Virginia Sports Betting Sites
Virginia sports betting sites have been legal since 2021. The Old Dominion sprung a surprise when it legalized sports betting in 2021 because little gambling was previously offered.
Despite the lack of gambling history, sports betting is thriving in Virginia currently. Since January 2021, 11 sportsbooks have launched in the state, and the benefits are already evident. In late 2021, less than a year after taking sports bets, Virginia posted consecutive handles over $400 million.
With sports betting on the up in the Old Dominion, we look at some available sportsbooks and betting options for state residents.
Sports Betting in Virginia
Virginia is a state that loves its college sports. Additionally, the proximity to professional sports teams means enthusiastic sports fans populate the state. It was not a huge surprise that Virginia sports betting sites quickly launched in January 2021.
However, before 2021, bettors had few sports betting options in the state. Gambling, in general, was not on the agenda for state legalization until mid-2020.
There are no state casinos to help the rise of sports betting in the state. This also meant bettors could not access any retail sportsbooks as they weren’t available. But, with the rise of legalized Virginia sports betting sites, the gambling landscape has changed drastically.
Online Sports Betting
No land-based casinos in the state mean that Virginia online sports betting sites are the only way for bettors to wager. Virginia is only one of three states in the US that allow online-only sports betting.
Due to the avid fanbase of sports fans in Virginia, well-known sportsbooks could see the potential in the Old Dominion. As a result, some of the biggest and most popular online betting sites launched in Virginia as soon as possible.
On January 21st, 2021, FanDuel started taking online wagers via its app and website. Three days later, DraftKings followed, and it became the second sportsbook to launch.
In the first year of legalized online sports betting, 11 apps and sportsbooks were launched. More big players in the online betting scene were among them. These include PointsBet, Bet MGM, and Caesar’s. Global betting giant Unibet also got in on the action in 2021.
After a meteoric rise in its first year of allowing online sportsbooks, more betting sites may join in 2022. Another global franchise, Betway, and US-based, Sports Illustrated are set to launch in April 2022.
Horse Betting in Virginia
Horse racing has been popular in Virginia for decades. But the industry is not as thriving as it used to be. Betting numbers at racetracks have been declining for years.
Colonial Downs is the only Virginia track. The venue opened in 1997, and it experienced a solid turnover, to begin with. However, in 2014, the track had to shut its doors because it was no longer a viable business.
However, in 2018, the Virginia government decided to give the horse racing industry a chance by legalizing historical racing machines. These machines have the look and feel of a slot machine. But the results are based on the outcome of a historical horse race that is drawn at random. The betting is all pari-mutuel, so it fits under the current horse betting regulations.
This new offering led to a buyer purchasing Colonial Downs, and it re-opened its doors in 2019. Now, the track provides both on-track and off-track horse race bets. It also runs a six-week thoroughbred racing season to bring the live-betting experience to Virginia.
Online Horse Betting
Online horse betting has existed in Virginia for years. But no licenses are held by local operators. Before Virginia sports betting sites were legalized, bettors could legally place wagers via the TwinSpires and Xpressbet betting platforms.
The rise of legalized online sportsbooks has expanded Virginians’ options for online horse betting. Some online betting sites provide odds and wagers on their platforms, but not all do. TwinSpires remains the stand-out option for online horse betting. The company has provided horse racing odds since 2007, and it has a dedicated horse book.
Casino Gambling in Virginia
The decision to allow historical racing machines in Virginia was indeed a landmark one. Especially because all other forms of casino gambling were illegal in the state in 2018.
Today, there are still no land-based casinos in the state. But the Virginian sports betting bill that allowed the launch of online sportsbooks also paved the way for land-based casinos. In November 2020, the state approved the building of four new casinos in Virginia.
The casinos are expected to open in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Richmond may also bring a casino to its residency in the future. The potential launch of land-based casinos may also open the opportunity for in-person, retail sportsbooks.
Online Casinos in Virginia
Although Virginian sports betting sites are live and performing well, there is no sign that online casinos will follow soon. The 2020 gambling expansion bill did not include any options for online casino sites.
For now, state bettors are limited to online sports gambling, Daily Fantasy Sports, the lottery, and pari-mutuel wagering. Players can also access social casinos. Here, bettors play for virtual coins rather than real money.
It is unlikely that online casinos will launch in the next few years. Monitoring the success of Virginia sports betting sites and getting the five casinos open remains a priority. However, depending on how well these ventures perform, online casino sites may be next on the agenda.
Lottery in Virginia
The lottery is a popular pastime in Virginia. With many transient residents, the daily draw games are played by thousands every day. Huge pooled jackpots from games like Powerball and Mega Millions are also available to play at retailers in the state.
These games pool play from dozens of states, which is how the jackpots grow so quickly. Both have seen action into the hundreds of millions in the past.
Unlike some other US states, Virginia offers online lottery tickets. Bettors can select a host of lottery options via apps on their mobile devices. Alternatively, they can play the jackpot online. To access these services, bettors must be located within state lines.
Virginia Gambling FAQ
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