Virginia Online Casinos 2020 - A Guide to Gambling in Virginia
Virginia is one of the oldest states in the Union, and in many ways, one of its most historic. From Colonial Williamsburg to Monticello, VA tends to stick to tradition. Unfortunately for enthusiasts, gambling has never quite been part of those traditions.
Admitted to the Union in 1788, Virginia is known as the Mother of Presidents. The Old Dominion was one of the original 13 colonies that participated in the American Revolution. The Virginia General Assembly established itself well before VA became a state, in 1619. It’s the oldest legislative body in the continent. The state is highly restrictive, outlawing greyhound racing, casinos, and poker. Local legislation is very similar to Washington DC gambling laws. It’s one of only nine states without either private or tribal casinos. Thus, there are currently no Virginia online casinos, though online betting in Virginia may well be on the horizon.
In over four centuries, that legislative body hasn’t once passed a bill legalizing casinos—quite the opposite. Much like Washington DC gambling laws, VA has banned casinos outright in the state. No tribal casino compacts have been signed with state tribes either. Gambling on greyhound races is also expressly forbidden.
The state does, however, offer a couple of forms of legal gambling. There’s the State Lottery, which raises funds for education programs. Pari-mutuel betting on horse racing is also permitted, though no tracks are active in the state. The situation is almost identical to Washington DC gambling laws.
VA is not considered a gambling-friendly state. In 2011, it passed several bills that made it illegal to play at or operate gambling websites in Virginia. While many states in the US are now regulating internet gambling, the prognosis for Virginia online casinos seemed rather bleak.
2016 marked a milestone in the brief history of online betting in Virginia. After a protracted legal battle, daily fantasy sports operators like DraftKings and FanDuel became regulated. Curiously, it was the very first state in the US to regulate DFS.
By 2019, the state actively started pursuing online betting in Virginia, albeit for sports only, going live by 2021. Virginia online casinos might soon follow.
The Legality Of Land-Based Casinos & Online Casinos In Virginia
Despite the recent tidal wave of gambling legalization bills sweeping across US states, Virginia remains a bastion of strict restrictions. Most forms of gambling readily available in nearby states are outright forbidden in VA. Its rigid legislation is reminiscent of Washington DC gambling laws.
Online betting in Virginia was, until quite recently, purely hypothetical. After three bills explicitly banned internet gambling in 2011, the situation seemed hopeless. With no commercial or tribal casinos to speak of, the push for Virginia online casinos lacked momentum.
Things started to change in 2016, thanks to the landmark legal battle fought by daily fantasy sports operators. Using VA as a sort of testing ground, they successfully made a case for regulating the industry. In one of the strictest anti-gambling states in the US, no less.
Ever since attitudes in the legislature towards gambling (and even online betting in Virginia) seemed to evolve. Three years later, facing a significant shortfall in the state budget, the government started discussing sports betting. It was a year after the Supreme Court killed PASPA. The nation seemed ripe for a new relationship with gambling.
Subsequently, bipartisan support for internet sports betting helped bills pass through both chambers with relative ease. Licensing will be handled by the Virginia State Lottery, though the project is still tied up in regulatory minutiae. The first sportsbooks are expected to launch by 2021. Until then, the following are the only legal forms of gambling in Virginia:
Horse racing and off-track betting are legal (at licensed facilities). While there are no active horse racetracks in VA, players can engage in pari-mutuel wagering on horse races elsewhere.
Gambling in bingo, raffles, and duck races is legal if organized by a nonprofit organization.
Gambling in private residences is legal.
Purchasing lottery tickets is legal. All lottery games in the state are under the purview of the Virginia State Lottery. In 2020, online lottery tickets sales were legalized.
Daily fantasy sports have been legal in the state since 2016. The industry is fully regulated.
Soon, internet sports betting will be legal and regulated in the state. This signals a considerable pivoting from the state’s former (and recent) anti-gambling stance.
The state moving towards legalizing Virginia online casinos is likely just a matter of time. Unlike Washington DC gambling laws, VA seems to be opening up to the world of online gambling.
Land-Based Gambling In Virginia Today
Buckets Bar & Grill
Dining lounge, OTB room, pool room, Simulcast betting, open seven days a week
20 simulcast feeds
Ponies & Pints
Simulcast betting, full-service dining, open seven days a week
20 simulcast feeds
The Windmill OTB Sports Grill
Sports bar, OTB, open seven days a week, hotel rooms
20 simulcast feeds
Breakers Sports Grille
Simulcast horse betting, free parking, smoking and non-smoking lounges.
10 simulcast feeds
Online Gambling Laws In Virginia
Online betting in Virginia was explicitly banned in 2011. The regulation of DFS in 2016 operated under the assumption that they aren’t a form of gambling. The more recent sports betting proposals will have to reshape the legal landscape of internet gambling in VA.
This could well be a backdoor for eventual legislation regulating Virginia online casinos. However, this would require striking down the blanket ban on casino gambling and operation in the state. This might prove a tougher legal battle than passing DFS or sports betting legislation.
In the meantime, the only legal way to get your fix of internet casino play in VA is through social casinos. These apps offer many of the classic casino games you know and love, though without real money. This makes them technically exempt from casino gambling prohibitions. They’re legal under Virginia and Washington DC gambling laws.
What should I know about Online Casinos in Virginia?
Current VA laws prohibit all kinds of casinos from operating in the state
The law only permits lotteries, pari-mutuel wagers, DFS, nonprofit gambling, and gambling in private residences.
While legal internet sports betting is on the horizon, Virginia online casinos are still a distant dream.
Some offshore casinos market themselves to VA residents. These casinos are unregulated, and authorities consider gambling through them to be illegal.
Gambling Laws Governing Offshore Casinos & What It Means For Virginia Players
While public interest in online gambling has increased exponentially in recent years, legislation hasn’t always been quick to catch up. A lack of local legislation leaves a vacuum of regulated operators. And, as Aristotle would say, nature abhors a vacuum.
The market was quick to meet this demand for internet gambling services, despite dubious legality (or sometimes, outright illegality). Dubbed “offshore casinos,” these operations target jurisdictions where internet gambling is either unregulated or illegal.
Desperate would-be players often flock to these platforms, tempted by polished graphics and enticing offers. However, there are many risks to offshore casinos, mostly stemming from their lack of regulation. Being technically illegal means having little legal recourse if things go south.
Furthermore, no independent third parties are monitoring these casinos. No agencies have audited their random number generation or vouch for their trustworthiness. No one can guarantee you’ll even be able to withdraw your money, or that bonuses will be honored. We highly recommend you steer clear from these online casino sites.
Online Casino Games For Virginia
At the moment, there are no legal Virginia online casinos. You won’t find any online casino games in the Old Dominion. At least not using real money. Social casinos are licensed and readily available throughout the state.
In addition, you can play DFS for real money on the web. It’s a far cry from online casino gambling, but it’s the best you can do in VA for now.
Considering that there are no Virginia online casinos to speak of at the moment, there are no operator payment options. If you’re traveling outside of Virginia and intend to gamble with a licensed operator, refer to its payment option roster for further information.
Virginia Online Casinos FAQs
Is online gambling legal in Virginia?
In the past, the answer to this question would’ve been a plain “no”. After the 2011 online gambling ban, the question of online gambling legality in VA seemed settled.
However, recent developments call this into question. After the legalization and regulation of DFS, online betting in Virginia has enjoyed increased acceptance and popularity.
With the passage of online sports betting legislation (still pending implementation), momentum seems to favor the pro-gambling crowd. Virginia online casinos may well become legal in the near future.
Can I play at an online casino in Virginia mobile or tablet?
Generally speaking, no, with special exceptions. Since there are no legal Virginia online casinos, there’s no way to gamble money with a licensed operator safely.
However, it is technically possible to play in a social casino. These play-money casinos can freely operate in the state. Most of them offer mobile and tablet-ready apps.
What casino games can I play at Virginia online casinos?
Online betting in Virginia is subject to relatively strict laws, akin to Washington DC gambling laws. This means that virtually all kinds of online casino games are illegal to play or offer in the state. It includes everything from online poker to roulette or blackjack.
However, as mentioned above, social casinos are perfectly legal in the state. While not a form of gambling, they do provide a legal outlet for all your internet casino needs.
Is it possible to play online casino games with dollars?
So far, no. And that’s unlikely to change in the short term. Online casino games in VA are exclusively available through social casinos. The state law strictly prohibits gambling with offshore casino providers. Playing at such establishments is also considered illegal by local authorities.
If you are looking to wager real money, your only options at the moment are the Lottery and DFS. By 2021, you’ll also be able to gamble on sports online. That said, there is no timeline on the regulation of online casino real-money play.
Are the Virginia online casinos on this site regulated?
Every betting site featured on our website is fully licensed and regulated. We only recommend properly regulated gambling providers to our audience.
Am I eligible to receive an online casino bonus at a Virginia Casino?
Online casino bonuses are standard fare in the industry. Few reputable operators fail to offer their customers attractive bonus offers. It’s the way casinos compete with each other for new business and differentiate themselves from the rest.
However, since there are currently no Virginia online casinos, you won’t find any bonus offers in the state yet.
How do I start playing for real money at a Virginia online casino?
The only way to play in online casinos for real money in Virginia at the moment is to circumvent the law. We strongly recommend you reconsider that, as unregulated online casinos are inherently unreliable. Your funds may be at risk.
The safest (albeit slowest) way to go about this would be writing a letter to your state congressperson. It might sound tedious, but it’s one of the most effective ways to make your voice heard in state affairs.
Which online casino payment options are popular in Virginia?
As mentioned above, there are currently no Virginia online casinos in operation. Therefore, it’s impossible to tell what the most popular payment options would be.
Daily fantasy sports operators do offer their services legally and under regulation in VA, though. These online operations have a range of payment options available. You can consult their websites for specific information.
Do I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in Virginia?
Indeed. Gambling winnings constitute taxable income under VA tax law. Gambling prizes, such as those doled out by the State Lottery, are subject to state income tax rates. In fact, the state ruled that even winnings incurred by VA residents in other states are subject to VA taxation.
Follow the Washington DC Gambling Laws When Looking to Gamble in Virginia
Hopefully, this guide has helped clear up some of your doubts and concerns about online betting in Virginia. We urge you to stay informed of the latest developments and legal situation of any jurisdiction you want to gamble in. Stay safe.