Virginia Sports Betting: Legal Sportsbooks, Promo Codes, and Bonuses

There's no better place in the country for online sports betting than the Commonwealth of Virginia. Sports betting officially became legal as of 2021, and is already exploding. Sports bettors agree there's never been a better time to get in on the action through the best of the Virginia online sportsbook operators. Plenty of places want to take your sports bets, and it can all be a little overwhelming. We'll break down who the top online sports betting players are in Virginia and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Latest Gambling News in Virginia

Part of our mission is to consistently provide up-to-date Virginia gambling news and developments. We do that both with stories and through social media. As new betting sites launch and new issues and legislation emerge, we will have the latest details for you.

Top Virginia Sports Betting Sites

Virginia Sportsbooks are licensed and overseen by the Virginia Lottery Board, which reviews applications for legal betting operators and set forth Virginia's sports betting rules statewide. At press time, there are 11 operators who bring legal sports betting to your computers and phones. While plenty meet the industry standards for safety and security, as well as bells and whistles like live betting during games and cash-out features, some stand above others. Here are a few of our favorites:

Caesars Sportsbook VA: Best Sportsbook for Loyalty Program Perks

The Caesars as a brand goes back nearly a hundred years and has a rock-solid reputation as a trustworthy operation, and they feature a spectacular rewards program with great perks at their many casino resort hotels and other affiliated properties. Caesars Sportsbook Virginia also integrates their online casino in states where that's legal, and you can expect them to do the same when casino gambling comes to Virginia. And if that's not enough for you, Caesars Virginia Sportsbook is now the sports betting partner of the Baltimore Ravens, the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Capitals.

Read our Caesars Sportsbook Virginia Review.

💪 Favorable reputation dates back generations
💰 Great Welcome Bonus
⭐️ Rewards program is excellent for avid gamblers.
🏈 Partnerships with several Mid-Atlantic teams.
✍️ Offer: $1,500 Deposit Match
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now!

BetMGM Virginia: Best Sports Betting Site for New Bettors

BetMGM opened to Virginia bettors in January of 2021 and made a splash with its user-friendly interface and promotions geared toward new players. BetMGM also has partnerships with the Washington Nationals, and features a loyalty program associated with MGM Resorts International.

Read our BetMGM Sportsbook Virginia Review.

💪 Many Features to Help New Players
⚾️ Association with Washington Nationals
✍️ Offer: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now!

FanDuel Sportsbook VA: Best Mobile Sportsbook App Experience

Betfair has been operating Daily Fantasy games for years under the FanDuel name, and FanDuel Sportsbook was the first online sportsbook to open in Virginia, beating DraftKings to the punch by just a couple of days. FanDuel Sportsbook quickly became the most popular of the online sportsbooks in the Commonwealth, due in part to its partnership with the NFL's Washington Commanders.

The FanDuel sportsbook app is in rarified air, providing a complete and clean user experience with a comprehensive array of sports betting markets, promo options, live betting and daily fantasy games and (where available) casino gambling.

Read our FanDuel Sportsbook Virginia Review.

🏈 Washington Commanders and DC United partnerships
💪 One of the Cleanest and Easiest Platforms to Use
✍️ Offer: $1,000 Risk-Free Bet
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now!

DraftKings Sports Betting VA: Best Sportsbook for Daily Fantasy Sports Players

The second online sportsbook to open after Virginia legalized sports betting (and a couple days after FanDuel sportsbook), DraftKings' reputation as a major player in Daily Fantasy Sports preceded it. A DFS player will find a familiar look, and while the promos favor new players, most sports betting enthusiasts agree that there's a lot to like here.

Read our DraftKings Sportsbook Virginia Review.

💪 Solid Reputation in the Online Gambling Space Built through Years in DFS
🏈 Boasts an Unmatched Amount of Sports Betting Markets as well as Pools and other Interesting Contests
✍️ Offer: Bet $1, win $100, plus 20% deposit bonus up to $1,000
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now!

Unibet VA: Best Online Sportsbook for Parlay Boosts

Unibet began in its founder's home in London and has been taking bets online since 1999. Today Unibet operates in twelve different languages and over 100 countries. When it comes to sports betting in Virginia, the parlay profit booster is where the action is, and they've been offering competitive NFL bonuses all season long.

Read our Unibet Sportsbook Virginia Review.

💪 Great Credibility Built from by a Generation of Taking Bets Online in Europe
🏈 Extensive Array of International Betting Markets
⭐️ $10 Free Bet Weekly for Placing 5 Qualifying Live Bets
✍️ $500 Risk-Free Bet
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now!

BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia: Best Betting Site for Pro Football Odds Boosts

BetRivers is a piece of Rush Street Interactive, a Chicago-based operator who first opened SugarHouse Casino4Fun in 2015. and has been in direct competition with other online sportsbooks since August of 2018 when they set up shop in New Jersey. The welcome offer is pretty nice, without a whole lot of playthrough required to get the most out of the promotion. They also have football odds boosters you won't see anywhere else, and a great rewards program.

Read our BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia Review.

💪 Welcome Program is Easy to Maximize
📈 Streaming Option on Some Sports Betting Markets
🏈 NFL Boosts about as Good as they Get
✍️ $250 in Free Bet Credits with $250 Initial Deposit
📲 App Offered: iOS and Android
⭐️ Bet Now

Online Sports Betting Sites Not Available in Virginia

The way the Virginia sports betting law was crafted, not every operator who wanted to hang their shingle was given the chance. To encourage competition without completely flooding the market, legally there must be a minimum of four sports betting apps and a maximum of 12.

But that's not confusing enough to be made a law, so the operators tethered to one of the state's five proposed brick and mortar casinos don't count toward the minimum. And the ones who partner with one of the pro sports teams don't count toward the minimum or the maximum. Got it? So when it's all said and done, the Virginia lottery could be overseeing 17 operators in total. Even so, some got left out in the cold on day one.

Bet365

Bet365 is a European company that established a foothold in the states by partnering with the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City. Although they're well regarded across Europe, they're not expanding into the states as quickly as they may have expected. Because their American footprint has so far been tied to physical casinos everywhere they operate, it may take a similar partnership to bring Bet365 into the fold when it comes to betting in Virginia.

FoxBET

You've probably heard some chatter about FOXBET if you've watched much of this NFL season or last year's MLB playoffs. At the moment they're a smaller operator, but with a huge entertainment company affiliation and big plans for expansion into other markets, you can expect they'll be up and running in Virginia just as soon as there's an open lane. Until they get a chance to provide legalized sports betting, players will have to enjoy their free games if they want their fix of Howie Long's perfectly square head looking back at them while they play.

SI Sportsbook

888Sport's portfolio reaches from their offices in Gibraltar and into nine US states. They've partnered with one of the most recognizable names in the game, Sports Illustrated, to roll out SI Sportsbook in the states. As yet they're not in a place to run in Virginia, but they were recently issued a sports betting license by the folks at the Virginia Lottery, and now it's only a matter of the logistics before the doors open. They're entering a crowded market as it is, but the legacy name could give them a leg up on some of the other latecomers.

Mobile Sports Betting Apps in Virginia

If you're excited to start betting in Virginia and want to take advantage of one of the retail sportsbooks, forget it. There aren't any, not until one of the big boys opens the first casino resort in the Commonwealth. Until then, you're going to have to use one of the Virginia Online Sportsbooks, whether it be through their sites or apps. We're big proponents of the apps around here.

You don't have to keep yourself bolted to your desk; all you need is your phone, which, admit it, is probably within 10 feet of you at all times. Any of the books worth your time are going to be available to you whether you're on Android or iOS, and many of them also have a separate instance optimized for tablet users. The apps generally provide the same options as the corresponding websites.

But as long as you're in Virginia, you can bet from the gym, the mall, even the bathtub, and you can't put a price on that.

Virginia Sports Betting Market Options

No matter which of the Virginia Betting Site you opt for, you can expect a lot of overlap in the sports betting options you'll find when you open up the app. There's plenty of variation too, with some going in deep on international sports leagues and sports that are pretty obscure in America. But the traditional four major sports leagues in the country are well-represented wherever you go. It's when you want to bet on professional table tennis live from Moscow that you may have to dig.

  • Hockey Betting (NHL)

    One of the biggest markets for sports wagering is hockey, and Virginia bettors have a couple of teams in the vicinity to choose from. Of the nearby teams, the Carolina Hurricanes are exploring options for an in-arena sportsbook, but the Capitals are already partnered up with one of the big operators. Maybe you've seen the Caesars Sportsbook logos on their jerseys. Traditionally, moneyline wagers have been the most popular form of NHL betting, but in-game betting lends itself particularly well to the non-stop action found in a hockey game.

  • Basketball Betting (NBA)

    Pro basketball is America's second-largest betting market, and with a long season full of fast-paced games, it's easy to see the opportunities from the usual point spreads and over/unders to endless chances for live betting. It's also a sport that lends itself well to parlays and round robin bets, so it's clear to see why the sports betting industry is as bullish as they are on the NBA. The nearby NBA teams don't have official partnerships with the sports betting operators as yet, but expect that to change soon as the Wizards have worked with William Hill (now part of Caesars), and the Hornets have a relationship with DraftKings through their DFS games.

  • Baseball Betting (MLB)

    If you like to play the long game, MLB betting may be the road you want to take. Baseball may lack the frenetic pace of hockey or basketball or the cultural imprint of the NFL, but the play is well-suited to moneyline bets, and the relaxed speed allows ample opportunity to find favorable odds in live sports gambling scenarios. Nationals fans especially may see something they like with their official sports betting partner, BetMGM.

  • Football Betting (NFL)

    The true juggernaut for sports betting revenue is the NFL. It's head and shoulders above the other markets when it comes to sports wagering. Point spread and over/under bets alone make for plenty of action, but with the popularity of the sport, the books are always looking for other ways to encourage people to bet on the NFL. Parlays are huge, and many operators will offer teasers or pleasers in addition to round-robin options. All three local teams have their own betting partners - the Ravens and Panthers work with Caesars, while FanDuel Sportsbook came out strong by pairing with the Washington Commanders.

Other Popular Options for Sports Betting in Virginia

That's only the beginning. All the major operators offer sports betting on combat sports, tennis, and soccer, which is the most popular betting sport worldwide. FanDuel Sportsbook has also partnered with DC United of MLS. And there's even more!

📲 Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

Build your team ahead of a day full of action and win if your players' real-life stats play out well. Virginia was actually the first state to put laws and regulations on the books around DFS games. Just like the betting apps, the Virginia Lottery oversees the practices of the DFS providers.

🐎 Horse Racing

Pari-Mutuel betting on horse racing became legal in Virginia in 1989. Colonial Downs in New Kent offers instant win games, and five off-track betting parlors are found in the Commonwealth. Additionally, three sites that focus on gambling on horse races are operational.

🎮 eSports

SB 384, passed in 2020, explicitly provides for legal eSports betting. Meaning that in VA, sports betting includes the ability to wager on certain video game tournaments. Because this is still a pretty niche sport, you may need to try a couple of different shops before you find a place that will take your action.

🗳 Elections

Betting on elections is illegal in Virginia, and every other state in the union for that matter. It was legal in West Virginia, but only for about an hour before they put the kibosh on it. Officials even said they "screwed up", so don't expect to see that course reversed any time soon.

🏆 Pop Culture Ceremonies

What if you want to bet on the Academy Awards? In Virginia, there's technically no law that prohibits it, but you're still probably not going to get that chance, at least not this year. It appears the operators are going to hold off until it's explicitly regulated, so as not to run afoul of the Virginia lottery.

Promotions & Offers at Virginia Online Sportsbooks

As previously mentioned, the sports betting regulations were put into place to encourage competition among the houses. This can be a boon to players who want to try betting sites in Virginia, as the big players in the sports betting industry are falling all over themselves to get people playing on their field. Check the offers carefully and see what works best for you.

Risk-Free Bets

One of the most common welcome promotions are risk-free bets. Some places will even offer a $1,000 risk-free bet. What does this really mean? You can't lose on your first bet, up to the amount you wager. If you win, you win, if you lose, you get your amount wagered back. But check the terms and conditions carefully, because most places get you back in credits toward future bets, rather than cash. There may also be a "use 'em or lose 'em" policy to get you to use the bet credits quickly as well. So that $1,000 risk-free bet is tempting, sure. But make sure you know what you're agreeing to.

Deposit Match

The initial deposit match is another popular welcome bonus you'll commonly see in sports betting apps. With a deposit match, you'll get your initial deposit met by the house. The thing to watch out for here is the rollover requirement -- how many times you'll need to bet with this bonus money before you're allowed to withdraw any of it. Fortunately, the competition that's out there keeps this number low - usually only 1 to 3 times. Compare this to the bet match - where the house will kick the equivalent to your stake in on a qualifying bet.

Referral Bonuses

Most of the major books will offer a referral bonus - send a special link to your family, friends, coworkers or adversaries. If your contact signs up through your link and makes a deposit to their bankroll, you both get some bet credits. It's not as good as cash, but a free bet is a free bet.

Odds Boosts

Another common promotion is the odds boost. This is simply a the moving of the line to favor the player rather than the house. An example of this is a promotion where two players combine for more than 10 3-pointers in a basketball game. If the odds were meant to be +175, an odds boost could notch it up to +200. Same circumstance, better payout if it comes through. Several operators offer a new slate of odds boosts every day.

How To Choose a Sports Betting Site in Virginia

Many factors can go into the decision of which of the Virginia Online Sportbooks is right for you. Whether you're looking to rack up reward program points or can't get enough risk-free bets, you'll need to decide what's important to you. Here's what we look for, in case you hadn't considered these factors yet.

Variety Of Bets Allowed

Sports bettors want to know that they can place the wagers they want on the sports they prefer to play on. Everyone's going to give you point spreads for the next Washington Commanders game and allow for parlays in the college basketball betting section. But if you like obscure prop bets or the chance to bet on some of the more obscure sports, you'll have to do some digging. Make sure you can bet your way before you lay any money down.

Competitive Lines and Odds

At best, you're going to want the most favorable odds available to you. But at the very least, you need to know that the odds you're given through Virginia sportsbooks are fair and competitive to the ones that other bettors are getting. You also want to be sure that the lines will pay out in a way that it's worth your time and attention. You may also find better odds for, say, baseball, with one operator and more favorable lines for hockey on a different app. Don't be afraid to shop around.

If you've never read sports betting lines in the American odds format, these are the basics: A plus sign refers to an underdog, a minus sign refers to a favorite. The number indicates how heavy the odds are, and what kind of a payout you can expect if it hits.

Betting Bonus Frequency

Keep an eye on the Virginia sports betting operators to see what kind of promotions they offer, and how often they roll out. You'll see some places offering daily odds boosts, risk-free bets, or insurance to protect a parlay that misses a single leg. As far as we're concerned over here, there are enough places offering deposit bonuses or risk-free bets that there's just not a lot of sense using one that doesn't do that.

Friendly User Interface

All the promos and great odds in the world aren't going to help you if you can't actually place the darn bet. Mobile betting apps and websites alike need secure, stable software that allows users to quickly and easily record the wager they want. If the website is fine but the app crashes (or the other way around), that's no good either. Give us a sports betting experience where we don't have to worry about breaking when we're just trying to bet the Washington Commanders on the moneyline.

Deposits and Withdrawals for Online Sportsbooks

If you can't get your money in and out of your sports betting account, what's the point? Suppose you want to place a bet but your bankroll is empty. It's crucial to get that money in there before the lines change on you. So we prefer to see a multitude of options for bankrolling and payouts, and ideally a quick turnaround when it comes to withdrawals. After all, what fun is it to cash in on a big parlay if you have to wait for a check in the mail?

Customer Support

Every one of the operators has some kind of recourse for the customer should something go wrong. Something going wrong, by the way, doesn't mean complaining about a bad beat. That's just part of the game. But if you need assistance due to a software error or a compromised account, that's a different story. The most helpful options we've used are live chat support for speed, and email for ease of record-keeping, so we favor houses that use those types of support.

Bet Types & Sports Wagers At Legal Virginia Betting Sites

Due to the VA sports betting law, one thing you'll find is that you won't be able to bet on Virginia college sports. This is one of the regulations in place and if you want to keep your online sports betting legal (which we recommend, by the way), you'll have to abide by it. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to play.

Moneyline

Probably the easiest bet there is, you're simply picking a winner. The minus is the favorite, the plus the underdog, and the number tells you what you'd win based on a $100 bet. A minus sign indicates how much you'd have to bet to net $100 in winnings, a plus sign what you'd get on top of your $100 stake should you win.

Parlay Bets

Parlays, which are wildly popular in basketball and football markets, are a way to combine single bets so they're dependent on each other. Each piece of the parlay (leg) has to hit or the entire bet is a loss. Why would a sane person do this? Every leg makes for longer odds, sure, but also increases the potential payout considerably.

Totals

A totals bet, also known as an over/under, is a bet on the combined score of the two teams. You'll often see them set in terms of half-points to avoid a push (tie). All you're doing is wagering on whether the final score will total more or fewer points than the number offered.

Point Spreads

The point spread is the easiest way to level the playing field for bettors on a pair of mismatched teams. Rather than the winner or loser, you're betting on the difference in the final score. The favorite has to "cover" the spread, meaning a -9.5 point favorite would have to win by 10 points or more to cover. The underdog can lose that same game by up to 9 points and still cover their bets. Spreads are far and away the most popular form of bet in football and basketball.

Futures

Futures bets are wagers on events that take place further out than a few days. An example of a futures bet would be putting a wager down in August for Alabama to win the College Football Playoff National Championship, or the Nationals to win the World Series before pitchers and catchers report.

Prop Bets

A prop bet is any bet not related to the final score of a contest. It could be an over/under on a college football team's total receiving yards in the first half, or which basketball player notches the first offensive rebound in a game.

Live Bets

Live bets are a fun new wrinkle courtesy of Virginia online sports betting. The apps offer the chance to place bets during a game based on the events that have already taken place. This can be a lane for a shrewd gamblers to make some headway, as the operators simply don't have the time to research every possible permutation ahead of time. Just make sure you grab a good line when you see it, as the odds may change by the next play.

Prohibited Bets

It bears repeating. Virginia sports betting laws do not provide for legal wagers on college sports teams that are based in Virginia, such as Virginia Tech. It's the law, and it's pretty common, there are similar regulations on college sports betting in New Jersey and New York, for instance. Virginia Tech alum may be upset that they can't wager on the alma mater, but there are plenty of other forms of college football betting available.

Virginia Online Sports Betting Legislation

The push to legalize sports betting in Virginia goes back to when the lottery was legalized in 1997. Daily Fantasy came about in 2016 and when the state lottery when online in 2018 it began to look like only a matter of time.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed the sports betting bill into law in April of 2020, which provided for both online and retail sportsbooks. Because there are no brick and mortar casinos in Virginia as yet, there was considerable delay between legalization and implementation. The Virginia Lottery Board chose which of the operators would qualify for a sports betting license, and The first bets were taken January 22, 2021 when FanDuel sportsbook hit the scene.

Sports Betting and Taxes in VA

All gambling winnings are considered taxable income, and it's your responsibility to report gambling income on your tax return. State taxes in Virginia range from 2% to 5.75%, and you can expect to pay taxes on any Virginia sports betting revenue, as well as any winnings coming from slots, the Virginia Lottery, or horse racing.

How to Deposit and Withdraw from Virginia Betting Sites

Different houses accept different forms of payment, but the ones common across most of the operators include debit cards, online banking, PayPal, Play+ and other prepaid cards, and ACH e-checks. You may also see credit cards, PayNearMe, or Venmo depending on where you choose to play. The transactions are secure and can be trusted with any of the operators regulated by the Commonwealth.

You'll see similar options for banking when it comes to withdrawals. Obviously, the electronic transfers move the fastest, but make sure you know how long you should expect to wait before hassling a customer support rep about it.

Retail Sports Betting vs. Mobile Sports Betting

When the brick-and-mortar casinos come to Virginia, it's worth checking out the retail sportsbooks on the off chance you like them better. In our experience, the mobile sports betting experience is better all around. But judge for yourself. If you want to shop the lines, it's easier to switch between apps than to drive from one casino to the other. The odds boosts and other promotions come much more fast and furious on the apps, and (best of all), if you want to lay on the floor in front of the TV your underwear and play, there isn't some pit manager who'll tell you not to.

RELATED: Virginia Sports Betting Posts Second-Highest Handle Month in March

Virginia Legal Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

📆 May 2018 Federal ban on wagering on sports lifted
📆 April 2020Sports betting proposals passed both Virginia legislative bodies.
📆 July 2020Lawmakers announce sports betting would become legal.
📆 September 2020Lottery Board announced regulations for VA sports betting, including exclusion of Virginia Tech and other teams representing college sports in Virginia.
📆 January 2021FanDuel becomes the first legal online sports betting operator in Virginia, followed quickly by DraftKings, BetMGM and BetRivers in the same month.

Responsible Gambling

As part of the regulations laid out, every legal operator must provide access to resources to encourage responsible betting. These include limits you can set through your accounts on money and time spent over a particular period of time. You can also opt for a "cool off" period where your account is temporarily disabled. If you think you may have a problem, please consider the Virginia Lottery Voluntary Exclusion Program or contact the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling.

Learn More about VA Online Sports Betting

When done responsibly, wagering on sports can be an entertaining and even lucrative pastime, and add a little sizzle to your sports fan experience. We recommend carefully reading our reviews as well as the terms and conditions of any book you'd consider playing, setting and sticking to limits for yourself, and above all, have fun!

Contributors

Joss Wood @xPeru

Contributor since

Over the last 11 years, Joss has written about all aspects of online betting for some of the top online publications in gambling. After a career as an Army officer, he spent time in business before taking up online poker. He eventually found himself immersed in all things gambling, including casino gaming and sports betting. Now Joss spends his day crafting content to help bettors in Virginia take the emerging sports betting market head-on.