What You Can Bet On In Virginia

In Virginia, online sports betting is available to bettors 21 and older via Virginia’s legally licensed sports betting apps and sites. However, online casinos and poker sites are not legal in the state.

When the upcoming land-based casinos in Virginia are built in Bristol, Danville, Portsmouth, and Norfolk in 2022 and 2023, each location will likely open a retail sportsbook. Currently, no land-based casinos or sportsbooks exist within the Commonwealth.

Live Virginia Online Sportsbooks

Virginia currently offers six online sportsbooks, available now for wagering to anyone over 21 and physically located within state lines:

Most online sportsbooks in Virginia are available via iOS app, Android app, and web browser. Additional sports betting apps could enter the Virginia market on an ongoing basis.

What Are You Be Able To Bet On?

The Virginia Lottery licenses and regulates online sports betting in the Commonwealth, and that includes enforcing restrictions on certain betting.

Bettors in Virginia can bet without restriction on professional domestic and international sporting events. However, bets on the Olympics are restricted.

For college sports, Virginia sportsbooks can’t offer lines on games played by in-state teams or college games that take place inside the Commonwealth. It is also illegal to take prop bets on any college team.

Professional Leagues In Virginia 

Virginia doesn’t have any in-state major league teams. But you’ll find thousands of fans for a handful of franchises, particularly those in Washington DC and Maryland Here are some of the key favorites:

NASCAR

The Commonwealth of Virginia boasts two NASCAR race tracks: Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway. WynnBET is partnered with both tracks to launch its online sportsbook, with the goal of offering a fan-focused NASCAR betting experience.

However, all online sportsbooks in Virginia take NASCAR bets. The most common is betting on which driver will win, place in the top three, or place in the top ten.

In addition to pre-race bets, online sportsbooks will also take the following NASCAR bets:

  • In-play bets
  • Driver matchups/head-to-heads
  • Stage winners
  • Number of the winning car (over/under)

Because you can download Virginia sports betting apps and wager from anywhere in the state, you do not have to visit Martinsville Speedway or Richmond Raceway to place a bet. But it is legal to wager on the race while attending the event in-person.

Some online sportsbooks also allow you to stream the event live through the app or website.

The Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team is by far the most popular major league team for Virginia sports betting. While WFT is not by any means the most successful franchise in the NFL, the team is consistently competitive, making for exciting betting action.

Going into the 2021/22 NFL season, the Washington Football Team has Anthonio Gibson coming off a hot rookie season, resigned reliable kicker Dustin Hopkins, and a lot of wiggle room beneath the salary cap.

Depending on how things go with free agents, trades, and the 2021 NFL draft, the WFT could be a contender for Super Bowl 2022. In fact, you can bet on Super Bowl LVI at Virginia sportsbooks right now as well as conference winner and 2021/22 MVP.

And you’ll find some of the best betting action of the year when The Washington Football Team faces off against the Dallas Cowboys, which is one of the greatest rivalries in US sports.

Also, there’s nothing in the regulatory fine print to stop Virginia sportsbooks from taking wagers on the 2021 NFL Draft. If you don’t see it listed in your preferred sportsbook, feel free to reach out to its customer support team to see if it will become available.

Virginia sports fans also favor betting on its nearby neighbor the Baltimore Ravens.

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals are a highly popular MLB team that plays at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. However, the Norfolk Tides, a well-loved Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, has inspired some fandom for the Orioles as well.

Unfortunately, no online sportsbooks take bets on minor league baseball.

The Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series, further invigorating their lively fan base across the Commonwealth. If they manage to do it again in 2021, you can expect the Virginia sportsbooks to offer lucrative bonuses and promotions surrounding the series.

Like with NFL futures, bettors in Virginia can wager on MLB events all year round. In fact, the MLB offers a much larger futures market due to it being such a stats-oriented sport.

For example, you can bet that Nationals left fielder Juan Soto will hit the most home runs.

However, it is against Virginia law to bet on “subjective trophy awards” such as the Cy Young Award, MVP, or Manager of the Year.

College Sports In Virginia

For college sports betting, Virginia Lottery regulations restrict bets on in-state college teams, including Virginia Tech and VCU. Any college game that takes place in Virginia is also restricted, and bettors cannot place prop bets on any college teams whatsoever.

That means if you want to bet on a Division 1 Virginia college team, you’ll have to visit Maryland, West Virginia, Tennessee, or Washington DC, all of which legalized online sports betting.

In those jurisdictions, you can bet on all of the following Virginia colleges, listed in alphabetical order:

  • George Mason
  • Hampton University
  • James Madison
  • Liberty University
  • Longwood
  • Old Dominion
  • Radford
  • University of Richmond
  • University of Virginia
  • VCU
  • VMI
  • Virginia Tech
  • William & Mary

Virginia Tech & University Of Virginia

Virginia Tech is the state’s most successful college football team, ranked 38th best program in the country by ESPN. College football is the second most popular sport for betting in the US after the NFL, making Virginia Tech betting one of the most popular options in the US.

The University of Virginia boasts the most successful college basketball team in the state, winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship as recently as 2019. They’ve also been to the Final Four three times and the Elite Eight seven times. 

The good news for sports bettors is that most of the surrounding areas have online sportsbooks. Sometimes, like with DraftKings and FanDuel, the same sportsbook app will unlock more betting options depending on where you are. 

That means you can bet on anything other than Virginia colleges while in the Commonwealth, then travel to Maryland, DC, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia to bet on Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia.

West Virginia

For Virginia bettors who want to bet on college sports from home, West Virginia University is one of the most popular options. The team plays in the Big 12 for both basketball and football, a “Power 5” football conference that includes the following enormous programs:

  • Kansas
  • Kansas State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas
  • Texas Tech
  • TCU
  • Baylor
  • Iowa State

Every online sportsbook in Virginia will offer lines on every Big 12 football and basketball game.

In 2005’s March Madness tournament, seven seed West Virginia went to the Elite Eight, confirming that you should never underestimate the program. West Virginia is also the 47th most successful football program in the country out of the 180 Division 1 teams.

West Virginia has a rivalry with multiple teams, including Virginia Tech. Unfortunately, if they play a Virginia school, that means you can’t bet on either team. But if there were ever a reason to visit Maryland to bet on sports, it would be for a West Virginia versus Virginia Tech football game.

Georgetown

The quality of the Georgetown basketball team, like that of its biggest rival Syracuse University, depends on the season. Georgetown isn’t a team that’s guaranteed to make it into March Madness every year by any stretch, with its last appearance in 2015. 

But between 2006 and 2015, Georgetown saw the number two seed twice and made it to the Final Four in 2007. While they haven’t won the Championship since Patrick Ewing led the team to victory in 1984, the Hoyas could make it happen in the near future.

In terms of Georgetown football, the team’s history doesn’t live up to that of its basketball counterpart. However, they had an 8-3 season as recently as 2011, and they currently play in the highly competitive Patriot League, which also includes the University of Richmond.

While not a “Power 5” conference, the Patriot League boasts strong competitors like Boston University, Loyola, Holy Cross, and Georgetown’s hometown rival American University, making for some top-notch betting action.

Other US Sports

Virginia sports bettors will find a wide variety of American sporting events across the online sportsbooks. 

Racing

On top of the aforementioned NASCAR, you can bet on a range of motorsports, including Formula 1. It is also legal to bet on horse racing online through licensed operators like TVG and TwinSpires.

Golf & Tennis

Similar in structure, betting on tennis and golf are available options as well. The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is a tournament on the PGA Tour that takes place at the Country Club of Virginia in Henrico. Some professional tennis matches are also held in Charlottesville, VI, but betting lines on those matches can be a bit harder to find than PGA tournaments.

Other Professional Team Sports

The NHL is one of the most popular betting options at Virginia sportsbooks, particularly on the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes. All Virginia sports betting apps offer tons of lines on every NHL game. The same is true for the NBA and WNBA. DC hosts the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. 

And don’t discount the MLS for betting action. The league is highly competitive, and all Virginia sportsbooks offer a variety of lines within each game. This includes hometown favorite the DC United. 

Combat Sports

Combat sports are a popular option for bettors in Virginia. Sportsbooks offer odds on boxing and MMA fights. The lines aren’t limited to the major bouts either, with MMA and boxing events listed on Virginia sports betting apps almost every week.

Betting On International Sports And Events In Virginia

The Virginia Lottery approved several professional, international sports. All online sportsbooks offer some or all of the available international sports odds. However, William Hill has a particularly strong market depth when it comes to overseas competitions.

European Soccer

Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, and the UEFA Champions League betting is more popular in the US than betting on the MLS. Overseas teams boast the world’s highest-paid players, including the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappé, and Neymar. 

All online sportsbooks in Virginia offer lines on the major European soccer leagues and odds boosters on major matches are common.

The World Cup is also one of the most popular betting sports in the US. You can be sure that most Virginia sportsbooks will be offering lucrative promos come to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. And the next one will be hosted by the US, Canada, and Mexico, which means we can all look forward to incredible betting action come 2026.

Other International Sports

You can find lines on other international sports at Virginia sportsbooks, some of which also take place right here in the US. These include:

  • Rugby
  • Cricket
  • Aussie Rules Football
  • Table Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Handball

The Virginia Lottery can also approve additional sports by request from a licensed sportsbook.

Esports In Virginia

Unlike West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia does not allow betting on esports. However, it could still be approved by the Virginia Lottery. It is just not one of its “Current Approved Leagues” as listed on its website.

But you can play Daily Fantasy Esports via FanDuel DFS and DraftKings DFS platforms. Games include League of Legends, Dota 2, CS: GO, and more.

The DFS platforms are separate from the sportsbook platforms and accept players 18 and up (rather than 21 and up).

Kinds Of Sports Bets Available In Virginia

The Virginia Lottery has approved all major forms of betting on professional sports. These include both single-game bets and parlays.

Among the betting options, you can find the following lines across all major leagues:

  • Moneyline
  • Points Spread
  • Parlays/Teasers/Pleasers
  • Totals (Over-Under)
  • Futures
  • Pools
  • In-Game Bets (Live Betting)
  • In-Play Bets
  • Prop Bets
  • Exchange Wagering

However, you cannot place in-game bets, in-play bets, or prop bets on any college sport, per Virginia law.

Restrictions On Sports Betting In Virginia

As mentioned, betting on any in-state college school or game is strictly prohibited in Virginia. It is also against the law to place in-game wagers or prop bets on college games.

But the restrictions don’t end there. You also cannot bet on the Olympics, presumably because many of the competitors are under the age of 18.

On that note, it is illegal in Virginia to bet on high school sports or amateur contests. It is also likely that the Virginia Lottery will deny esports as a betting option on the grounds that many of the athletes are minors.

Additionally, Virginia restricts the following sports betting wagers:

  • Betting on an injury
  • Officiating calls (e.g. the first team to commit a foul)
  • Subjective trophy awards (e.g., Cy Young Award, Heisman Trophy)

Nowhere does it say that you can’t bet on politics or TV show competitions like the Oscars in Virginia. However, neither are approved events, which essentially makes them illegal until the Virginia Lottery approves them.

Virginia Legal Sports Betting FAQs

Are online sports betting apps legal in Virginia?

Yes, online sports betting apps are legal in Virginia. Anyone over 21 can join, but you must be physically inside the borders of the Commonwealth to place a wager. 

The first online sportsbooks launched in Virginia in January 2021. The Virginia Lottery has authorized about a half dozen different platforms, including William Hill, WynnBET, BetRivers, FanDuel, BetMGM, and DraftKings Sportsbook.

Is it legal to bet on college sports in Virginia?

Yes, it is legal to bet on college sports in Virginia except for in-state college teams and college games that take place in the Commonwealth. It is also illegal to place in-game wagers and prop bets on any college game, but all other types of bets are allowed.

Can I bet on Virginia high school sports?

No, it is illegal to bet on high school sports in Virginia as well as anywhere in the US. The Virginia Lottery lists high school and amateur sports as strictly prohibited in the Commonwealth. It is restricted in Washington DC, West Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee as well.

Is esports betting legal in Virginia? 

No. The Virginia Lottery has not added esports to its list of approved sports and leagues. However, its neighbor West Virginia does allow esports betting, and so too does Colorado, New Jersey, and Nevada. Licensed sportsbooks in Virginia can request esports as an option, which could work for specific high-profile events like the League of Legends World Championship.

Is it legal to bet on the Olympics in Virginia?

No, it is illegal to bet on the Olympics in Virginia. The games are specifically listed as restricted in the Commonwealth, which means the Virginia Lottery will never approve it as a legal option without amending the current sports betting legislation. The ban on betting on the Olympics applies to qualifiers as well.

Who regulates online sports betting in the Commonwealth?

The Virginia Lottery regulates online sports betting in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The governmental organization approves licenses, enforces regulations, and collects tax revenue. The Virginia Lottery will also regulate casino gaming when casinos open across the state within the next couple years.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is an experienced online gambling writer who specializes in online casinos and sports betting sites. From the nuances of bonus offers to winning strategies and beyond, his insights have helped countless remote bettors keep more of their money while having fun and staying safe.