As we get set to welcome legalized online sports betting in Virginia, the time is right to take a look at what we can expect to have on tap. We’ll be able to place bets on all of the major games and events, including on local favorites such as the Washington Football Team.
We won’t be able to place wagers on any in-state college programs, but we have a green light for the rest of the college basketball and football games on the docket. All of the bet types we could ask for will be available, making it really easy to get in the game.
That’s thanks to the top sports betting apps from leading operators who are all set to launch in VA. We’ll be covering everything you need to know right here, including bonus offers and the top features you have to look forward to. Let’s get to it.
Is Virginia sports betting legal?
Yes. Sports betting officially became legal in Virginia on July 1, 2020, courtesy of the passage of HB 896 and SB 384 by the state legislature earlier in the year and the subsequent signing of the legislation into law by Gov. Ralph Northam. The law is the result of multiple years of deliberation in the normally conservative state.
When will online sports betting launch in VA?
The next step towards the official rollout of online sports betting is the drafting of rules and regulations that sportsbooks will operate under. The state’s Lottery Board, which will oversee the industry in Virginia, recently stated it expects early 2021 to be the earliest possible launch date for VA sports betting apps.
These are the expected launch dates for online sports betting:
|Operator||Partner||Expected Launch Date|
|DraftKings Sportsbook||TBA||Jan. 2021|
|FanDuel Sportsbook||TBA||Jan. 2021|
|Caesars Sportsbook||TBA||Early 2021|
|BetRivers Sportsbook||TBA||Early 2021|
|BetMGM Sportsbook||TBA||Jan. 2021|
Virginia sports betting apps expected for 2021
Virginia sports betting apps make the dream of having a legal sportsbook at your fingertips a reality. The platforms from industry leaders are top-notch and simple to use, and they’re offering up some fantastic bonuses for new players to take advantage of. We’ll cover everything you need to know about downloading and using the apps in a bit. For now, let’s take a closer look at the top options you’ll have available.
It’s pretty easy to see why the DraftKings online betting app has raced to the top of the charts in all markets entered to date. The platform is super slick and filled with bells and whistles. Among the top highlights is an outstanding live betting feature.
FanDuel has also quickly become a go-to spot in a number of states. The visually appealing and user-friendly interface has a lot to do with that, as does its recent focus on innovative offerings such as single-game parlays.
This Australia-based operator has made tremendous strides since entering the US market in January 2019. PointsBet is bettor-focused, and that shows in its promo offerings that include reduced juice and odds boosts.
The well-known MGM brand from the casino world is also becoming a major player in online and mobile sports betting. BetMGM sports betting app offers a range of sports, competitive odds and regular promotions for users to take advantage of.
A major name on the international gambling scene, Unibet’s presence continues to grow here in the US. The platform isn’t quite as flashy as its competitors, but it’s still a great spot to jump in and get down to business.
A member of the Rush Street family, BetRivers continues to grow its presence across legal sports betting states. Among the top benefits is an ongoing rewards program that lets bettors accrue points just for wagering.
Sportsbook bonuses and free bet offers
When getting set to play at a new sportsbook, be sure to take a pause and ask yourself a simple question: What’s in it for me? It’s a competitive world out there, so Virginia sports betting operators are constantly offering deals to new players. Here’s some of what you’ll see.
- Free bets: Some books will give you free funds in the form of site credits that you can use to place bets. Any winnings are yours to keep.
- Deposit match: Certain operators will match your first deposit up to a set amount, sometimes by as much as 100%.
- Risk free bets: A few books will allow you to place your first bet in risk-free fashion after making a deposit. If it loses, you’ll be refunded the bet amount in site credit.
Sign-up offers provide a great way to try out new sites while also potentially building up your bank roll. Sportsbooks are happy to pay for your business in today’s competitive environment, so be sure to take advantage.
How to start online sports betting in Virginia
Once you decide where you want to play, you can be up and running quickly and easily. The best place to start is by clicking on our exclusive links. This will ensure that you’re getting the best possible bonus offer from that operator.
After you do that, you’ll arrive at the main sign-up page. You’ll be prompted to enter some basic details — think name, date of birth, last four digits of Social Security number, etc. — and will then have to check off a few boxes. Once you click submit, your account will be set.
Next, be sure to download the VA sports betting app for your device from the sportsbook website. Log in on mobile for the first time and you’ll be good to go there, too. After just a few minutes from start to finish, you’ll have access to legal sports betting both online and via app.
Once you’re completely up and running, take some time to look around and get the lay of the land. Here are a few of the areas you’ll want to check out.
- Sports available for betting.
- How the bet slip works.
- The area to deposit and withdraw funds.
- How to get help and contact support.
The good news is that the leading sports betting operators invest heavily on the tech side. That means that both the sites and apps are generally easy to navigate. You should be able to find what you’re looking for quickly.
After you get a handle on the basics, you can dive in and get ready to place some bets. This is a simple process, as you just need to click on your choices to have them added to the betting slip. From there, plug in your bet amount, review the wager and click submit.
VA sportsbook pricing and lines
The best sports betting lines are no longer the sole domain of Las Vegas. While it was like that for decades, the new legal landscape has been a game-changer. Leading operators across the legal states are offering odds that are on point.
Here in Virginia, it’ll be more of the same. You can still take the time to see what the oddsmakers out in Sin City have to say about a game or event, but know that you’ll find comparable lines here at home.
On the operator front, competition helps to breed efficiency in betting markets. You won’t find the exact same numbers at every sportsbook in Virginia, so you should always take the time to shop around for the best prices.
VA sports teams to bet on
While no teams from any of the major sports leagues make their home in VA, many residents have adopted clubs from the DC metro area as local favorites. For each of them, you’ll be able to bet on the individual game outcomes, place some props and live bets, and even check out the futures market for season-long wagers.
- NFL: Washington Football Team
- NBA: Washington Wizards
- MLB: Washington Nationals
- NHL: Washington Capitals
- MLS: DC United
Of course, you can bet on any squad you choose for each of the above sports. It’s a different story with college. For college football and basketball, you can’t bet on any in-state teams. However, betting on all other Division I programs in both sports is perfectly fine.
Beyond the pro and college team sports, you’ll find a whole host of options to consider. The most popular of the other sports will also attract tons of betting volume, while others fall into the niche category and see much less action.
- Table tennis
Please note that not all of the above will be available at every VA sports betting site, but each of the individual sportsbooks will have a solid overall selection. In short, you won’t be lacking for things to bet on here in VA.
Futures and prop betting in Virginia
Your betting action doesn’t have to be limited to the outcome of individual games and events. There are several other ways to get in on the fun, including with futures and props. Futures are long-term wagers, while props are ways to get some side action in.
A futures bet is a wager on something that won’t be decided until a later date. Many of the most popular markets revolve around league championships or the winners of top individual events, such as:
- Super Bowl
- World Series
- Stanley Cup
- NBA Finals
- College Football Playoff
- March Madness
- Golf majors — Masters, etc.
- Tennis Grand Slams — Wimbledon, etc.
- NASCAR Daytona 500
There are also futures for individual team performances, such as regular season win totals and the winners of conferences and divisions. Odds for futures come out in the offseason. Bettors stay engaged throughout the year, and the numbers will move in response to betting action.
The general gist is to find the selections you want at the best prices, so shopping around to compare numbers is always a good idea. If you make the right call on futures bets, you could be in for a nice score when the wager is settled.
Keep in mind that settlement doesn’t happen until the outcome is known. A futures bet requires a long-term perspective, so budget accordingly. For props, you’ll find some of the season-long variety.
Bets in this category include the NFL passing yards leader, or on the MLB player who will hit the most homers. Props are also available on individual games. Some revolve around team performance or the game as a whole, while many are based on player accomplishments.
- How many yards will Alex Smith throw for — over/under 269.5?
- Will Alex Ovechkin score a goal in the game — yes/no?
- Which pitcher will have more strikeouts — Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom?
There’s a dedicated section for the futures market under the tabs for each of the individual sports at online sportsbooks. For props, clicking through on the individual game listings will bring you to a page with the available offerings.
Live betting in Virginia
Live betting is a segment of the sports betting industry that has gained a great deal of traction in recent times. Also known as in game betting, live betting opens the doors to placing wagers as the action plays out in real time.
The market moves really fast, but staying on top of things is easy with a VA sports betting app from DraftKings or FanDuel. Offerings will vary based on what’s going on, but you’ll see things like updated game lines and prop betting opportunities.
- What will be the result of this next drive for Washington — TD/FG/TO/punt?
- Which side will score three runs first — Nationals or Braves?
- Which team will hold the lead at halftime — Wizards or Hornets?
When you log in to the VA sports betting app of your choice, you should see a dedicated section for live betting. Once you click on that, the lobby will be populated with current and upcoming offerings. Live betting is a great way to stay engaged with the games and potentially turn a profit, but remember to always bet within your comfort level.
How online sports betting works in Virginia
You can get started with betting on sports in VA at any time. You can register online or via app with legal and regulated operators. You’ll need to enter just a few simple pieces of information, including:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
In order to play, users have to be 21 or older and located within state lines. Your age will be verified as part of the sign-up process. If the operator has any trouble doing so, you’ll likely need to provide documentation.
While there’s not an in-state residency requirement, users need to be in Virginia to actually place bets. To verify that you are, sites use what’s known as geolocation tracking. You can manage your account elsewhere — deposit funds, check lines, etc. — but in order to place bets, you must physically be in VA.
What’s legal and illegal to bet on in VA
You can bet on all of the major sports in Virginia, as well as a whole host of others that are on a smaller scale. While there’s plenty to choose from, there are some restrictions to keep in mind.
- No betting on collegiate games involving VA-based teams.
- Live betting and player props are prohibited for college sports
- Bets are allowed on sporting events only, so you can’t bet on things like elections.
The restriction on non-sports wagering is not exclusive to Virginia. Many other states have adopted the same policy, while wagering on elections is prohibited across the US. College rules have been handled on a state-by-state basis, and we have seen plenty of variance.
Virginia law is one of the more restrictive in that you can’t place bets on in-state teams. New Jersey sportsbooks also implemented such a policy, while Pennsylvania sportsbooks has no such restrictions in place. While you can’t bet on the in-state programs, you can wager on other college basketball and football contests without issue.
How sports betting licensing works in VA
There are high expectations for the Virginia online sports betting market. Operators who are approved and vetted by the Virginia Lottery are on the hook for $250,000 for a three-year license as well as a 15% revenue tax in order to set up shop.
As part of the legalization process, there was plenty of back and forth on where the tax dollars would be allocated. That has all been squared away now that the bill is signed into law. Here’s the breakdown.
- The state gets 95%.
- The Virginia Lottery Board gets 5% for overseeing the industry.
- The final 5% is dedicated to a problem gambling and support fund that is slated to be overseen by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.
Legal sports betting has been a hit in all of the new markets across the US. We can expect more of the same in VA. That’s great news for those who have been patiently waiting to legally and safely place their wagers at home, as well as for the state’s tax coffers.
Where to bet on sports in Virginia
There are no brick-and-mortar casinos in Virginia, but that could change in the future. As the sports betting legalization drama was playing out, a green light was given for physical casinos in the following cities:
Additionally, Richmond is still set to vote on whether to allow a casino there. If and when the prospective casinos actually open their doors, we can expect retail sportsbooks to be included among the on-site offerings. Interestingly, the following leagues have also been permitted to submit licenses for potential sportsbooks in any future construction projects in VA:
While there are no pro teams in VA at this time for any of these leagues, the area is often mentioned as a potential spot for relocation or expansion. For now, we’ll consider this an intriguing tidbit to keep a close eye on.
Last but not least, the two operating racetracks in VA also have the opportunity to have their own sportsbook or to partner up with an existing operator. For a retail option that could open up quickly, this is the spot to watch. Here are the details on the two tracks.
- Address: 340 Speedway Road, Ridgeway, VA
- Tickets: 877-RACE-TIX
- Address: 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond, VA
- Tickets: 866-455-RACE