Virginia online sports betting is a relatively new industry, having emerged over the last 12 months. With that said, the first online sites may have only launched in January 2021, more than 6 months after sports betting was officially legalized in July 2020. But Virginia has been making serious strides forward for this industry as a whole. In October 2021, Virginia actually broke the record for being the quickest state to surpass the billion mark in total sports bets (all-time figure). This was achieved in less than 12 months, and it was done with absolutely zero retail sportsbooks to speak of.
How about that for coming out of the gates quickly? And to add to this, Virginia still has just 11 online sportsbooks, which is significantly fewer than the number of live sites elsewhere. Therefore, we think it’s safe to say that punters in Virginia have got the sports betting bug. As for the biggest betting brands to enter the market, you’ve got names like DraftKings, FanDuel, Unibet, PointsBet, and BetMGM all doing quite well. Of course, if you are based in Virginia and over the age of 21, you can register and bet at these platforms too.
There are none of the other annoying laws to worry about such as in-person registration either, which has been a complication of online sports betting in other states.
Best Virginia online sports betting sites in
Latest VA sports betting news
A Year After Launch, Virginia Sports Betting Continues Growth
While legislators keep the Virginia sports betting landscape relatively stable, the state turned in a record month in January.
Virginia sportsbooks took a record $485.5 million in bets, according to a Virginia Lottery release March 2, 2022. The figure is up nearly 14% from December’s $426.6 million total.
Since Virginia sports betting launched in late January 2021, sportsbooks have taken $3.7 billion in wagers.
Date: March 9, 2022
More Sportsbooks are Coming
PointsBet launched in December, making January its first full month of operation. SI Sportsbook and Betway will likely launch by April 2022. Get ready for more competition, which should lead to great new promos.
Date: March 9, 2022
Following the announcement that sports betting would be legalized in April 2020, this state has been in a bit of a frenzy! The industry became officially legalized in July 2020, and following a series of successful applications, the first online sites came to fruition in January 2021. These were the two most significant dates to speak of up until May 2021, which is the month in which Virginia broke the billion mark for total bets placed. This is all the more amazing when you consider that only a handful of approved betting sites existed at the time.
And by October 2021, Virginia then scorched through the billion mark that other states before had hit. However, when you look back at the timeframe that other states endured to surpass such a figure, Virginia was clearly the quickest to do it. And since this information is now public knowledge, we have a feeling that other betting brands will be sitting up and taking note!
In other news, while retail sports betting doesn’t currently exist, there are concrete plans in the pipeline for this to change. In fact, a total of five retail sportsbooks have already been approved by the Virginia State Lottery, and these will be launched in Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville, and Bristol.
Is sports betting legal in Virginia for online wagers?
A big yes! Online sports betting has been permitted in Virginia since July 2020, and the first online sites went live in January 2021. The requirements to engage in VA online sports betting are that you are a resident of the state and over the age of 21. Meet these conditions and you can enjoy a range of 10 different sportsbooks to choose from, each with its own unique advantages and strengths. You can sign up directly through these apps too, as there is no law that dictates that you must visit a physical casino to set up your account.
Of these 11 live sportsbooks, some of the biggest names include PointsBet, FanDuel, and DraftKings. All sites have a mobile offering that you can place wagers through too, which is convenient for flexible or on-the-go betting. Each of these sites operates under an approved license as issued by the Virginia State Lottery, and this is what makes them legal and therefore safe to bet through. To find out more about the Virginia State Lottery, here is an article about the VA Lottery Promo Code.
Where to bet on sports in Virginia?
At the time of writing, the only way to make a sports bet in Virginia is to do so through one of the approved betting sites. This is quite different from other states where you can place sports bets at retail sportsbooks, at professional sports venues, and even at racetracks! With that said, let us provide a few more details concerning Virginia online sports betting:
- Online platforms
There are currently 11 Virginia sports betting sites. Each of these sites has a mobile app and a desktop site, which both have the same offerings. In order to make a wager at any of these platforms, you are required to register and place a deposit. Of course, these online platforms are the most convenient, and this would still be the case even if retail sports betting did become live in Virginia!
Most of the time, the VA sports betting apps can be installed on smartphones or tablets for both iOS and Android operating systems.
Online sportsbooks available now in Virginia
The world of Virginia online sports betting has become increasingly accessible since the first site launched in January 2021. As the months have rolled by, more and more gladiators have entered the market and started to accept wagers. There are currently 11 sites that you can choose from, although this will not be fixed for too long. As per the sports betting laws, Virginia could have up to 19 sports betting sites operating from within the state.
However, as and when this number is hit depends on how quickly betting brands apply for licenses and how long they take to be approved! Nobody really knows an exact answer to this, which is why we will simply outline what the current sportsbooks have to offer:
BallyBet is one of the newest additions to the Virginia sports betting space. But boy have these guys come out swinging, as seen with the no deposit free bet accompanied with the risk-free bet for all new customers! That’s clearly pretty epic in itself, but BallyBet steps it up once again with teasers, straights, and parlay bets that other sites don’t actually have. These guys also have some of the most exciting selections of wagers for NCAA events too, if that’s your sort of thing!
Barstool Sportsbook officially launched in Virginia back in August 2021, and punters immediately flocked to the site - with good reason. These guys are offering a ,000 risk-free wager for all new customers, making it one of the largest sign-up offers in the state. The site is also loaded with daily specials, boosted odds, weekly free bets, and even monthly competitions where you can test your knowledge against other site members. It really is a super fun and simple betting platform, and the app is absolutely fantastic.
BetMGM is a brand that needs no introduction these days, having spread all over the US with impressive success. These guys have been tearing it up in Virginia since going live in 2021, and all new customers are greeted with a ,000 risk-free bet. On top of this, the BetMGM Sportsbook has some awesome loyalty bonuses, a huge range of payment methods, great spreads on top sports, and daily parlay boosts. What more could we ask for?
BetRivers has a pretty specific sign-up bonus compared with other sites, but if you like NFL, a bonus is yours for the taking. All new players can bag this offer after signing up, and believe us, there is so much more to this site than just a solid welcome offer. BetRivers offers unique parlays for most sports, instant cashouts for select markets, and live betting is fully supported via the app. These guys tend to be pretty generous concerning bonuses for major events like the NBA Championships and Super Bowl too, so make sure you tune in at those times.
Much like other brands like BetMGM, Caesars is best known for operating a large physical casino out in Las Vegas. But thanks to strategic partnerships in Virginia, Caesars has been able to launch without too much trouble. All new customers can make the most of a special welcome offer: get up to $1,250 on Caesars + 1000 Tier Credits + 1000 Reward Credits®. Reload bonuses are regular and rewarding too. Putting bonuses aside, however, Caesars is particularly creative with its market variety, and there are many features such as odds boosts and bet builders for you to use.
As far as Virginia sports betting apps go, DraftKings is certainly up there with some of the very best. This app is aesthetically awesome, it has top features like cashouts and streaming, and it performs very well too. Of course, there is also a desktop site, and whichever one you choose to register through, there is a ,000 welcome bonus up for grabs. This works as a deposit match at 20%, which means you do need to deposit a fair amount of cash to get the most from the offer.
Golden Nugget Sportsbook
Golden Nugget has also been a target site for many punters in Virginia, all thanks to the free bet available for new customers. In addition to the solid welcome bonus, these guys have a top-level app, over 15 sports to wager on, and existing player bonuses are never far from view. And when you compare the odds that Golden Nugget offers for top leagues such as the NFL, NHL, and NBA, things seem pretty impressive. This is true for both pre-match and live betting, and both setups are easy to use, to top it all off.
FanDuel is often put in the same tier as DraftKings because both reached fame thanks to their fantasy sports offerings. On that note, it’s hard to dispute this opinion, as FanDuel certainly offers one of the best online sports betting setups in Virginia. The site really is immense, with hundreds of betting markets for major events, daily odds boosts, cashouts, and even exclusive markets for events like major boxing fights. New players can also bag a ,000 risk-free bet once they have signed up, which is fairly considerable.
PointsBet is a little different from the other sportsbooks we’ve talked about here. For starters, they have the biggest welcome bonus of all, with ,000 in risk-free bets. This in itself makes many people want to sign up, understandably, but PointsBet also has a secret weapon. The secret weapon is a combination of fixed-price betting as well as spread betting, with the latter offering a way to bet on specific elements of a game such as points.
And if you aren’t overly confident with spread betting, PointsBet even has a guide on how to do it via the main site.
Unibet welcomes all new customers by giving them a shot at a risk-free bet. This is rather considerable, especially when you consider that it is more flexible than what you’ll find elsewhere. Unibet keeps up this generosity when it comes to existing player offers too, boasting weekly free bets, odds boosters, and parlay boosts. Unibet is also incredibly extensive with the number of sporting events that it covers too, with thousands of options each and every month. The range is particularly huge for sports like basketball, soccer, and American football.
Last but not least, the WynnBet Sportsbook is also live in Virginia. As a new customer, you can immediately redeem a ,000 risk-free offer, and this can be used on a wide scope of sports. On that note, WynnBet offers betting opportunities for all of the top leagues, and you can even create your own markets through the bet builder tool. WynnBet is also one of the few sportsbooks that have a designated loyalty scheme in place, so the more you bet, the more you are rewarded - always a positive thing!
What about the legal online VA sports betting apps?
As we have hammered home above, betting through a sports betting app in Virginia is absolutely possible. More than 10 of them are currently alive and kicking in the state, which means you’ve got a decent variety on the table. Most of these apps can be installed for both Android and iOS devices, and they work well on both smartphones and tablets. In terms of how such apps came to be since Virginia has no physical casinos, these apps can launch without the need to establish partnerships with existing locations.
However, some of the apps that are currently live have launched through partnerships, even if this isn’t required through law. For clarity, here they are:
- Caesars Sportsbook - Caesars Entertainment
- BetRivers Sportsbook - Portsmouth, VA Casino
- FanDuel Sportsbook - Washington Football Team
- Golden Nugget Sportsbook - The Greenbrier
The brands mentioned here, plus all others that operate in Virginia support the same betting options on the app that they do from the main desktop site. You may also claim the same welcome offers via these apps.
Virginia online sports betting sites that could be launching soon
As the current legislation might lead you to believe, there can only be 12 online sportsbooks live in the state. However, there are some pretty serious rumors flying around that Virginia is planning to establish a bunch of physical casinos located around the state. At the same time, the laws are supposedly going to change to allow sports teams to pair up with betting brands to allow further launches.
For those reasons, we wouldn’t be surprised if the following betting brands were to launch in Virginia at some point in the near future:
Bet365 has sprung up in the US market in multiple states already. Having come to US shores from overseas, bet365 already has the infrastructure in place to launch in whatever state with ease. Should the bills pass as we expect them to, bet365 could easily launch a betting app in Virginia at some point in 2022. Of course, whether this materializes or not remains to be seen.
Sports betting in Virginia is currently missing one big-name - PlaySugarHouse. These guys are already paired up with a ton of casinos around the USA, which is why the addition of physical casinos in Virginia would set the stage for a launch from PlaySugarHouse. This brand is already live in many other states too, so they are clearly looking to expand.
Twinspires has taken over BetAmerica in the USA, which in itself, shows an ambition to expand and grow the brand further. Twinspires would add a nice element to the Virginia sports betting market too since Twsinpires offers a clever hybrid of standard sports betting and horse racing betting. Since horse racing seems to be quite popular with Virginia punters, this would be a perfect matchup for a brand like Twinspires to enter the market.
Other things you should know about online sports betting sites in Virginia
Opening a new sports betting account in Virginia
The beauty of Virginia online sports betting is that it is just so easy to get involved with. While other states are messing around and asking players to register at physical casinos, all sportsbooks in Virginia let you register via the app. After all, there aren’t any physical casinos that exist in the state, for now, so this wouldn’t even be an option. Registering at these apps is a piece of cake too, and the process can be completed in around five minutes. All you have to do is provide your name, date of birth, address, SSN, and give your cell phone number to be up and running.
Just note that during the registration process, you might be given the chance to select your welcome bonus. And at all sites, you’ll need to verify both your name, address, and date of birth before you can enjoy unrestricted site access.
What kind of welcome bonus can you get with a Virginia sports betting operator?
The Virginia sports betting market is full of great sign-up offers. And since there are no restrictions as to how many online betting accounts you can have, you can redeem as many of these bonuses as you like. These offers vary in how they operate, obviously, but if you are looking to redeem the most competitive offer, we would suggest either FanDuel or PointsBet. Both sites have welcome offers into the four-figure range, and they aren’t overly complex or restricted either.
Besides the offers listed at these sites, however, there are other welcome bonuses that you may also want to consider. We’ve explained these bonuses and how they work below:
Deposit bonuses are fairly common at online sportsbooks. The reason being is that they are easy to claim, only requiring a deposit to qualify, and they are often pretty rewarding. Some sportsbooks serve up deposit boosts as high as 100% and beyond, which is pretty enticing.
When you make a wager on any sports event, there is always the chance that your bet can lose. Everyone knows that, but few like to address the possibility that their bet won’t result in a win. But what if your bet was protected, meaning you cannot lose? Well, that’s what risk-free welcome bonuses were invented for. When you redeem one of these bonuses, you could win the bet, but if not, you will get your money back in full (up to a certain amount).
Once you place a wager, you will always be able to see what your possible returns are. But if you redeem a profit boost as part of a sign-up offer, you might just get more than you bargained for. Rather than winning or , or whatever the possible returns are, you will now qualify for a percentage boost on your winnings. With that said, if your bet loses, any incentive from such an offer becomes obsolete.
Betting on the most popular Virginia sports
The NFL is an absolutely enormous sports league in the USA, everyone knows it. And for Virginia punters, this league is always full of appealing games to wager on, and these games are loaded with awesome betting markets. From a local perspective, however, there is no professional NFL team to speak of. This means that you’ll be looking to bet on alternative NFL teams, and the standard markets include futures, moneyline, handicaps, as well as parlays for busy weeks!
And since we are on the subject of football, Virginia does have some decent NCAA football teams who you can wager on if desired.
Virginia is ideally located for a professional NBA team to emerge, but at the time of writing, no professional NBA team is based in this state. We are sure there are some economic reasons as to why this is, but regardless of the underlying reasons, you won’t be able to bet on a Virginia NBA team. You can, however, wager on NBA teams from other states, and there are hundreds of games that get played each season. The NBA is perfect for making live wagers since games are fast-paced and high-scoring, and if you plan to watch the NBA Championships, you will be treated to some pretty great bonuses.
Baseball might be a bit of a slower sport compared to basketball, but it is still adored by punters all over the USA. Of course, this includes Virginia, and you can bet on all of the action through the top VA sports betting platforms. Games involving top teams often result in enhanced markets and boosted odds, and rewards like free bets are handed out when the postseason rolls around. The MLB is surprisingly diverse in terms of standard markets too, with options for pitchers, hitters, individual innings, and so much more.
Virginia might not have any local teams that compete in the NHL, but the state is surrounded by others that do. That’s why the NHL is so huge in Virginia, as fans can easily travel over the border to watch top teams battle it out. Now, NHL games don’t have quite as many betting markets as games in the NBA or NFL, but there is still plenty to choose from. Specifically, punters seem to love betting on markets like the final score, point scorers, and there are many specials to investigate too. And much like the other leagues, the NHL has a postseason tournament known as the Stanley Cup - that’s where the best promotions tend to get pumped out.
MMA isn’t strictly a league, but it is a form of sport that has grown significantly in recent years. Most of the time, MMA is used synonymously with the UFC, as that’s the organization that makes the most fights happen. MMA fights are conducted in different weight classes throughout the year, and there can be both male and female fights. Of course, certain fighters are more prestigious than others, and these fights tend to be highly publicized. So when a big fight comes around, make sure you check out the bonuses and unique markets, as they can often be incredible!
Currently, there are no Virginia soccer teams that compete in the MLS. However, Virginia actually has many soccer teams that compete in other leagues like the W-League and USL. This in itself bolsters interest in soccer within the state, and this has stimulated significant betting activity for the MLS. Of course, this is the top division for professional soccer in the USA, and this league is getting better with each passing year. Europe’s superstars have all tried their hand in the MLS over the last decade or so, leading to high-quality soccer being played.
At the same time, the way in which soccer is played often means that the range of markets is just excessive.
Horse racing isn’t as popular as the events taking place in the leagues mentioned above. However, the US is still loaded with huge races such as the Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby. These are some of the biggest horse races in the entire world, which is why online sportsbooks tend to get a little wild around the time of such events. Horse racing is generally more limited in terms of your betting options, but it is a sport that attracts a ton of bonuses. That’s why the best Virginia sports betting apps are absolutely full of them for these larger races!
History of Virginia Sports Betting
As you now know, sports betting in Virginia is perfectly legal, and this has been true since July 2020. Prior to this, if you had asked the question, \'is sports betting legal in Virginia\', the answer would have been no. But what you might not know is that the journey before reaching this destination wasn’t exactly straightforward. In fact, many people thought that sports betting wouldn’t receive the nod of approval at any point, at least at certain times. Join us on looking back through this journey right now:
2019 - Virginia starts to consider the idea
Prior to 2018, sports betting wasn’t even allowed in any state, never mind Virginia. That’s because the PASPA regulations were still in place that prohibited sports betting from being legal anywhere but Nevada. However, as history now tells us, PASPA was defeated by NJ in May 2018, and this is when many states started to address the idea of sports betting becoming legal. Of course, Virginia didn’t act immediately, and it waited to see how other states actually launched sports betting. This period of assessment lasted around one year, which is where we now arrive in 2019.
Throughout 2019, senior officials collected data on how sports betting was implemented elsewhere and what impact this had on the public purse. After all, state officials must make decisions that are in the best interests of the general public, while ensuring that industries could be profitable for the state. This study was due to be completed in December 2019, and the bill that supported such studies was SB 1126.
2020 - sports betting gets approved
As you can probably guess, the 2019 study was pivotal in whether officials decided to legalize Virginia sports betting or not. According to published figures in the report, officials estimated that sports betting in this state could add as much as million in revenue each year. This seemed to go down very well with the house committee, especially with Mark Sickles, who was the main influencer in driving the respective bills forward. The exact bill issued to legalize sports betting was HB1638, which was presented to the house in 2019.
After several debates and meetings, Gov. Ralph Norman decides that sports betting is a viable and feasible industry in Virginia. He officially signed bill SB384 in April 2020, although the market was only open for business from July 2020, as this is when the Virginia State Lottery published the requirements for sportsbooks to launch. Of course, prior to this, no sportsbook could launch as the path to do so was not yet known.
2021 part one - online betting emerges in Virginia
2020, especially the back end of the year, was rather interesting in Virginia. While it was obviously public knowledge that the laws had changed regarding Virginia sports betting, the identity of betting brands that were applying for licenses was strictly classified. Looking back, this is somewhat funny, and there was no real reason for the state keeping it a secret. At the same time, major players like DraftKings and FanDuel had publicly announced that they were planning to launch in Virginia. Anyway - the licenses for operators that could launch were detailed at the back end of 2020, and the first sites launched in January 2021.
Virginia sports punters wasted absolutely no time in getting their wagers placed too, as reflected in the handle figures. According to official reports, more than billion had been wagered through all avenues combined in Virginia, and this figure was reached by May 2021. This was simply incredible at the time, although it seemed that the market was just getting warmed up!
2021 part two - a billion sports handle
As the months continued to roll by in 2021, events like the Super Bowl, March Madness, NBA Championships, and others ensured that the bets kept rolling in. As you’ve seen above, the billion mark was surpassed in May 2020, but the handle then doubled to more than a billion in October 2021. This meant that Virginia was the quickest state to surpass such a mark, showing that officials had made the right decision to legalize sports betting in the state. And this becomes all the more exciting when you consider that more sportsbooks could launch in the near future.
If legislation continues in the way which many expect, we could see close to 20 additional sportsbooks emerge in Virginia. Should all of these sportsbooks move online, the market could explode beyond even the previous figures, which is almost scary to think about!
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