 1987, Virginia legalized the lottery, with all profits going to education initiatives. One year later, the Lottery sold its first tickets. In 1989, the state created the Virginia Racing Commission to manage pari-mutuel wagers on races held out of state, mainly because there were no tracks in Virginia.
That changed in 1997 with the opening of Colonial Downs. It’s still the only race track in Virginia.
Fast forward to 2018. The Supreme Court declared PASPA unconstitutional, putting sports betting legislation in the hands of individual states. Virginia took notice and started to welcome new forms of gambling. LEgislation to authorize sports betting passed in July 2020. But the state wasn’t content to just add sports betting into the mix. Five Virginia communities voted in a referendum to allow for the construction of five casinos, one in each of the following towns:
These will mark the very first casinos in Virginia’s history, perhaps signaling a new era of gambling for the state.
Virginia Gambling Timeline
- April 2021 – The Virginia Lottery approved Unibet Virginia, which launched just a day later.
- March 2021 – WynnBet Virginia was approved by the Virginia Lottery and launched on March 10, 2021. Virginia Lottery reported that in February, Virginia sportsbooks generated $266 million in betting handle.
- January 2021 – DraftKings Virginia launched on January 24, 2021, while BetRivers, BetMGM, and William Hill launched on the 27th.
- January 21, 2021: FanDuel Virginia became the first sportsbook app to announce its launch in Virginia
- November 2020: Voters approve casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond via referendum
- October 2020: Licensing application process for sports betting operators begins
- September 2020: Virginia Lottery finalizes regulatory framework for mobile sports betting
- July 2020: Sports betting legalized in Virginia
- 2018: SCOTUS declares PASPA unconstitutional, leaving sports betting legislation in the hands of individual states
- 1997: Colonial Downs, Virginia’s first race track, opens in New Kent
- 1989: Virginia creates the Virginia Racing Commission to regulate pari-mutuel betting
- 1988: The Virginia Lottery sells its first tickets
- 1987: Virginia legalizes lottery
Virginia Gambling FAQs
Yes. But there’s one catch–Virginia doesn’t have any casinos yet. Voters in five Virginia communities recently approved casinos in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond. This vote occurred in November 2020, so it coils still be at least a few years before Virginia casinos actually open.
Yes. The Virginia Lottery began accepting license applications on October 15, 2020. The first app launched on January 21, 2021, when FanDuel Virginia hit the ground running. Several other apps launched in the days and weeks that followed and more will be live soon.
Currently, Virginia’s minimum gambling age is 18. However, this is because the state only offers pari-mutuel wagering, bingo, Daily Fantasy Sports, and lottery games.
Sports betting and casino gaming will have a minimum age requirement of 21. Anyone 21 or above will be able to play at Virginia’s casinos or on the state’s sports betting sites.
Yes, but not every form of online gambling is available yet. Virginia legalized sports betting in July, and the Virginia lottery finalized regulations in September. The first sports betting app launched on January 21, 2021.
Sports betting, horse race betting, and online lottery are the other internet gaming options for Virginians. Online casino gaming is not legal in the state.
Yes. The Virginia Lottery was created in 1987 and sold its first ticket in 1988. The Virginia Lottery benefits the state’s education programs.
The Virginia lottery is also the governing body for sports betting. The organization creates rules and regulations that govern sportsbooks in the state.
Yes. You can purchase tickets and play lottery games online in Virginia. The Virginia Lottery has a helpful FAQ page that provides more detail on this option.
Yes. One of the best reasons to bet at legal online sports betting sites is that they are completely safe, unlike off-shore or illegal sportsbooks. Now that sports betting is fully legal in Virginia and online sportsbooks are available, there is no reason to go offshore. The Virginia Lottery and the government of Virginia do everything in their power to ensure online betting is safe for Virginia bettors.
Yes. All gambling winnings are taxed by the IRS. The federal tax rate on gambling winnings is 25%.
In many cases, a casino or sportsbook will provide you with tax paperwork if your winnings exceed a certain threshold. If you win below the threshold, you still need to pay taxes on those winnings, but the paperwork is your responsibility.
Yes, especially if you play frequently. Rewards programs offer a lot of great incentives for casino players. Free meals, room discounts, free play on slots, special concert/event pre-sales…the list could go on. Frequent players can gain a lot from a casino loyalty program, so it’s worth signing up even if you expect to visit once every few months. Points add up over time!
Virginia has identified preferred casino partners for all five cities that authorized casinos to be built. Here are the identified preferred partners:
- Bristol: Hard Rock International
- Danville: Caesars Entertainment
- Portsmouth: Rush Street Gaming (Rivers)
- Richmond: Pamunkey Indian Tribe
- Norfolk: Pamunkey Indian Tribe