There is little in the way of gambling in Virginia. There is a state lottery. Horseracing is legal, but there are no operating tracks. There is also some charity gaming and a couple of online versions available.
The Virginia Lottery is the only organized form of gambling in the state. It was created in 1988. Scratch-off tickets, lotto and Fast Play games are available through the Virginia Lottery.
Fast Play games are instant games played on a lottery kiosk. It is similar to video keno. Lotto drawings include in state and interstate drawings. Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash4Life are the biggest jackpot games.
Virginia Horse Racing
Horseracing is legal in Virginia. There are no tracks in operation. Colonial Downs was the last one. It opened in 1997. The track shuttered in 2015 when it could not come to terms with the state’s racing commission and horsemen. The gaming facilities were shuttered. This included its simulcast betting facilities, as well as its website that accepted off-track bets. The park is still used for horse shows but all gaming operations are closed.
Virginia Online Betting
While Colonial Downs shuttered its online betting operation, it is still legal to make off-track wagers in Virginia. TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica are among the sites that accept Virginia players. The odds are the same at each site. That is because horse racing uses pari-mutuel betting pools. The only difference between the sites is the promotions.
In March 2016, Virginia became the first US state to regulate fantasy sports, this includes daily fantasy sports as well as season-long competitions.
There are many websites that accept bets from Virginians that are not licensed. These sites offer poker, casino games and sports betting. These businesses are not legal in Virginia. Players should understand that there is a risk in losing funds deposited on these websites.
Virginia Charity Gambling
Charities are permitted to offer some games of chance. This includes raffles and bingo. Proceeds must go directly to the charity. Those outside the organizations may not profit from the activity.
Online gaming works — it’s been licensed in Europe for years, and in the US it’s already licensed in New Jersey, Nevada, and in Delaware. If you are a resident of the fine state of Virginia, don’t just sit there — make your voice heard.