While the state of Virginia has restrictive gambling laws, they do not rule out everything. Virginia residents can place wagers on horse racing, participate in the state lottery and take part in charitable gambling, which includes bingo, raffles and even duck racing.
Gaming Laws in Virginia
Virginia Code Section 18.2-325 defines illegal gambling as making, placing or receiving any bet or wager of money or other thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or event, the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance.
Betting on horse racing, parimutuel wagering and off-track betting at licensed satellite facilities is deemed legal, but greyhound racing is prohibited. Gambling devices and casinos are illegal by Virginia law as well.
Like all casinos, tribal casinos are not allowed in the state of Virginia.
Sports Betting in Virginia
Sports betting is not allowed in the state of Virginia in accordance with Code Section 18.2-325 that defines illegal gambling as making, placing or receiving any bet or wager of money or other thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or event, the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance.
Even though there are no sportsbooks available at physical locations or online in the state of Virginia, bettors still have the opportunity to choose from many offshore options. Offshore sportsbooks are widely considered to be a much safer option than local bookmakers. In addition to having the convenience of placing bets right from a personal computer or mobile device and a variety of options, online bettors can trust reputable and well-reviewed offshore books to always offer lines and pay out, which may not always be the case for local bookies.
Poker and Casino in Virginia
Poker and other casino games of any kind are not allowed in the state of Virginia.
Because poker rooms are banned in the state of Virginia, online games appeal to interested players who must choose to pursue offshore websites in order to participate.
Other Gaming Options in Virginia
Bingo, raffles and duck races sponsored by nonprofit organizations are considered charitable gambling according to Virginia law, while contests of skill or speed between men, animals, fowl or vehicles and games of chance that take place at private residences are also legal.
The Virginia Lottery was created in 1988 to help improve and support public K-12 education throughout the state. Since 1999, 100 percent of the profits from the Virginia Lottery have been turned over to fund public education. There are many different lottery games in Virginia, including draw games like Mega Millions and Powerball, scratchers and other contests.