Virginia Sports Betting Guide

The first Virginia online sports betting apps launched in January 2021.

Virginia bettors had access to legal sports betting sites and apps in time for Super Bowl LV in 2021. FanDuel announced its official launch on January 21, 2021. Several other apps followed suit quickly after. 

Virginia voters also legalized land-based casinos in four cities across the state: Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. However, they won’t open their doors until 2022 or 2023. 

Thankfully, sports betting sites and apps don’t need a partnership with land-based properties like they do in other states. From anywhere within Virginia state lines, anyone over 21 will be able to bet at legal online sportsbooks from their laptop, desktop, or mobile device.

Legal online casinos and online poker sites are not available in Virginia.

List Of Legal Online Sportsbooks In Virginia

Although FanDuel Virginia was the first to launch, several other sportsbook apps joined just after.

What Other Legal Online Sportsbooks Are Coming To Virginia?

The Virginia Lottery can issue up to 12 online sports betting licenses, and they received 25 applications leading up to launch. While they won’t publicize the list of applicants, the potential additional online sportsbooks include:

What Online Sportsbook Bonuses Will Be Available In Virginia?

No-Deposit Free Bets

A few online sportsbooks offer no-deposit free bets. This means you get a free chance to win without depositing money. The only requirement is that you create and verify a new account.

For example, in the past, DraftKings Sportsbook offered a $25 free bet to new members who sign up. The full amount must be placed on a single bet with odds -200 or longer, and it can’t be placed on teasers. 

But if you win that free bet, you can cash out the winnings, all without making a deposit. 

Deposit Match Bonus

A deposit match bonus is where an online sportsbook matches your deposit amount by a percentage.

The best example is at BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia, where new members get a 100% deposit match bonus up to $250. Essentially, they’ll double your money on your first deposit. 

The only stipulations are that you have to bet the full amount before you can cash out, and the bets must be on odds of -200 or longer.

Risk-Free Bets

A risk-free bet bonus is exactly how it sounds. You deposit money in the account, and your first bet is risk-free. If it wins, you keep the wager amount and the winnings. If the bet loses, the amount is credited back to your account.

FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia will offer a risk-free bet up to $1,000 for new members. The refunded credit must be bet at least once before cashout.

Bet-Match Bonus

This is a somewhat unusual welcome bonus, but it’s offered by Caesars Sportsbook, and other platforms will offer it as a promotion here and there. 

A bet-match bonus is similar to a deposit match bonus. The sportsbook will match your first bet with an additional free bet of an equal amount. At Caesars, the bet-match is up to $500.

What Sports Can You Bet On In Virginia?

You will be able to bet on all types of professional and collegiate sporting events with a few key exceptions:

  • You cannot bet on in-state Virginia colleges.
  • You cannot place in-game bets on college games.
  • No betting on the Olympics is allowed.

Aside from those three areas, sports bettors in Virginia have access to all major sports competitions, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS as well as NCAA D1 events. 

Women’s sports leagues will also be represented, including both men’s and women’s MMA, as well as many international sports, such as European soccer, Australian football, and cricket in Asia.

You can also bet on sports tournaments where a Virginia college team is participating, such as March Madness. You just can’t bet on a single game matchup with an in-state team. 

What Types Of Bets Are Allowed In Virginia?

Virginia sports bettors will have access to all types of bets, with the only restrictions being on specific sports rather than the bets themselves. Here are the types of bets you can expect:

  • Straight Bet/Moneyline
  • Points Spread
  • Totals (Over/Under)
  • In-Game/Living Betting (Professional Sports Only)
  • Prop Bets
  • Futures
  • Parlays
  • Teasers/Pleasers

Betting On US Pro Sports In Virginia

Despite the Commonwealth of Virginia not having any professional sports teams of their own, locals have plenty of love for nearby teams in DC, Baltimore, and elsewhere. And folks in the state know that the Washington Football Team claims the strongest fandom. 

Now, you’ll be able to bet on any professional sport via legal sports betting apps and sites. Pro sports in the US is an unrestricted market, meaning you can place any type of bet on any pro sports team in the Commonwealth.

All Virginia sportsbooks will make all major US professional sports leagues available for betting. You can join multiple platforms and compare the odds, as they will be largely offering the same bets but with varying win potential.

Washington DC has restrictive sports betting laws that require in-person betting or using the state-run GambetDC, which offers terrible odds. As a result, Virginia will likely become the ideal place for betting on the Washington Football Team and all other DC teams.

College Sports Betting In Virginia

As mentioned above, it will be illegal to bet on in-state Virginia teams, even if they’re playing an away game. You can’t bet on the University of Virginia or Virginia Tech, which is frustrating. It is highly unlikely that will change too.

However, you can bet on all other college sports. The only restriction here is that you can’t place in-game wagers (AKA live betting) on collegiate competitions, which are bets placed after the game begins.

It’s still unclear whether you can legally play March Madness brackets, seeing as the University of Virginia and William and Mary are often in the tournament. However, many sportsbooks, most notably DraftKings and FanDuel, host free bracket tournaments for a chance to win a long list of prizes.

What International Sports Can You Bet On In Virginia?

Virginia does not have any specific restrictions on international sports as long as they’re professional level. However, the Virginia Lottery has to approve each type of sport before it’s allowed in a sportsbook. That means the more obscure contests may not be listed.

In general, though, international sports will be available at Virginia’s online sports betting apps and sites. The most popular international sports leagues for US bettors include:

  • The English Premier League
  • UEFA Champions League
  • FIFA World Cup
  • Formula One
  • Japan’s NPB (baseball)
  • Australian Rules Football

The list goes on, and the soccer leagues in Spain, Germany, and France are also highly popular options. All of the above and more will be available for betting at Virginia sportsbooks.

But, unfortunately, the Olympic Games will not be a legal option for betting in the Commonwealth. 

Can You Bet On Esports In Virginia?

Not yet. The Virginia Lottery will greenlight the launch of licensed sportsbooks without the inclusion of esports betting.

But there’s nothing stopping online sportsbooks from seeking approval for esports betting. DraftKings DFS already offers Daily Fantasy Esports, and that’s available to folks in Virginia. 

Simply, it’s safe to hope that esports becomes a common betting option at Virginia sportsbooks in the near future.

Can I Place Parlay Bets At Virginia’s Online Sportsbooks?

Yes, you will be able to place parlay bets at the online sports betting apps and websites available in Virginia. Parlay betting in Virginia is legal for professional, college, and international sports.

A parlay bet is when you tie multiple bets together into one overall wager. To win a parlay, each individual bet needs to win; if even one loses, the whole parlay loses.

The reason you would place a parlay bet is to significantly boost your overall winning potential. While one team on an NFL points spread will generally have odds of -110, a three-team parlay will generally have odds of +600.

To put that into perspective, a $100 bet on -110 odds would win $90.91 (for a total payout of $190.91). But a $100 bet on +600 odds would win $600 (for a total payout of $700).

Like with all bets, the less likely you are the win, the higher the potential payout. So the more teams in a parlay, the bigger the win potential.

Teasers And Pleasers

Teasers and pleasers are parlays with adjusted odds.

For teasers, you can adjust the points spread in your favor to have a higher chance of winning the parlay. For example, rather than a +3.5 points spread, you might change it to a +6.5 spread to make the underdog more likely to cover. 

A teaser is still less likely to win than a single points spread bet, but it’s more likely than a standard parlay.

Pleasers are the opposite of a teaser, where the points spreads are adjusted to be more in the sportsbook’s favor than the bettor’s. For example, a -3.5 points spread increased to -6.5 would make the favorite less likely to cover.

If the standard parlay’s win potential isn’t high enough, a pleaser might be a good route.

What Do I Need To Create An Online Sportsbook Account In Virginia?

To create an online sportsbook account in Virginia, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Provide your email address and phone number to confirm your account.
  • Provide your name, address, and the last four digits of your SSN to confirm your identity.
  • Create your username (if it’s not your email) and password. Make it something strong, and don’t share it with anyone else. You should also update your password three to four times per year.

You also need to be at least 21 years old. And to place a bet at a Virginia online sportsbook, you need to be physically inside the Commonwealth. However, you can join, deposit, and withdraw from out of state.

Virginia Sportsbook Apps For iOS

The Apple App Store allows legal gambling apps. As long as they’re a legitimate and licensed platform and comply with Apple’s development requirements, they get approved by Apple. That means if the Virginia Lottery approves of a sportsbook app, it will be listed in the App Store.

However, make sure the app is specifically available in Virginia. Some will be state-specific (like FOX Bet and BetMGM) while others will list the accessible states at the bottom of their description (like DraftKings and FanDuel).

Android User Guide to Virginia Sportsbook Apps

For Android users, you’ll need to download the sportsbook app directly from the sports betting website. This is because the Google Play store does not list real-money gambling apps.

However, the online sportsbooks make it easy. Simply visit the website of the brand you want on your Android device. You’ll be prompted to download the app, and you’ll be good to go in just a few steps.

Warning: Do not download any sportsbook apps from a third-party site. Make sure you only download the Android app directly from the sportsbook of your choice.

Legal Online Sportsbooks Versus Illegal Online Sportsbooks In Virginia

If you played at illegal online sportsbooks in Virginia prior to the legalization, it’s tough to blame you. Not only were there no legal sports betting options, but Virginia is also one of the few states without any casinos or poker rooms too.

However, now that Virginia legalized online sports betting, there’s no good reason to bet at an illegal site.

While there’s a small chance of getting into legal trouble, that’s the least of your concerns when you’re playing at an illegal site. These platforms are notorious for:

  • Refusing to pay out legitimate winnings.
  • Selling your personal and financial information to sketchy third-parties.
  • Offering unfair odds or rigged casino games.
  • Hiding ridiculous terms and conditions, like 50x to 100x wagering requirements for bonus offers.

On the flipside, legal online sportsbooks in Virginia:

  • Are regulated by the Virginia Lottery, which means they’re required by law to pay out legitimate winnings.
  • Will have all Privacy Policy clearly spelled out so you know exactly what they do with your information.
  • Offer competitive odds due to regulations as well as being in a competitive market.
  • Keep their terms and conditions transparent, particularly with wagering requirements. (BetRivers has a 1x wagering requirement for their welcome bonus.)

Sports betting is risky enough. Avoid illegal sites to ensure you’re not putting yourself in danger.

What Else Can You Bet On In Virginia?

Type Of GamblingLegal?Notes
Online Sports BettingYesLegalized as of July 2020. Online sportsbooks are expected to launch by January 2021.
Online Horse RacingYesLegal in Virginia at sites like TVG and TwinSpires.
Online LotteryYesLegal in Virginia through VALottery.com.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)YesVirginia was the first state to officially legalize DFS.
Sweepstakes CasinosYesCasino players can legally play at Chumba Casino, LuckyLand, and other sweepstakes sites.
Sweepstakes Poker SitesYesPoker players in Virginia can play at Global Poker, which has a huge player pool.
Online PokerNoReal-money poker through sites like WSOP and PokerStars is illegal in Virginia.
Online CasinoNoReal-money online casinos like BetMGM, Golden Nugget, and Caesars Casino are illegal in Virginia.

Online Horse Betting In Virginia

Online horse race betting is legal in Virginia. Colonial Downs Racetrack is the only Virginia racetrack still in operation. It recently had no scheduled races for more than half a decade, but races resumed in 2020 over a month-long period.

You can also legally bet on any horse track in the US and abroad online in Virginia. Here is a list of some of the best horse race betting sites available to Virginians:

  • TVG
  • TwinSpires
  • NYRA

Another option is to visit one of four Virginia OTB facilities, which are located in Chesapeake, Henrico, Richmond, and Collinsville.

Online Lottery

Virginia is one of just a few states that has an online lottery. This means you can buy tickets, win, and withdraw your winnings all on the Virginia Lottery website or app, which is available for iOS and Android.

Through your account, you can play Instants as well as interstate lottery pool games like Mega Millions, Powerball, and Cash4Life. However, other forms of Virginia Lotto games are only available at land-based retailers.

Feel free to use our lottery number generator to select lucky numbers.

Online, prizes $100 and under are instantly added to your account. Prizes over $100 require you fill out an online claim form, but that only takes a few minutes.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Virginia was the first state to officially legalize Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). In most states, DFS is not explicitly legal, so operators are allowed to offer their platforms. Others outright ban DFS.

Virginia took the guesswork out of it and established state-specific regulations.

You can legally play at all the major DFS platforms, but the two biggest are DraftKings and FanDuel. Remember, the DFS platform is different from the sports betting side, meaning you’ll need to download separate apps if you want to play both from Virginia. However, the same login should work for both.

Further, you need to be at least 18 to play DFS in Virginia, while the sports betting age requirement in the state is 21 and up.

Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes casinos allow players in states without legal online casinos to play their favorite games and win cash prizes. And because online casinos are only legal in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Michigan, this is the only option for most states across the US.

The two best sweepstakes casinos are Chumba Casino and LuckyLand. At both websites, you can redeem Sweeps Coins directly for cash prizes. This isn’t one of those free casino apps through Facebook where you can win entries to random drawings. At sweepstakes casinos, the more Sweeps Coins you win, the bigger your cash prize.

Sweepstakes casino games available at Chumba Casino include classic slots, video slots, progressive slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker. The games at LuckyLand are also primarily slots, including progressive slots, but they also have some instant win scratchers similar to those offered through the Virginia Lottery app.

Sweepstakes Poker Sites

While there may be other sweepstakes poker sites out there, the only one you should join is Global Poker. Nowhere else can compete with their massive player pool or the win potential of their tournaments.

Everyone in all US states except for the State of Washington can play at Global Poker and face off against players in other states. The player pool also includes all of Canada except for Quebec.

The Global Poker setup is very similar to sites like World Series of Poker (WSOP) and PartyPoker. You can choose the type of game, like Texas Hold’em or Omaha. You can choose your budget, from micro to high. And you can play ring games, sit ‘n’ go, or multi-table tournaments.

Virginia Online Sportsbook FAQ

What is the age requirement for sports betting in Virginia?

21. You must be at least 21 years old to bet at legal online sportsbooks in Virginia. When land-based casinos open in Virginia in 2022 and 2023, they will have retail sportsbooks where you can bet in person. However, the age requirement will be 21 at retail sportsbooks as well.

People in Virginia who are 18 years or older can bet at the Virginia Lottery online, at horse race betting sites, and through Daily Fantasy Sports platforms.

Is DraftKings Sportsbook available in Virginia?

Not yet, but DraftKings Sportsbook is expected to be one of the first legal sports betting options in Virginia. The Virginia Lottery has not announced who has applied for a sportsbook license, but DraftKings is a safe assumption, as they’re available in almost all states with legal online sports betting. 

When DraftKings Sportsbook does launch in Virginia, new members can receive a $25 free bet and a 20% deposit matching bonus up to $1,000.

Is FanDuel Sportsbook available in Virginia?

Yes. FanDuel Sportsbook was the first to announced its launch in Virginia on January 21, 2021.

FanDuel independently tested a Virginia Lottery regulation that required real-time odds updates and proved that requirement wasn’t feasible. As such an active part of the legalization effort, it’s understandable that FanDuel was among the first to launch. 

The FanDuel Virginia Sportsbook’s welcome bonus is a risk-free bet up to $1,000.

Will Virginia sportsbooks take bets on credit?

No, it is extremely unlikely that any legal online sportsbook in Virginia will offer a line of credit. There are some illegal websites that take bets on credit, but they require your personal financial information, including your social security number, which is why so many people in the US have their information stolen for this very reason. Chances are that the Virginia Lottery would consider bets on credit to be predatory and therefore illegal.

Can I bet on college sports in Virginia?

Yes, you can bet on college sports in Virginia. However, live in-game betting on college sports is prohibited. It is also illegal to place any type of bet on in-state college teams, such as Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, or William and Mary. Betting on these teams is strictly prohibited in the state. The only exception is for multi-team tournaments like March Madness, where you can bet on games even if a Virginia team is part of the larger tournament.

Do you have to register in-person for an online sportsbook in Virginia?

No, it is not required to register in-person at a land-based casino or sportsbook to bet at an online sportsbook in Virginia. Everything can be done remotely. In fact, you can join the sportsbook, make a deposit, and even withdraw from anywhere in the US. But you must be physically located within the Commonwealth of Virginia to place a sports bet at a Virginia online casino.

About the Author

Mike Epifani

Mike Epifani (shown here at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas) is a highly 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.