Virginia Sports Betting Guide
The sports betting revolution continues to grow in stature across America, with the autonomy of legalisation being handed over from the US Government to each individual state back in 2018.
Virginia were one of the first states to express a concrete interest in the legalisation of sports betting but with opposition in some quarters, only managed to get the green light in 2020.
Sports gambling was launched in the Old Dominion in the summer of 2020 as America continued to grapple with the rumbling COVID 19 pandemic.
Despite the variable environment sports betting was launched in within Virginia, uptake was pretty successful, and the launch of online sports betting followed soon after in January 2021.
The relatively strict doctrines by which Virginia has historically operated continue to bear influence on the state today, with in-person casinos yet to be sanctioned in Virginia and consequently, the whole sports gambling operation in the state is currently virtual.
Plans are afoot to develop casinos in Virginia in the not too distant future but with some of the biggest sportsbooks in the world quickly setting up operations in Virginia, they have made an instant splash on the sports betting market in the United States.
Online sports betting has quickly become part of the fabric for sports fans in Virginia and with innovations launching all the time, sports betting in the state is developing continually.
Legality of Sports Betting in Virginia
As mentioned, Virginia have always held relatively conservative views on the legality and functionality of sports betting and have arrived at the sportsbook party relatively late, especially in comparison to neighbouring states.
With no casinos situated in Virginia, the clamour to instigate sports betting within the state perhaps wasn’t as vocal as it was in some other states, but the advent of online sports betting saw Virginia Governors look to add some sort of sports betting presence to the state.
State legislature signed off the legality of sports betting in Virginia in the summer of 2020, as the country was gripped by a global pandemic and progress was temporarily stalled.
At the start of 2021, Virginia state delegate Mark Sickles filed House Bill 1847 which clarified the associated rules with sports betting in Virginia and set out the blueprint by which sports betting can operate within the state.
By the end of January 2021, some of the biggest players in the sportsbook world had set up operations in Virginia – providing a licensed online sports betting platform for residents and inhabitants of the Old Dominion.
Virginia Online Sports Betting
Despite being in its primitive states, online betting looks to be gripping Virginia since its official launch in early 2021.
The relatively limited legislations and restrictions placed on punters have encouraged plenty of sports fans to get on board with the sports betting boom in Virginia.
Inevitably, there are some restrictions placed on online gamblers and Virginia operates under the following online betting rules:
- In State Registration – As Virginia looks to roll out sports betting steadily throughout the state, there is an obligation placed on punters to be physically located within the Old Dominion in order to place a bet. Turning on location services on your device is vitally important for any prospective punter in Virginia, with geolocation technology being used by all the major sportsbooks in order to verify the whereabouts of their players.
- Anybody 21+ can open an account – With the whole of the sports betting operation available to consumers in Virginia currently solely available online, the associated age verification technology is state-of-the-art in the state. There is no need for players to visit an in-store casino to verify their identity and punters can often start betting instantly. Furthermore, the registration process in Virginia is based on the location of the punter placing the bet, not their legal residency. Meaning visiting punters can place a bet in Virginia – provided they are situated within state lines when betting.
With Virginia relatively late to the sports betting scene in America, tracking the progress of the state is relatively tricky – with only two months of betting completed at the time of writing.
The surge in popularity of sports betting across the country however appears to have gripped Virginia and with huge conglomerates such as Fan Duel and Draft Kings investing time and money into launching online sports betting in Virginia, it looks to be a state on the cusp of booming within the sports betting industry.
Who can bet on sports in Virginia?
Whilst staples of American law such as legal betting age rarely change between states, the relatively young sports betting industry in America is still grappling with the autonomy each state possesses.
The absence of national rulings allows state governors to legislate in their constituency and whilst they generally act in the best interests of their residents, it can be tricky for punters to keep up with the developing trends.
As a relatively new player within the American sports betting scene, Virginia are following betting blueprints already established when it comes to their law making.
Punters must be at least 21 years of age to legally place a sports bet in Virginia and all of the major online sports betting companies require verification and identification before a new customer can start betting with their company.
Being situated within the state lines is a pre-requisite for most states and Virginia are also on board with that ruling. Neighbouring states such as Maryland and Washington also getting on board with the sports gambling revolution, it isn’t too restrictive for residents on Virginia’s borders but with each state possessing its own set of gambling laws, adhering to them as punters is essential.
Virginia Online Betting Sites
As part of the attempt to facilitate online sports betting in Virginia, sportsbook companies haven’t been hit with the significant sums of money they are charged in tax rates in other states, as Governors looked to make the Old Dominion an attractive proposition for worldwide sportsbooks.
This seems to have had an effect, with some of the biggest players within the world online betting sphere instantly setting up operations in Virginia, despite no history of gambling or betting within the state lines.
All of the below sites are national or international sports betting companies and are standalone online operations within Virginia:
- William Hill
- Bet Rivers
- Bet MGM
- Fan Duel
- Draft Kings
What sports can you bet on in Virginia?
Unlike many of its neighbouring states, Virginia doesn’t have the sporting heritage of many states across America, a potential factor in the late onset of sports betting within the state.
No professional teams currently operate out of the Old Dominion, across any of America’s major sports and with teams booming in neighbouring Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina, Virginia is often somewhat of a forgotten state in the sporting world.
MLB side the Houston Astros were almost relocated to Virginia back in 1996, a decision that was outlawed at the eleventh hour and a professional sporting presence remains absent from the state.
College sport however is big business in Virginia and unlike many other states, punters can bet on college sport in Virginia.
As part of the Big South competition, institutions such as Hampton, Longwood and Radford all represent Virginia at college sport on a national scale.
Whilst the Atlantic 10 is another huge competition across America with colleges such as George Mason, Richmond and VCU all regularly fighting for honours.
Further down the pyramid, Virginia is well represented too with plenty of teams at NCA Division Two and Three, making college sport a very big deal within the state.
There are limited restrictions placed on punters in Virginia in terms of the sports they can bet on, with the only exception being the Olympic Games (both Summer and Winter) where no bets can be placed upon any Olympic events.
Wagers on soccer, golf, tennis, and horse racing are all accepted in Virginia and are all an essential part of the fabric from which the sports betting industry within the state is built upon.
Due to the relatively lax approach adopted by Virginia in terms of legislation on particular sports, betting markets on sports such as MMA, darts, and snooker are also growing within the state, catering for the tastes of every punter.
What types of sports bet can you place in Virginia?
With the whole sports betting industry within Virginia currently based online, the number of different bets available to gamblers is vast.
Online sportsbooks trump in-person betting institutions in the convenience department, with players able to place a bet at the touch of a button and able to bet as the action unfolds on a range of in-play markets.
Across most sports, straight win bets continue to be the most popular gambling medium in the state, with a packed national fixture list ideal for punters.
For punters searching for niches, Moneyline, spread bets and parlays are always a viable options and all are available in abundance through Virginia’s online betting platforms.
Being able to bet on college sport is a strong option for Virginia’s punters too, with so many sports and competitions taking place across the academic year, the sportsbooks in Virginia look to offer strong college sports odds.
Whilst Virginia as a state doesn’t have the sporting reputation as some of its neighbours, it is embracing the online sports betting revolution and since its launch at the start of 2021, has continued to grow in stature.