A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Virginia

Virginia has never been a gambling-friendly state. While horse racing was legal for almost four centuries when the continent was being colonized, it was outlawed in 1897 along with every other form of gambling. Virginia’s attitude towards the activity has been very consistent over the past 12 decades but there have been fluctuations and small legalizations.

The Mother of Presidents first relaxed her grip on gambling in 1973, when charitable gaming laws were implemented. These laws dictated that the local government had control over the charity gambling. In 1987, a state lottery was created and a year later, the first draws were held with all the profits going to projects in education. A few months later, the Virginia Racing Commission was created to allow for pari-mutuel betting on racetracks in the state, which were non-existent at the time, so the law was meaningless, but racetracks were already being built.

There was a push for the legalization of riverboat casinos in Virginia by implementing a riverboat gaming commission. This failed and the state once again decided to strengthen its grip on the existing types of gambling. Therefore, an oversight commission formed in 1995 to control charity gambling better, unsatisfied with the results achieved by the local governments.

In 1997 was the first breeze of fresh air regarding gambling in Virginia – Colonial Downs, the state’s first legal racetrack opened and began offering on-track betting. In 2003, this was extended to include off-track betting as well and a year later EZ Betting terminals were introduced. Finally, the state again refused to legalize riverboat casinos in 2013. However, Colonial Downs failed and shut down in 2014, reopening in April of 2019 with the first summer races. Its new owner has already stated that a plan to open 10 new off-track betting websites is underway, as it has been legal all along, except websites didn’t have a track to partner with, from 2014 to 2019.

2016 presented the second and final relaxation of gambling laws in Virginia as daily fantasy sports were made legal and the state licensed the largest DFS websites. However, that is the final step Virginia has legally taken to promote any type of gambling. There are no casinos or tribal casinos, and online gambling is strictly forbidden. However, you can find hundreds of bingo halls all over the state, all run in charity.

Virginia Gambling Overview:

  • Year Virginia regulated offline and online gambling: 1997 for horse racing, online gambling specifically is unregulated but illegal under current laws.
  • Virginia gambling age: 18
  • Legal online casino games in Virginia: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 0
  • Number of tribal casinos: 0
  • Top online casinos Virginia-wide:

Gambling in Virginia: What’s Legal?

Very little is legal in regards to Virginia gambling. This state allows charities to run bingo and raffles, you can buy scratch-offs and lottery tickets from the state and from inter-state lotteries, or you can bet on horse races starting in 2019. Social gambling isn’t illegal as long as nobody profits from hosting the game or raking the pot. Casinos and tribal casinos, as are poker rooms, are illegal in the Old Dominion State.

Online Casinos in Virginia: What You Should Know

There are no online casinos in Virginia, or any other type of casinos for that matter. Residents may hold charity casino nights, but only without using real money while playing.

Are Virginia Online Casinos Legal for Non-Virginia Residents?

  • No legal online casinos exist in Virginia.

What types of games do Virginia online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Virginia if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Virginia?

  • Yes, but you may get in trouble with the law for playing at them.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Virginia

Virginia residents have no options when it comes to online casinos except going online to offshore casinos.

The Bottom Line on Virginia Online Gambling

Virginia has been fairly consistent with its attitude towards all types of gambling – if it’s not for charity of a specific tradition of the state, it’s going to be illegal. Nobody expects casinos, whether commercial or tribal to come to the state and the same goes for any improvements in Virginia’s online gambling laws.