The first form of legal Virginia gambling came in 1973, with charitable gambling. Charitable gambling is overseen by the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs. Charitable gambling, which includes poker and bingo has grown substantially over the years and is only taxed 1.125% by the state. Virginia is strict in terms of traditional gambling, as there are no active casinos in the state. Let's take a look at what forms of online gambling are available in Virginia.
Each state has the power to legalize sports betting due to the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This decision was made in May of 2018. Since then New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi, and New Mexico have all legalized sports betting to some extent. Another 30+ states have introduced some form of legislation to legalize sports betting, including Virginia.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Virginia?
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What Would Legal Sports Betting Look Like in Virginia?
There are multiple bills that include regulating sports wagering to some capacity. Most of these bills focus on directing the Virginia Lottery to regulate sports betting. Under HB 1638, there would be five licenses available to operate sports betting online in Virginia. Operators would be taxed at a rate of 15% of gross revenue. Under the provisions of the bill, betting on Virginia college sports and youth sports is prohibited.
Would the bill legalize online sports betting in Virginia?
Yes, because there are no casinos in Virginia sports betting will have to be done online or through betting kiosks. The bills in Congress call for online operations directed by the Virginia Lottery.
The Virginia Lottery came into fruition in 1998. Since 1999, all profits have been used for K-12 public education. In 2018, the Virginia Lottery had sales of more than $2.1 billion, which generated $606 million for education. According to the state lottery page, over $11 billion has gone towards education since 1998. The history of education contributions from the lottery can be seen here.
Does the Virginia Lottery offer online games?
Yes, the Virginia Lottery is one of a handful of lottery systems to include online sales. Residents can purchase traditional draw game tickets such as Mega Millions and Pick 3. There are also exclusive games which are only available on a mobile device. To purchase mobile games residents must be within Bluetooth range of a lottery retailer. Some of the exclusive games can be seen below. Bills such as HB 2210 are focused on bringing full-scale internet lottery ticket sales to Virginia. If this bill were passed, residents would be able to purchase tickets from their home.
Gambling on horse racing has been legal in Virginia for 30 years. Popular horse racing gambling sites like TwinSpires and BetAmerica accept residents of Virginia as customers. This means residents can bet online or at a racetrack. The most widely known racetrack in Virginia is Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent. Gambling on greyhound racing is currently prohibited.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports, or DFS, is a cross between fantasy football and legalized gambling. On a broad level, DFS contests are a subsection of fantasy sports. Players compete against their friends, or more often strangers to build a team of professional athletes under a given salary cap, and try and to outscore their opponents. Daily fantasy sports differ from traditional fantasy sports by having contests that last for an evening or the weekend, as opposed to having the same team for months.
Are daily fantasy sports legal in Virginia?
Online poker is not mentioned in any open Virginia bills. Online poker will remain illegal in Virginia for the foreseeable future.
Offshore sportsbooks such as Bovada are not legal in Virginia. Offshore sportsbooks do accept residents of Virginia as clients. Although BettingBuck always recommends betting with legal sportsbooks, we do review a handful of offshore sites like Bovada, 5Dimes, and MyBookie.