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Gambling in Virginia

Though gambling in Virginia has been restricted for a long time, key changes are on their way that could see residents of Old Dominion able to gamble both online and in brick-and-mortar locations in a safe and regulated manner. New legislation is being introduced and laws are being written that could see new ways to gamble flourish across the state.

Though gambling in Virginia has been restricted for a long time, key changes are on their way that could see residents of Old Dominion able to gamble both online and in brick-and-mortar locations in a safe and regulated manner. New legislation is being introduced and laws are being written that could see new ways to gamble flourish across the state.

Available in this state

Online Sports Betting Virginia

In Virginia, online sports betting is currently banned. You also cannot place sports bets in brick-and-mortar retail locations. However, some key changes might introduce sports betting through the lottery in Virginia. Online sports betting laws could be introduced soon thanks to three bills; HB4. HB 896, and SB 384. All three of these have the potential to make their way to the desk of Governor Ralph Northam for signature.

Should any of these bills pass into law, the regulation of sports betting in Virginia would fall to the state lottery. It is likely that these bills would regulate betting on professional sports but would place restrictions on wagers for collegiate sports. With top daily fantasy sports providers like DraftKings and FanDuel already operating within the state, these will probably be some of the first providers to also open sportsbooks when regulations are in place.

You will be able to follow the progress of these bills on this page as new updates emerge.

Online Casinos Virginia

Gambling in Virginia has always been an interesting area of discussion, especially where casinos were concerned. In Virginia, online casino play is currently banned. Moves to legalize brick-and-mortar casinos have been slow but there is finally some traction.

The first indication that change may be on the way came in 2018 when the Virginia General Assembly legalized slot machines at the Colonial Downs Racetrack in a bid to revitalize it. In December 2018, State Senator Louise Lucas filed SB 1126. This passed through various committees and votes before it was signed into law on March 22, 2019, by Governor Northam.

This bill allows two casinos to be built and managed by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. More gambling casinos in Virginia may open, but they must be approved by nearby citizens in a local referendum.

Should a new bill be introduced that fully legalizes online casinos in Virginia, you will be able to follow its progress here on this page.

Online Poker Virginia

As with online casinos, gambling laws in Virginia regarding online poker are similarly restrictive. Currently, there are no sites you can head to for regulated games in Virginia. Online real money poker is available from overseas sites, but they cannot be considered safe to play at. Until changes are made to the laws on gambling in Virginia, it’s best to avoid participating in poker play at these sites.

There are some changes on their way that might make a difference to how poker is viewed by lawmakers in Virginia. One of the key changes came in 2017. Amongst a set of other legislation, Senator Lucas was able to pass a change to the definition of poker. Though the other bills did not pass the Senate, she was able to classify poker as a game of skill rather than one of chance.  This is fantastic news for poker-loving fans in Virginia. Poker online is enjoyed by many people from many walks of life. With the game now classed as a skill, it will be much easier to fully regulate it.

SB 1126 will be key in this as it does legalize gambling in the form of poker, amongst others. Laws specifically tackling online poker could appear at some point in late 2020. Any new legislation can be followed on this page when it appears.

Top Virginia Daily Fantasy Sites

Virginia became one of the first states to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports when Senate Bill 646 passed into law in March 2016. Sign up to one of the best daily fantasy sports sites in Virginia here:

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Daily Fantasy Virginia

Virginia daily fantasy sports law requires you to be 18+ to play daily fantasy sports. This state became the first in the US to regulate these types of games with the introduction of the Fantasy Contests Act, or SB 646. This was introduced by State Senator Ryan T. McDougle and was signed into law by then-Governor Terry McAuliffe on March 7, 2016.

In Virginia, daily fantasy sports can now legally be enjoyed. Many of the top sites like FanDuel and DraftKings offer their games here.

Online Lottery Virginia

The Virginia Lottery is available throughout the state. The modern lottery was created in 1987 after a referendum, with tickets heading on sale on September 20, 1988. There are currently over 5000 retailers around the state that you can purchase lottery tickets from.

There are several daily games that residents can choose to play in. These can carry jackpots up to $5000 depending on the game chosen. There is also a twice-weekly draw called Bank A Million with a jackpot of $1,000,000.

Players can also take part in the multi-jurisdictional games Cash4Life, Powerball, and Mega Millions. You can purchase tickets for the multi-jurisdictional games at a designated retailer or online.

Players can also find options for scratch cards and games called Print ‘n Play. Scratch cards, or scratchers as they are known as in the state, have been part of the Lottery’s products since it launched. All games over $20 have a maximum jackpot of at least $1 million. Scratchers and Print ‘n Play tickets can both be printed from terminals in retailers. Print n’ Play games include bingo, blackjack, and crosswords.

Players can check their winning numbers online at the official website or on the Lottery’s app.

Other Important Gambling Facts Virginia

Should sports betting become legal in Virginia, it is thought that lawmakers would set the licenses at $250,000. Providers would be taxed on revenue from 15-20% depending on which of the proposed bills makes it to law. Fantasy sports providers currently pay a $50,000 annual license fee to be able to offer their products.

Since 1999, profits from the Virginia Lottery have all gone to K-12 education funds throughout the state. In 2019 alone, this accounted for $650 million which ended up being equal to approximately 10% of the state’s budget for education. If prizes are not claimed, they go to the state’s Literary Fund. This provides low-interest loans for public school construction and renovation projects. Approximately $6.5 million was transferred to this fund in the fiscal year of 2019.

Gambling Virginia Conclusion

So, is gambling legal in Virginia? It currently sits in this grey area where certain aspects like poker and casino games have been legalized but no safe providers have yet emerged. With new legislation on the rise, it won’t be long before gambling in Virginia is fully regulated and available for all.


Gambling is not completely illegal in the state of Virginia but there is little in the way of regulation to make it safe for most players. New laws are currently being examined by lawmakers that may help to fully regulate gambling in Virginia.

Poker is technically a legal form of gambling in Virginia thanks to SB 1126. Many casino games were legalized by this bill, but there is currently nowhere where you can play them in a safe and regulated way, either online or at a land-based casino.

Currently, playing the lottery and participating in daily fantasy sports are both legal and regulated types of gambling in Virginia. New laws are being examined and introduced that will also legalize slots, tables games, and sports betting across the state.

Internet sweepstakes are not legal in Virginia. Following changes to the law in 2019, there has been a crackdown on shops that claim to offer this as a legal form of gambling.


Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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