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Legal Gambling and Virginia Online Casinos


It would be natural to assume that Virginia would have been caught up in the waves of expansion that have taken the North-eastern gambling market by storm. While you won’t currently find any major gaming venues here, there are changes being made.

A legislation is currently in the works which would allow five cities in Virginia to have casinos. Online lottery ticket sales are now legal, sportsbooks are set to open before the end of 2020 and there are historical racing machines at Colonial Downs and off-track betting parlors. This wave of expansion bodes well for licensed Virginia online casino sites to become a reality in the future. While there currently isn’t a regulated market, locals have plenty of out of state online casinos to check out.

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Gambling Online in Virginia

States that don’t have much of a land-based casino market typically don’t show any interest in online gaming, and Virginia has so far fit cleanly into that category. There have been no serious efforts to push for a licensing scheme in the state, and what little polling has been done hasn’t suggested that the population is clamoring for Internet gambling sites to be regulated.

However, it’s still very possible for Virginians to play at internet casinos if they want to. Many highly-regarded and trustworthy overseas online gambling operators offer their games here. They regard Virginia (and much of the United States) as a true grey market – one where there is no regulatory framework, but where the opportunity to operate still exists. The state has no laws criminalizing playing on these sites, so players here can freely sign up and try their luck for real money with no risk of legal complications.

All of the sites on our Virginia online casino list have been vetted through a very specific set of criteria to ensure that they are reputable operators that are fully licensed in other regions. Once you are happy with what an online casino site has to offer, you will want to find a specific platform that fits your needs. 

You should take a look at the different games that are on offer through the shortlisted casino online Virginia options. You may enjoy video slots from a top developer such as Microgaming or Quickspin, for instance, or have a preference for a certain type of table game. Whatever the case may be, checking the game library is one of the first port of calls when assessing the merits of a platform. 

Another important consideration is checking what payment methods are on offer. Most Colorado online casino options will offer the likes of Mastercard, Visa and bank transfers, as well as leading e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill. Checking the ease of use and mobile compatibility and optimization on a given platform is also something to consider. 

Finally, you want to check out the bonus offers you can get with a certain online casino in Colorado. A welcome offer can come in many different forms. A no deposit bonus gives you free spins or bonus funds without having to make a deposit. A matched deposit sees your initial deposit being matched by the online casino up to a certain amount. You’ll also want to see if there is a loyalty program and regular promotions for existing customers. Once you add up all of this info, you should be able to make a final decision about what Virginia online casino you are going to sign up to.

Horse Racing, But Not Much Else

The modern gaming industry first began to take off in the early 1970s, when Virginia first allowed for charitable gambling games to be operated in the state. These games are still legal today, though they are now overseen by the government (control had previously belonged to local and county officials).

One major step in the history of the Virginia gaming industry came in 1987, when voters came out in favor of allowing the creation of a lottery, with all proceeds benefiting the educational system. Tickets first went on sale in 1988, and have since remained popular, bringing in well over $500 million annually in recent years. Both Mega Millions and Powerball are still offered, while several local drawings and scratch cards are also offered for sale, with tickets becoming available online as of July 2020.

The biggest part of the state’s gambling offerings, however, comes through horse racing. In 1989, the state created the Virginia Racing Commission to oversee pari-mutuel betting, and though there were no tracks here at the time, an industry did slowly develop. By 1997, Colonial Downs had opened for business, and it remains as the only active track in the state.

However, the industry now goes far beyond hosting live races in the state. Starting in 2003, the state began offering off-track betting, and in 2004, terminals started to be installed at restaurants and bars throughout the state that allowed for remote betting. You also have the chance to bet on horse races through online horse racing betting platforms.

But what about casinos? Unfortunately for those who might want to play slots or hit the blackjack tables, resort gaming has not yet taken off here. As mentioned above, legislation is currently under consideration to allow casinos in at least the five cities of Bristol, Danville, Richmond, Portsmouth and Norfolk. If this bill is ultimately successful, it will allow Virginians to play casino games for real cash on their own turf, and no longer have to travel to neighbouring states to get their gambling fix.

Horse Racing Could See Changes

While it is very important to the state, horse racing was in quite a bit of turmoil in Virginia for some time. Starting in fall 2014, owners, trainers, and the operators of Colonial Downs found they could no longer agree on what the track’s schedule should look like. By early 2015, that decision led to a complete shutdown of operations by the track, as the state began diverting funds to a new organization designed to build racing from the ground up in other parts of Virginia.

Accusations flew back and forth between the government and the track’s owner, with Governor Terry McAuliffe accusing Jacobs Entertainment of having tried to “strong-arm” them into accepting fewer high-quality races, while horsemen and breeders wanted a larger, more varied schedule. Colonial Downs made a comeback in 2019 after a law was passed in 2018 that allowed historical racing machines (similar to slot machines) to be installed both at the track and at off-site betting parlors. This was done in an attempt to make the track more financially viable.

Although it’s been a long time coming and very little movement has happened in the past, casino gaming in the state of Virginia looks to have a good chance of becoming a reality. It seems doubtful however, that online casinos will get much of a mention in the state legislature for the time being. While Virginia could someday be a part of a wider Internet gaming network, it is pretty clear they don’t plan on being an early adopter.

Sign up to a Leading Virginia Online Casino Today

While the Virginia authorities don’t have a regulatory or licensing framework in place for online casinos, there are plenty of out of state online casinos for you to make the most of. You can choose from the many reputable sites and sign up for an account in just a few minutes.

You have tons of different types of casino games to check out, so you’ll rarely get bored. There are also all sorts of great bonus offers that will keep you interested and kickstart your new account. Don’t waste any more time and sign up for Virginia online casino and get playing your favorite games.

Virginia Online Casinos FAQ

Yes, you can. While there are no online casinos currently licensed in Virginia, out of state and offshore operators allow residents to play their favorite casino games. You’re currently also able to place horse race bets online, as well as buy lottery tickets over the internet. Check out our state-specific guide to find out more.

If you’re looking for an online casino in Virginia, there are plenty of different options for you to consider. Check out our reviews for the best online casinos to play real money. Have a look at all the offers and features and find the best site for you. You may want to look for a certain type of game or bonus offers available to you.

Slot machines are currently not legal in the state of Virginia, but online slot machines are however a different story. There is no current legislation forbidding players from spinning their favourite reels and playing for real money at offshore online casinos that accept players from Virginia. These games come from the top developers in the industry and give you plenty of options.

Currently, there are no brick and mortar casinos in Virginia. However, there is legislation in the works that could allow the five cities of Bristol, Danville, Richmond, Portsmouth and Norfolk to start offering casino licenses. A local tribe has also been attempting to get the go ahead to build a casino on tribal land in the state in recent years.

If you are looking to gamble in Virginia, you need to be at least 18 years old and over. This includes placing bets on horse races, buying state lottery tickets, and playing historical racing machines at certain betting parlors. The same age limit applies if you are looking to sign up to an out of state online casino.

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