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Sports betting simplified
Virginia online sports betting began in early 2021, and the state’s first retail sportsbook opened in mid-2022. Additional sports betting apps and retail sportsbooks are in the works as well. Licensed Virginia sports betting sites accept customers 21 or older and collectively offer welcome bonuses totaling over $9,500. Other Virginia online betting options include horse racing betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS). Both activities are legal and regulated by the state. Read on for a complete list of Virginia sportsbooks, recommended betting sites, and legal updates.
State of Virginia Sports Betting Overview
The first Virginia betting apps opened in January 2021. Virginia law requires the state to issue between four and 12 online sports betting licenses. However, that number is deceiving because Virginia sports betting apps launched in conjunction with future retail casinos and professional sports leagues do not count toward the 12-license cap. As a result, Virginia can support as many as 17 online sports betting apps and possibly a couple more.
The Virginia Lottery Board is responsible for regulating sports betting, issuing licenses, and giving the final approval for online sportsbooks to go live.
Virginia differs from most states with legal sports betting in that it does not require sportsbooks to partner with local casinos or race tracks. Under state law, the Lottery Board may approve a limited number of standalone online sportsbooks as well.
Casinos, professional sports franchises, the operators of major league facilities, and two NASCAR race tracks may also apply for Virginia online sports betting licenses.
Licensed Virginia betting sites and online sportsbooks offer welcome bonuses to encourage new users to sign up, deposit, and place wagers. The best Virginia sports betting bonuses tend to take one of several forms: Bonus bets: Bonus bets allow users to place a bet with their own money; if the wager loses, the sportsbook refunds it with an equal amount in bonus funds or bet credits, First deposit match offers: First deposit promotions give customers bonus money in return for funding their accounts, First bet match: Similar to a deposit match, except the bet is matched to a bettor’s first wager and not their first deposit. They also tend to be easier to clear, as any matched bet winnings automatically convert to cash.
State law does not directly address Virginia betting bonuses, but certain provisions in the law preclude operators from offering misleading promotions. For example, Virginia’s sports betting law allows the Lottery Director to deny operators’ license renewals if they “lack good character, honesty, or integrity.”
Additionally, Virginia’s sports betting rules require operators to advertise responsibly. VA Code §58.1-4034 (E) states: In advertising its sports betting operations, a permit holder shall ensure that its advertisements do not target persons under the age of 21, Disclose the identity of the permit holder, provide information about or links to resources related to gambling addiction; and4. Are not misleading to a reasonable person
State of Virginia Sports Betting Timeline
Jan. 23, 2024 — Gaming company IGT signed a three-year contract extension with the Virginia Lottery. IGT will replace 5,500 lottery terminals with IGT machines, among other improvements.
Jan. 23, 2024 — Some Virginia lawmakers will reportedly attempt to pass legislation that would legalize skill games.
Jan. 16, 2024 — Virginia Sen. Schuyler T. VanValkenburg introduced a new bill, SB 142, to allow betting on in-state college sports teams. That practice is currently prohibited in all instances.
Jan. 3, 2024 — When the Virginia General Assembly reconvenes on January 10, lawmakers are expected to discuss whether daily fantasy sports pick ’em games are sports betting.
Dec. 29, 2023 — VA sports betting handle hit $638 million in November, a 23% increase year-over-year and an 11.7% increase from October.
July 13, 2023 – Betr is reportedly expected to launch in Virginia within a few weeks. Betr is already available in Massachusetts and Ohio.
July 11, 2023 – Already licensed in Virginia, micro-betting sportsbook Betr could try to launch sometime soon after receiving $35 million in a Series A2 round of financing.
July 3, 2023 – Virginia sports betting handle reached $403.7 million in May, a 5.2% drop from April but a 14.9% increase year-over-year. Revenue was $48.1 million, a small increase from April’s $45.1 million.
June 30, 2023 – Bally Bet temporarily shut down its app while the company changes to Kambi’s sports betting platform. The process is expected to take a few months, and bettors must withdraw their funds by June 30.
June 27, 2023 – Virginia announced the creation of a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee. Starting July 1, the committee will aim to provide more responsible gaming resources for bettors.
June 7, 2023 – While there is no real effort to legalize online casinos in Virginia, the potential legalization of North Carolina sports betting could pressure Virginia to find another revenue stream, with North Carolina likely stealing some sports betting business.
June 2, 2023 – Virginia sports betting handle hit $425.9 million in April, a 16.7% drop from March but a 7% bump from April 2022. Revenue was $45.1 million for the month, a drop of about $10.1 month-ov