Virginia has legal online sports betting, even if it had to ride a rough road to get there. The state was relatively quick to legalize sports betting, but legislative wrangling saw its launch delayed repeatedly.
Thankfully, the online sports betting scene in Virginia came online in 2021 and now includes a number of the country’s largest sportsbooks. Not only that, but retail sports betting is also available in the state, giving fans the ability to place their wagers in-person. Here’s what is available in Virginia sports betting at this time, and what bonuses are available to users.
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Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Virginia?
Online sports betting is live and completely legal in the state of Virginia. While the state was slow to take advantage of its own legalization of sports betting, online sports betting launched in the state in 2021. Since then, a slew of top online sportsbooks have set up shop in the state, giving residents lots of great options to choose from.
Best Online Sportsbooks in Virginia
Virginia has many sportsbook options to choose from, but BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel rank among the best. Alongside those favorites, a slew of other notable sportsbooks have also taken hold in the state. Here are some of the best options on the market and what they have to offer.
FanDuel Online Sportsbook
- Tech partner: FanDuel
- Full sportsbook review: FanDuel Online Sportsbook
FanDuel became a sports institution thanks to its popular daily fantasy sports product, and pivoted off that success to become an industry leader in sports betting. FanDuel Online Sportsbook is a go-to for both new and experienced bettors, and there’s good reason for that.
The signup and deposit process of FanDuel is great relative to its peers thanks to its abundance of deposit options. On top of that it has an excellent app that makes it easy to find your favorite teams, rounded out by great features and ready-made same game parlays. It also has a rock solid welcome bonus, which can be found here:
- Tech partner: Entain
- Full sportsbook review: BetMGM Sportsbook
MGM Entertainment runs some of the biggest casinos in America and has many other locations dotted across the United States. Though Virginia isn’t slated to have an MGM casino within its borders anytime soon, residents can still get a taste of the action through the company’s BetMGM Sportsbook.
BetMGM Sportsbook is an excellent option for any sports fan thanks to its broad selection of prop bets and juicy promotions for major leagues and sporting events. All this is accentuated by a strong rewards program that can be enjoyed by regular users. Join in using this new user bonus:
- Tech partner: DraftKings
- Full sportsbook review: DraftKings Sportsbook
DraftKings Sportsbook doesn’t have its roots in the casino industry like some of its top competitors, but the daily fantasy sports site has become a huge player in the industry. This is one of the most accessible sportsbooks in the country, and is available in Virginia alongside a slew of other states.
Solid promos that come out often make DraftKings a great option for those who expect to bet regularly or those who want to get the most out of occasional betting. The app is also excellent for beginners, making it easy to get started for newcomers to sports betting.
- Tech partner: William Hill
- Full sportsbook review: Caesars Sportsbook
Caesars Sportsbook has been pulling in a number of leading names in sports to promote its brand. That’s par for the course, as Caesars Entertainment is a top brand in the casino industry and it’s partnered with famed European sportsbook William Hill. The duo account for some of the most recognizable names in gambling and bringing them together makes for a very strong experience.
Caesars is among the first major casino brands to expand into Virginia with its softening of gambling restrictions and people in the state will be able to get extra value out fo Caesars Sportsbook because of that. Caesars has a rewards program that unlocks benefits both for the sportsbook, and at its casinos and resorts. Fittingly, its welcome bonus offers benefits on both fronts as well.
- Tech partner: Kambi
- Full sportsbook review: BetRivers
The Rivers Casino chain has planted its flag in Virginia, with the Rivers Casino Portsmouth. The branch will host a BetRivers retail sportsbook, but Virginia is already able to enjoy Rivers’ online sportsbook from the comfort of their couch.
BetRivers has a very strong rewards program and 1x wagering, making it easy to get the most out of bonuses relative to many of its competitors. Bettors have other ways of getting value out of BetRivers thanks to its profit boosts and special promos.
- Tech partner: PointsBet
- Full sportsbook review: PointsBet
PointsBet has quickly emerged as a leading sportsbook in the United States and Virginia sports fans get to take advantage of this. The online sportsbook is available in the state, allowing sports fans to take advantage of its unique offering.
While most sportsbooks have generally the same product offering, PointsBet has the unique Points Betting option. This is a type of over/under where wins and losses grow based on the outcome of the game. If you bet “over” on a QB throwing 250 yards, you win more if they pass for 350 than if they pass for 300. There’s also the Karma Kommittee that can award free bets to users that lose to some odd shenanigans or weird happenstance. This makes for a particularly fun experience for bettors:
- Tech partner: Kambi
- Full sportsbook review: Unibet
With no need for a land-based partner in Virginia, Unibet was able to begin operations on April 28, 2021 in the state for lovers. Casinos are under construction in Virginia, but at the time of launch, the state was one of two with all-online and all-mobile sports betting.
Therefore, there is no retail sportsbook for Unibet in the state but the app and the website are accessible for anybody in the state to place real-money wagers. Unibet is one of the most trusted names in sports betting thanks to its powerhouse status in Europe. Virginia is one of the lucky states that get to place wagers through the oddsmaker.
- Tech partner: CUMULUS MEDIA
- Full sportsbook review: WynnBet
WynnBET launched in Virginia in the middle of March 2021, just in time for March Madness. It became the sixth sports betting app to go live in Virginia. With all-mobile and all-online betting, users can sign up from anywhere to bet in Virginia, but must be physically located within the state to use the app or access a real-money balance.
The sports betting arm of the Wynn Resorts chain has a rewards program attached to the establishments it owns and operates. It has an intuitive interface and weekly promos that can add value to bettors in Virginia.
- Tech partner: 888
- Full sportsbook review: SI Sportsbook
The iconic Sports Illustrated publication is still alive today, and it’s branching out beyond just being a magazine. The company is partnered with gaming giant 888 to bring its trusted brand to the world of sports betting.
SI Sportsbook is a rock solid sportsbook, with an intuitive user interface that resonates with new and seasoned bettors alike. It’s set apart from other sportsbooks by 888’s bet feed system, which tells users about the wagers that other users are placing. This is a great way to find interesting markets and opportunities. You can get started with SI Sportsbook with this exclusive welcome bonus:
How to Register for an Online Sportsbook in Virginia
Virginia sports fans can easily register for an online sportsbook by clicking on one of the links above, visiting the sportsbook’s website, and signing up. Residents of the state are lucky enough to have access to all the top sportsbooks, as well as several popular alternatives.
The sign-up process for online sportsbooks isn’t difficult. The options above are all legal in the state of Virginia and are available to everyone in the state that’s over the age of 21. Click the button, visit the site, and hit the “join” or “register” button to start the signup process.
The signup process is effectively the same as creating an account with an online retailer. You’ll need to provide some personal information and verify your email address but after that’s done, the account is made.
The next big step is to make a deposit. This adds funds to your account which are used to place bets. There are a broad range of deposit methods, with each sportsbook having its own set of options. Credit and debit cards are the standard and are accepted by all major sportsbooks, but some may require an intermediary to move the money. Other popular services such as PayPal and Venmo are also accepted by some sportsbooks.
Cash deposits are possible with some sportsbooks. An online sportsbook account can be funded by making a cash deposit at a retail sportsbook run by the same operator. While these are scarce in Virginia, PayNearMe and other similar services can be used with some sportsbooks, facilitating cash-based deposits via retailers such as 7-Eleven and CVS Pharmacy.
Once you’ve made the deposit, you’ll likely be eligible for some bonuses and can then start betting. Here’s the step-by-step process for signing up:
- Pick a legal Virginia sportsbook from the list above
- Click on the link
- Complete the sign-up process
- Make a deposit to your account
- Opt into any promos that interest you
- Start betting!
Is Retail Sports Betting Live in Virginia?
Retail sports betting is live in Virginia. Not many retail sportsbooks have opened in the state, but there is action to be found with lots more coming soon. A number of retail sportsbooks are positioned to come online in the near future as more gaming establishments open in the state. Here’s where things are in the state, and when you can expect more sportsbooks to open.
Hard Rock Sportsbook at Bristol Casino
- Location: 500 Gate City Hwy, Bristol, VA 24201
- Retail Sportsbook: Hard Rock Sportsbook
- Other Features: Slots, table games
- Projected Opening Date: Open now!
The Bristol Casino is the first proper casino to open in Virginia. Though it’s technically under construction, a temporary casino and sportsbook has been opened near its future permanent home, allowing Virginia residents to get some action in before the official ribbon-cutting.
The first Virginia retail sportsbook is operated Hard Rock Casino and is located just over the border in Bristol, allowing visitors from Tennessee and North Carolina to get in on the action. The location currently has over 30,000 square feet of gaming space with a number of betting windows in its retail sportsbook and several kiosks dotted throughout the casino.
Caesars Sportsbook at Caesars Virginia
- Location: 1100 West Main St, Danville, VA
- Projected Retail Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
- Other Features: Slots, table games, poker
- Projected Opening Date: July 2023
Caesars Entertainment has planted its flag in a number of states across the U.S., and that’s going to go for Virginia as well. The gaming conglomerate is set to open up the new Caesars Virginia casino in 2024, but a temporary casino is opening in July 2023 to give residents an early taste of what’s to come.
The new Caesars branch is planned to include 1,300 slot machines, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a WSOP poker room, with the cherry on top being a Caesars Sportsbook.
BetRivers at Rivers Casino Portsmouth
- Location: 3630 Victory Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23701
- Projected Retail Sportsbook: BetRivers
- Other Features: Slots, table games, poker
- Projected Opening Date: January 15, 2023
The Rivers Casino chain has made itself a premier gaming destination across the country. It’s also made itself into one of the best sports betting options thanks to BetRivers. Virginia already has access to the online sportsbook, and will be able to take part of the action in person in January.
The Rivers Casino is set to open in style with a whopping 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, and 24 poker tables on day one. Rivers’ very own sportsbook will also be on hand, giving visitors the opportunity to take in a game in between their trips to the tables.
Sportsbook at HeadWaters Resort and Casino
- Location: Norfolk, VA
- Projected Retail Sportsbook: Unknown
- Other Features: Slots, table games
- Projected Opening Date: 2023
Another temporary casino is set to be established in Norfolk, Virginia but the details surrounding have not been entirely hammered down. The current plan is to have a temporary casino open along the banks of the Elizabeth River near the Harbor Park arena. At this time, an official betting partner hasn’t been confirmed but it’s highly likely that a retail sportsbook will be opened at the casino.
What Sports Can I Bet on in Virginia?
Virginia sports fans are able to bet on all their favorite sports including football, basketball, MMA, and more. Betting on every major pro sports league from the NFL to the UFC to NASCAR is available in Virginia.
The one big caveat to this is that in-state college sports events are off-limits for betting in Virginia. While a game between Boston College and the University of Massachusetts is available for wagers in Virginia, games involving Virginia Tech are not. Here are some of the sports betting options available in Virginia:
- NCAA Football
- NCAA Basketball
Available Bet Types in Virginia
Moneyline bets are a simple bet on which team you’re expecting to win a match. This applies to all sports and all methods of victory. Whether it’s a football team winning by a single point, a boxer winning by first round knockout, or anything else, the W is the only thing that matters.
The spread adds a handicap to the favored team, meaning that team needs to win for a certain number of points in order to have the bet hit. The good news is that this makes for very even lines, with the lines on both teams being a toss-up. This is a great way to bet on your favorite team, even if they happen to be a big underdog.
Live betting allows you to bet on a game that’s already in progress. The lines move around based upon how the game is unfolding, something that lets fans dial into the game in a whole new way. Different sportsbooks will offer different markets, with some offering much more live betting options than others.
Over/unders deal with one specific stat and task bettors with guessing where the final tally will fall. For example, a football team may have an over/under set on the number of points scored at 25.5. If the team scores 26 or more points, the bet on “over” will hit while 25 or fewer will have the “under” score you some cash.
Totals are similar to over/unders, but they take both teams into account. If a football game has a total line set at 41.5, the “over” will hit if both teams combine for 42 or more points. Whether it’s a 24-23 squeaker or a 42-0 blowout, both will hit.
Prop bets cover a very wide range of different bets. On a weekly basis, major sportsbooks will offer player props on things like whether a specific player will score a goal during a hockey game or if a quarterback will throw an interception in a football game.
Parlays combine multiple bets into one large package, where every bet (called a “leg”) needs to hit in order to win. If any part of the parlay fails the bet won’t hit, but the trade is that the payouts escalate with every leg that’s added to the parlay. The risk is high, but the payoff can be huge.
Virginia Sports Teams
Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech’s greatest successes in athletics stem from its track and field team. On both the men’s and women’s sides, the Hokies have brought home a number of national championships for a broad variety of events.
Historically, Virginia Tech is primarily notable for its football team that dominates at home thanks to its raucous stadium. Over recent years, Virginia Tech’s basketball team has been on a huge upswing as well. The school has appeared in every NCAA Tournament since 2017, which comes alongside an ACC Conference championship in 2022.
The University of Virginia has been raking in championships in recent years, winning 13 national championships across 11 years from 2012 to 2022. These accolades came in a wide variety of sports. The school’s greatest accomplishment during this time is winning five national championships in men’s tennis during this time.
That said, most NCAA sports fans will be familiar with the school thanks to its NCAA National Tournament win in basketball. It also has a growing reputation in football with Bronco Mendenhall coaching the team out of a bad rut during the Mike London era.
Washington Commanders, Nationals and Capitals
Virginia has some great collegiate teams but it doesn’t actually have any pro clubs in any of America’s biggest sports leagues. With that in mind, Virginia primarily shares teams with its neighbors in Washington, DC. Virginia’s favorite NFL, NHL, and MLB teams are the Washington Commanders, Washington Capitals, and Washington Nationals, respectively.
This is a mixed bag for Virginia, as the teams have a mix of performances from great to terrible in recent seasons. The Washington Nationals and Capitals have both taken home championships in recent years with the Nationals. The Commanders are a Washington sports staple, but a long Super Bowl drought dating back to 1991 and consistently controversial ownership has hampered optimism surrounding the team.
While Virginia looks to Washington for most of its favorite sports teams, that’s not actually the case with the NBA. Instead of looking to the Washington Wizards, it looks to Ohio’s own Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers are synonymous with NBA superstar Lebron James. A large part of that is the franchise’s inability to succeed without him, but the Cavs have started to find a level of success in the post-Lebron James era.
Virginia does have a number of pro teams in minor leagues and in smaller sports. Here are some of the Virginia-based sports teams that bettors can wager on:
- Loudoun United FC
- Norfolk Tides
- Richmond Elite
- Northern Virginia Eagles
- Northern Virginia FC
- Richmond Kickers
- Lionsbridge FC
- Virginia Beach United FC
History of Sports Betting in Virginia
For most states, the relevant history of sports betting goes back to 1992 when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed. This effectively resulted in a nationwide sports betting ban, which stayed in place for decades.
Legal challenges mounted during the 2010s and by 2018, they worked their way to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court overturned the nationwide sports betting ban, which gave states the ability to legally allow sports betting within their jurisdiction.
Virginia was relatively quick to take advantage of this by moving to legalize sports betting in 2019. Delays and false launch dates kept legalized wagering from launching in 2020, a year in which Virginia voters approved a ballot measure for the construction of four casinos in the state.
This process dragged for some time as lawmakers failed to come to terms on various regulations, most notably disagreeing over whether collegiate sports should be fair game for betting. Middle ground was eventually found in 2020. From there, the regulatory foundation was laid. In January 2021, Virginia sports betting officially went live with FanDuel accepting wagers.
In 2022 the first retail sportsbook was opened by Hard Rock. Multiple other retail sportsbooks broke ground during the year, with 2023 set to increase the number of gaming establishments.