Virginia sports betting is now live and sports fans can bet on a variety of apps from some of the top names in the industry.
Online sports betting officially launched in late January 2021 with the debut of FanDuel. Shortly thereafter, three other operators launched including BetRivers, BetMGM, and DraftKings. William Hill then went live in February followed by WynnBet in March 2021. Unibet became the seventh app to go live in Virginia in late April 2021.
With the passage of bills HB 896 and SB 384, online and in-person sports betting became legal in Virginia. The two bills outline all major regulations and restrictions for sports betting activities and allow up to 12 sports betting operators to apply for licenses. However, the law reserves five of the licenses for the Virginia casinos that will launch over the next few years.
Although retail sports betting is legal, it will take some time for retail sportsbooks to be built as there are no live casinos in Virginia yet.
Live VA Sports Betting Apps 2021
There are seven sportsbook apps currently live and available for Virginia players. They are:
The Virginia Lottery issued licenses to three other sportsbook operators including Bally's Bets, Barstool Sportsbook, and Golden Nugget Sportsbook. They should launch sometime in 2021.
Top Online Sportsbooks In Virginia
Fortunately for Virginia bettors, some of the best sportsbook apps in the industry are among those available for download in the state. Below, we'll go through the lineup of the best apps currently live in the state and present a general overview of what each one has to offer.
BetMGM also launched in Virginia, which wasn't a surprise as it's known for its international gambling presence. It recently spread to the United States, having already launched sports betting in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, DC, and soon, Arizona and Illinois.
BetMGM offers excellent opening bonuses and a good rewards program for consistent users of the app. Currently, it offers a $600 risk-free bet as a welcome bonus for new users.
BetRivers, owned by Rush Street Interactive, launched in Virginia in late January 2021. It also plans to host in-person sports betting at the brick-and-mortar casino to be built in Portsmouth, Virginia.
It has one of the best loyalty programs in the industry, as well as a sleek, clean mobile app interface. On top of that, it offers arguably the best bonus offer around: a 100% deposit match bonus up to $250 with an industry-leading 1x playthrough requirement. For a limited time only, users can also obtain $100 worth of free bets with a deposit of $50 along with the bonus code BET100.
The WynnBet Sportsbook brand is a project of the well-known Wynn Resorts based in Las Vegas. It's one of the newer sports betting apps in the industry, but it's quickly gaining traction around the country and is now live in six states. It officially launched in Virginia on March 10, 2021.
The app offers competitive odds and an attractive opening promo of $500 as a risk-free first bet. Its user interface design is one of the best on the market and isn't known for being glitchy, and you'll find all of your general sports betting needs on the platform. Even better, it's available for both iOS and Android.
William Hill is a British sportsbook company that has nonetheless been active since 2013 when it came to Nevada. However, it was recently acquired by Caesars Entertainment, which plans to rebrand William Hill Sportsbook as Caesars Sports in the coming months.
William Hill went live in Virginia in February 2021 shortly after the initial launch of online sports betting in January. William Hill offers a smooth app experience, a focus on international sports betting markets that may appeal to novelty-seeking sports bettors, and more.
FanDuel is another big sportsbook operator in the United States, and it has one of the most user-friendly apps in the industry. Alongside special wagers and a very generous opening bonus potentially worth up to $1000, FanDuel offers deep markets for most major sports (although college sports betting will not be allowed in Virginia per recent legislation).
Like DraftKings, FanDuel also offers daily fantasy sports. Both of these operators are titans in the state, especially for users who enjoy DFS as well as sports betting.
DraftKings is one of the most well-known and largest sports betting operators in the world, as well as one of the most famous in America. This operator has an extensive and robust mobile app, as well as special bonus bets and events for those who use the app as opposed to its desktop website. DraftKings already provides daily fantasy sports in Virginia.
DraftKings features excellent odds and good market depth and variety, plus an intuitive user interface for its mobile app. It's a big dog in the industry and Virginia isn't any different.
Online Sports Betting Partnerships In Virginia
Virginia’s sports betting legislation outlines a few requirements: up to 12 provisional sports betting licenses may be awarded by the Virginia Lottery. Of these, five licenses must be reserved for the retail casinos set to be built over the next few years.
This means that seven of the future 12 operating sportsbooks will not have land-based partners. Here's the current rundown:
-FanDuel: Washington Football Team
-BetRivers: Portsmouth, Rivers Casino
-William Hill: Danville, VA Casino
Voters in the city of Norfolk have opted to partner with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, which is set to construct a brick-and-mortar casino and potentially run sports betting through its own operations.
Guide To Sports Betting Online In Virginia
The sports betting industry in Virginia is pretty similar to that in other states with sports betting such as Colorado. However, Virginia sports betting operators are not allowed to offer in-state college sports betting of any kind nor any college prop betting for out-of-state college programs.
Sportsbook Bonuses In Virginia
Virginian sportsbooks offer several types of opening bonuses depending on the operator in question.
FanDuel offers a very generous risk-free bet opening bonus that is worth up to $1000. This bonus only kicks in if you lose your initial bet, of course, but it serves as a good cushion for new players who want to bet big right out of the gate.
Note that the refund isn’t issued in actual cash and is instead awarded in site credit. For instance, say that you place an initial $200 using the FanDuel app. If you win, you win! If you lose, you’ll get that $200 back in site credit to be wagered again.
DraftKings currently offers a generous opening bonus that comes in two parts in other states. The first part is five free bets worth $5 each. Players can use these to try out the app and experience a few different types of wagers before putting down any serious money.
The second part of the opening bonus is a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1000. A deposit match bonus like this means that the operator matches a bettor’s initial deposit at a 20% rate.
For instance, if a bettor deposited $100, DraftKings would award their account with $20 of free site credit for wagering. There are a few limitations to this overall bonus, however, as new players have to use their $5 free bets within seven days and must clear through the deposit match bonus at a rate of $1 for every $25 played.
Additional Opening Bonus Types
In addition to the above bonus examples, you might also find operators that provide different opening bonuses. These include no deposit bonuses.
These bonuses provide you with site credit right off the bat without having to make an initial deposit. These are fantastic bonuses for newcomers to sports betting who may not have a lot of cash to spend on the activity immediately. These bonuses are usually quite small, though, and may range from as low as $10 up to $100 or so.
Regardless of which bonus your operator provides, be sure to read the fine print. Most opening bonuses that provide you with a substantial amount of site credit require you to play through that credit one or more times or at a set rate before you can withdraw any winnings.
For instance, the initial DraftKings example has a play-through rate of $1 for every $25. This means that you’ll need to use your cash and play through up to 25x its initial value before you can withdraw it. For larger bonuses, this can take quite a long time depending on how large or risky your wagers usually are.
Main Local Teams And Sports In Virginia Sports Betting
Virginia’s sports betting legislation is quite clear: no in-state collegiate betting is allowed whatsoever. This may come as a bummer to many Virginia football and basketball enthusiasts. However, Virginia sportsbook operators still offer generalized out-of-state college sports betting, with the sole exception of prop bets.
However, Virginia sports betting enthusiasts still get to enjoy sports betting for all major US sports markets, particularly football and basketball. In addition, Virginia residents are able to place wagers on NASCAR events and other markets, including MMA fighting, soccer, darts, and more.
It’s all dependent on the operator in question. Certain operators, like DraftKings, offer exceptional market depth and variety for sports betting enthusiasts. Other operators, such as Hard Rock (which has yet to launch in Virginia), may allow more limited sports betting opportunities due to their lesser resources.
Given Virginia’s sports-focused culture, it’s likely that many professional teams and leagues will reach out to various sportsbook operators for periodic bonuses or promotional events.
Status Of eSports Betting In Virginia
eSports betting is typically rare in any state that offers sports betting since most operators don’t find these markets to be particularly popular. However, larger operators like DraftKings do offer eSports betting in various states including Virginia.
Virginia is not particularly known for its eSports markets, as it’s a state mostly focused on markets like football and NASCAR racing.
Legal Betting Versus Illegal Betting In Virginia
In a nutshell, illegal betting sites aren’t regulated by any authoritative body. This means that there’s no one to prevent them from stealing their users’ personal information or legitimate winnings. If an illegal betting site user has a grievance with an operator, they can’t turn to anyone to get their complaint resolved.
Furthermore, illegal betting sites don’t always have excellent digital security. In contrast, legal betting sites must pass regulation and inspection by a state’s regulatory body. For Virginia, that’s the state’s Lottery Board.
This means that every legal sportsbook to launch in Virginia will have excellent digital security and SSL certification. This will protect their users’ personal and financial information, lowering the likelihood of issues like identity theft.
Even better, legal sportsbook operators can use official league data when calculating their odds. This provides a more legitimate and potentially worthwhile experience for sports betting enthusiasts.
How Do I Know That Online Sportsbooks In Virginia Are Fair?
Who Regulates Legal Online Sports Betting In Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery regulates sportsbook activity within the state. The organization has outlined rules and regulations, including fees (up to $500,000 in total if an operator is approved for Virginia sports betting), tax rate (15%), and more.
The Virginia Lottery is the organization you should contact if you have an issue with any legitimate sportsbook operator.
Why Should I Trust Legal Online Sportsbooks?
Legal online sportsbooks are usually larger organizations with a long history of sports betting. For example, William Hill has a history of offering legitimate gambling activities that stretches across over 100 years.
For another example, DraftKings has had many years of legitimate and safe operation across many US states, offering activities like sports betting and daily fantasy sports. These long histories add legitimacy to any given organization and indicate that you can trust them with your money and that they’ll pay you back if you win fairly.
Furthermore, legal online sportsbooks are vetted and investigated by bodies like the Virginia Lottery. They check for signs of corruption or fraud and serve as organizations you can turn to if you have a grievance with any licensed sportsbook.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
Any future online sportsbooks will allow you to withdraw your winnings using a few different methods. Most of these are things like ACH or electronic check transfers, although some also allow direct bank transfers if you link a bank account to your app.
Others may offer more flexible withdrawal methods, including PayPal or Skrill transfers. However, most sportsbooks offer fewer withdrawal methods compared to deposit methods.
Once retail casinos launch and bring their sportsbooks to in-person enthusiasts, bettors will also be able to withdraw their winnings at casinos’ cash cages.
Virginia Online Sports Betting FAQs
What Kinds Of Online Sports Bets Are Legal In Virginia?
With a few exceptions relating to college sports, Virginia residents will be able to make most types of sports bets and wagers that they expect. These include basic moneyline bets, spread bets, totals, futures, and more.
Furthermore, live betting will be allowed for any apps that support this activity. Certain apps may even allow you to live stream sports events or games directly to your phone or mobile device while you place wagers. It all depends on the operator.
Additional wager types you’ll be allowed to make include:
- Round robins
- Prop bets
- And more
Can I Bet On College Sports In Virginia?
It depends. Virginia’s sports betting legislation outlaws in-state collegiate betting of any kind. In other words, you can't make any sports betting wagers for Virginian college or university teams or games.
However, Virginian sports bettors will be able to wager on out-of-state university teams and leagues. Thus, you can still get your college sports betting action so long as your favorite team doesn’t call Virginia home.
Keep in mind that proposition betting for any college teams (even out-of-state teams) is also prohibited under the HB 896 and SB 384 bills.
What Is The Tax Rate For Online Sports Betting In Virginia?
HB 896 outlines a flat tax rate for online sports betting of 15%. Keep this in mind when calculating your taxes if you happen to win big.
Who Can Get A License To Run An Online Sportsbook In Virginia?
HB 896 and its counterpart bill HB 384 both provide for up to 12 sports betting licenses for Virginian operators. However, five of these have been set aside for sportsbooks at retail casinos that are now under construction.
This leaves seven licenses available in total. Of these licenses, they can go to any sportsbook that submitted an application to the Virginia Lottery through the window between October 15 and October 31, 2020. All operators had to pay a nonrefundable $250,000 application fee. They will have to pay another $250,000 fee upon approval.
Currently, a total of ten licenses have been issued, and seven sportsbooks have gone live.
Is DraftKings Offering Online Sports Betting In Virginia?
Yes, DraftKings officially launched in Virginia in late January 2021, offering both its sports betting app and DFS app to Virginia players.
Is FanDuel Offering Online Sports Betting In Virginia?
Yes. In fact, FanDuel was the first sports betting app to launch in the state. It went to market in late January 2021 shortly before DraftKings, BetRivers, and BetMGM.
You must be 21+. Please Gamble Responsibly. If you think you have a problem, call VA Council on Problem Gambling at 1-888-532-3500