Virginia Sports Betting
Sports betting is coming to Virginia. We’re hopeful sports betting will be live in Virginia by the end of 2020 at the latest. Virginia’s bill includes full online betting, and more than a dozen operators will likely be present, creating a favorable environment for bettors.

Here's what you need to know about Virginia Sports Betting.
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Virginia's Latest Sports Betting Highlights

October 26, 2020

Virginia Approves Sports Betting Regulations and Opens for Sportsbook Applications

At long last, the Virginia Lottery Board approved sports wagering regulations after nearly two months of public forum. Sportsbook operators can apply for one of 12 Virginia licenses between October 15 and October 31, and regulators will consider applications for up to 90 days. That would launch sports betting in Virginia sometime in January 2020. Professional leagues did get a surprise win when they were granted data access in the Virginia Lottery decision.

Virginia Releases Initial Proposed Regulations for Sports Betting

Now that Virginia has legalized sports betting, the Virginia Lottery Board has only until September 15 to build and approve regulations. Initial regulations stipulate that Virginia will have between four and 12 sportsbooks along with a 15% tax rate. The state also legalized casino gaming, giving the state five casinos, which are also eligible to apply for the 12 sports betting licenses. The board also introduced a Virginia Sports Bettors' Bill of Rights.

Virginia Officially Legalizes Sports Wagering

Sports betting is officially legal in the state of Virginia! After some mostly administrative recommendations from Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, the state approved both SB 384 and HB 896 as law. Sports betting officially becomes legal on July 1, but Virginians won't be able to wager just yet. The Virginia Lottery Board will then have until September 15 to complete regulations with a targeted launch of late 2020.

Expected Virginia Sports Betting Sites & Apps [August 2020]

Virginia could have a maximum of 18 sports betting licenses available — 12 online operators, up to five in-person casinos, and one for a relocating sports franchise.

It will also have somewhat reasonable fees for operators to enter the market ($250,000 for three years) and a favorable tax rate (15%). So you can expect national players like FanDuel and DraftKings to be present, plus plenty of others.

The Virginia Lottery is required to “issue a number of permits that will maximize tax revenue collected pursuant to the bill,” so there will be no shortage of big-time operators there.

Here’s a list of who we expect to have a sports betting site and app in Virginia.

We graded Virginia on its sports betting bill and experience relative to other states.

Virginia's Sportsbetting Bill Grading Card
Virginia officials are refining the rules for how the newly legalized industry will work when it kicks off in early 2021. This year, the General Assembly passed a bill authorizing the Virginia Lottery to grant between four and 12 sports betting licenses to operate. Sports betting in Virginia will start online and predominantly through mobile sportsbook apps.

Mobile Betting Options: TBD

We'll update VA's mobile grading as more information is available.

Deposit: TBD

We'll have to see how deposits are set as the sports betting market takes shape.

Fair Pricing: TBD

Fair pricing evaluation is still pending in VA, but at least there will be competition across sportsbook.

Sport Offerings: TBD

We don’t know exactly what sports will be offered as betting options in Virginia yet, so we're waiting to grade.

The Deal With In-Person Sports Betting in VA

Virginia is one of nine states in the U.S. without commercial or tribal casinos. Sports betting operators don't need to be tied to a brick-and-mortar casino to operate.

Virginia's bill did specify that five cities -- Richmond, Norfolk, Danville, Portsmouth and Bristol -- can build casinos and sportsbooks.

What each city does remains to be seen: they will vote on that this fall.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam wanted NASCAR tracks Martinsville and Richmond Raceway included in the sports betting landscape.

He pushed these tracks to launch their own sportsbooks or partner with an existing operator.

The bill also allows a sports franchise that relocates to the state to have sports betting in its stadium.

When might this apply? The Redskins might be headed to Virginia when their lease at FedEx Field in Andover, Md., expires in 2027.

All in all, don't expect in-person sports betting in Virginia for a while.

When Will Sports Betting Be Live in Virginia?

We don’t have a firm date on when sports betting will start in Virginia, but the bill will go into law on July 1. The Virginia Lottery has until Sept. 15 to set forth guidelines for operators. We’re hopeful online betting in Virginia is live by the end of 2020 at the latest.

Can I Bet on Sports Online in Virginia?

Not yet, but Virginia’s bill includes online and in-person sports betting. It’s a favorable bill for bettors in the state.

Can I Use FanDuel Sportsbook in Virginia?

Not yet, but expect FanDuel to have a major presence in the state, hopefully by late 2020 at the earliest.

What Sports Can I Bet on in Virginia?

Virginia will have all the major sports available, with a few notable exceptions:

  • No betting on Virginia-based college teams. New Jersey is the other state with this carveout, and it hasn’t hurt the state much from a revenue perspective. But it is a bummer for anyone who’s a fan of one of the four FBS football teams or 14 Division I men’s basketball teams in the state.
  • No live betting on any college sports.
  • No betting on college player props.

Who Runs Virginia Sports Betting?

The Virginia Lottery is in charge of issuing sports betting licenses to operators.

Virginia Sports Betting Tips

Sports Betting for Virginia Beginners

New to sports betting? Awesome, it's not too early to start studying! Check out our 11 sports betting tips for beginners so you can get started on the right foot in VA.

Sports Betting Glossary

Sports betting has a language of its own that you’ll want to get familiar with if you’re new to the space. Get up to speed here with our sports betting glossary.

Sports Betting Mistakes to Avoid

You’re probably ready to unload some bets on the Liberty Flames, but you need to be responsible if you’re going to stay afloat in the sports betting world.

Here are nine mistakes for Virginians to avoid.

Virginia Sports Betting Timeline

Pre-Legalization

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Virginia has no casinos, and lawmakers have been pushing for years to get them to the state, but to no avail.

November 2018

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Virginia Delegate Mark Sickles put forth a bill in Nov. of 2018 that included a lot of what ended up in the final bill — $250,000 operator fee, 15% tax rate for operators. But that bill only allowed for five operators.

March 2019

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Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill in March of 2019, but didn’t clear the Virginia legislature.

Early April 2020

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The bill needed nearly a dozen revisions before arriving in its current form, HB 896. It made it back to Northam, who sent some revisions that asked for the inclusion of NASCAR tracks and operators to pay $50,000 to cover background check costs for each princi
Virginia Sports Betting Locations
Virginia has some great sports bars for fans to catch games:

College Football Teams

College Basketball

NCAA DI Basketball & Football

Hampton Pirates
Old Dominion Monarchs
James Madison Dukes
Richmond Spiders
Liberty Flames
Virginia Cavaliers
Norfolk State Spartans
Virginia Tech Hokies

NCAA DI Basketball

George Mason Patriots
Radford Highlanders
Longwood Lancers
VCU Rams

Pro Sports Teams

Richmond Braves (Minor League Baseball)

Virginia does not have major league teams, but they do have professional minor league sports.

Other Events

Additionally, Virginia is home to other sporting events:

NASCAR
Martinsville Speedway 

  • ValleyStar Credit Union 300
  • Xfinity 500

PGA

Dominion Energy Charity Classic

More Reading on Virginia

For more on legal sports betting, check out our legalization tracker.

Steve Petrella is a senior editor for The Action Network covering college football, among other things. He's a Penn State grad now based in Atlanta who enjoys great punting, clock-killing drives and turnovers in the red zone.