Virginia Sports Betting Laws
When trying to look for the Virginia sports betting laws, you’ll find that the state is both strict and somewhat vague on their stance towards gambling in general. Virginia Code § 18.2-325 covers the definitions for what constitutes gambling in the state and mentions which forms of gaming are prohibited. Virginia Code § 18.2-326 describes the penalties for anyone that violates these laws. The laws allow for horse racing and off-track betting, as well as charitable gambling such as bingo, duck racing, or raffles.
However, these laws explicitly prohibit casinos and greyhound racing in the state, which is why you won’t find any legal land-based sports betting site in VA. What’s important to note is that the law does not specifically mention any penalties for using online offshore sportsbooks. It’s because of this legal gray area that such books are effectively legal. Further, the state’s jurisdiction does not cover entities that are located overseas, so they can’t stop offshore books from accepting players in Virginia. Any federal gambling laws are similarly bound to addressing only domestic-based operators, and it’s important to note that most VA and US laws do not go after individual bettors but only those “in the business” of offering sportsbooks and betting services.
The Legality Of Sports Betting In Virginia
As you might have guessed, sportsbooks are prohibited from being operated in the state of Virginia. The lack of brick-and-mortar casinos also offers somewhat of a barrier to any land-based betting sites coming to the state. That is why the last major bill to legalize the activity, VA HB 1638, was going to let off-track betting facilities accept sports bets and also sought to allow them to offer online betting platforms to anyone located inside the borders of Virginia. Had the law passed, anyone looking to operate an online sports betting site in Virginia would have had to pay a $250,000 licensing fee to the VA lottery and would have had to pay a 15% tax on revenue generated by sports wagers. Such will likely more or less be the model going forward, and the state currently has at least 11 bills in the legislature as of summer 2019. Nevertheless, sports wagering likely won’t be legalized until sometime in 2020 at the earliest. The only 2019 bills to find traction were of the “study” variety.
Where To Legally Bet On Sports In Virginia
Even if VA sports betting bills pass (or, rather, when VA sports betting bills pass), the land-based options that may become available for VA residents will be very limited. Further, the bills will almost certainly not include anything stopping residents from using offshore online betting sites instead of local solutions. The local websites and/or sports betting lounges will have had a hard time competing against these established, huge books because they most likely will have had higher fees and will not have the same variety of betting lines available compared to the offshore solutions. This is why the best places to legally bet on sports in Virginia continue to be the top-rated online offshore sportsbooks.
Bovada Sports - #1 in Virginia For A Decade And Counting!
Bovada has been the most popular sports betting site in Virginia for over a decade, and its history in the state goes back a lot further than that. When VA bettors decide to join America’s favorite sportsbook, they’re expecting a lot of lines, easy deposits, guaranteed payouts, and plenty of perks. And, of course, they get all of them!
New VA members who join right now can take advantage of Bovada’s sports betting bonus, which is worth up to $250. Now, this might seem like one of the smallest bonuses in the industry – and it is. But there’s a catch: Bovada’s bonus is PERFECT FOR EVERYONE. Most books offer big bonuses and huge rollover requirements before you can withdraw your winnings, making them only tenable for high rollers and daily bettors. But not Bovada. At Bovada, you only have to meet a 5X rollover, which no other book can touch.
MyBookie Sportsbook - 50% Deposit Match Up To $1000
MyBookie is a unique book. It has the look and feel of a polished international betting site, but you won’t find any international odds here. That’s because MyBookie is focused only on American sports for American bettors. That means you won’t get Premier League cricket or soccer cluttering up your mobile betting panel at MyBookie. Instead, matchups from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NCAA, UFC, and more US-centric leagues get top billing, every time.
Best of all, MyBookie has a nice bonus for those who like to bet big or bet often. When you make your first deposit as a new Virginia player at MyBookie, use promo code “MYB50” to get a 50% deposit match worth up to $1000 in free plays. This comes with a 10X rollover requirement, which means that it likely isn’t right for low-volume or small-money bettors, but for everyone else, it’s free money just for signing up!
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Legal Age To Bet On Sports In Virginia
Since there is no exact law that states what the legal age to bet on sports in Virginia is, those that use online betting sites have referred to other state-issued gambling ages as a means to determine it. The legal age to bet on horses is only 18 years old, and the same goes for the charitable forms of gaming available in the state. Online offshore sportsbooks also require account holders to be at least 18 years of age or older, so as long as you meet that age, you are good to go. However, just remember to never join any offshore sports betting site under the age of 18, as this will lead to funds confiscation and account termination. These books take their terms of service very seriously, as well they should.
Shopping Lines At Virginia Sports Betting Sites
Shopping lines is probably something you’ve heard at least a little bit about if you’re getting into sports betting. The concept is simple, but in states with local books, the bettors that frequent such establishments can’t make much use of the strategy (due to logistical issues of physically visiting a number of different sports betting lounges to find the best odds on any given contest). However, if you use a VA offshore sportsbook, you can shop lines by simply signing up with more than one service provider. Most bettors will usually join 2-4 different sportsbooks over the Internet, which allows them to find the best possible lines on any and every sports matchup.
For example, one book might have the Hokies as -3.5 favorites on the spread, while another site might have the same bet favoring the Hokies at -5. By betting with the former site, the team doesn’t have to cover by as many points, giving you a much greater chance of winning the bet. The same thing is true for moneyline bets, too. If one site has the Cavaliers at +125 straight up and another site has the same bet at +165, you’d be leaving significant monies on the table if you opted to go with the book offering +125 odds. If your bottom dollar is your bottom line, you definitely need to shop lines in the race to the top!
Virginia Sports Betting FAQ's
What If My Bank Doesn’t Process My Credit Or Debit Card Deposit to Online VA Betting Sites?
If for some reason your bank doesn’t process your deposit to a legal online VA betting site, there is no need to worry. Those same betting sites will usually have plenty of alternate ways to take in deposits including transfers, checks, or Bitcoin, to name a few. Virginia residents also have the ability to call their sportsbook cashier in order to help clarify any deposit issues. 99 times out of 100, your card-based deposits should work fine, but on the off chance that the transfer doesn’t go through, you have lots of other convenient options at your disposal.
What Is The Best Way To Deposit Funds Into Your VA Sports Betting Account?
The best way to deposit basically depends on how much you are trying to deposit and how soon you need your funds to be active in your account. For example, wire transfers are usually used to handle large deposits but tend to be on the slower side when actually making it to your account (5-7 days or so). This means that if you wanted to bet on a Virginia Tech game and you wanted to load your account in between the Saturdays of football season, you may want to choose another method. Be sure to check out each method on the legal VA sports betting site of your choice before making any deposit. Also, be sure to look over the different legal betting bonuses offered on deposits, as some perks will be contingent on the deposit method you use.
Do Virginia Sports Betting Sites Have Odds On College Sports?
Yes, and the odds can cover a number of different collegiate athletics. Whether you want to bet on the Hokies to win a college football bowl game or you want to bet on the Cavaliers making a run in the NCAA basketball tournament, you can do so by using offshore online sportsbooks. The games you can bet on can also be located anywhere in the country and feature any team.
Can I Bet From My Mobile Phone In VA?
As long as your device has an Internet connection, you can bet from your phone in VA. However, if you wanted to use a sports wagering app, you will not find one on the App Store or Google Play store. Instead, the same online VA betting sites you use from your desktop will also be optimized for mobile devices, and some will even offer a web app experience you can download straight from their site.
Can I Have More Than One Online Sportsbook Account In Virginia?
Yes. There are no restrictions for the number of online sportsbook accounts you can hold in Virginia. Having multiple memberships also gives you the ability to shop lines and to select the odds that you feel the most confident in betting on. Additionally, different books offer different bonuses, so you can maximize your bankroll many times over by joining several top books available to VA bettors.
Betting On Horse Racing In Virginia
Even though most forms of gambling are prohibited in the Old Dominion State, there is a bit of leeway when it comes to betting on the ponies. Virginia Code 11VAC10-20-190 lays out the criteria for what constitutes a horse racing facility and provisions they must meet in order to legally retain their establishment. To add to that Virginia Code § 59.1–364dives into the legality of pari-mutuel wagering. The burden to ensure these laws are met mainly falls under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Racing Commission.
Virginia is home to some of the finest horse racing tracks in the eastern USA, including their newest track, Colonial Downs. This track offers both harness and Thoroughbred races, as well as the only one-turn mile harness course in all of the United States. VA residents also have the Virginia Gold Cup Races to look forward to twice a year. Even if you are not able to make it to the track to watch and bet on the races live, you still have off-track betting options located in cities across the state. If driving to one of those cities is still too much of a hassle for you, the online offshore betting sites that serve sports bettors also have fast and up-to-date racebooks that you can use.
The Status Of Daily Fantasy Sports In Virginia
For many sports bettors that look for a more social type of gambling experience, they often turn to daily fantasy sports (DFS). VA residents have been able to use DFS sites legally since the passing of SB 646 back in 2016. The bill, formally known as the Fantasy Contests Act, found that DFS contests are more of a game of skill rather than luck, allowing them to fall outside the scope of “gambling” laws. The act set up the rules for how DFS contests work in the state and requires that operators of DFS sites (like DraftKings and FanDuel) register each year with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to ensure that they are following all assigned guidelines.
Some operators were not willing to pay the initial $50,000 fee to the department, such as FantasyAces and Star Fantasy Leagues. However, large DFS operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings were more than willing to pay the fee and have since accepted players from Virginia. This gives the state’s residents an alternative form of sports betting at legal betting sites.