Casinos in Virginia are somewhat of a tough find seeing as there are none available in the state. With Virginia having such strict regulations around gambling, residents are really only left with a few options, especially after the Colonial Downs Racetrack closed in 2014 due to a lack of interest. This effectively removed all horse racing betting opportunities in the state for Virginian horse betting fans. That said, there are still some options available to avid gamblers in Virginia before they consider exploring other states. These include bingo and daily fantasy sports (DFS).
If you would like to learn more about gambling in Virginia, make sure to read on down below. We have a good look at the laws governing gambling in the state, the options available to bettors, and the history surrounding gambling, among other things. So, read on and find out all you need to know about casinos in the great state of Virginia.
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As with many states, Virginia has quite specific laws around gambling, meaning that some forms are legal but others aren’t. Gamblers in the state need to be 18 years old in order to gamble and are only able to bet on bingo, horse racing, the lottery, or DFS. Private residence gambling is also allowed (for example, a real money poker game with your friends) as long as it does not develop into a legitimate money-making operation. Any person found to be running an illegal gambling operation that is older than 30 days or makes more than US$2,000 a day is committing a felony.
It is important to note that due to the laws surrounding gambling in the state, payment agreements cannot be enforced. This means that if you lose money gambling in a way that violates state laws, there is a good chance that you can get it back.
In terms of online gambling, the only legal form available is that of DFS. In addition to this, gamblers in Virginia are also able to place mobile horse racing bets as long as they use an app that is working with a licensed track within the state. But seeing as there are no racing tracks in Virginia at the moment, it is impossible to do so.
Popular Gambling Games in Virginia
As explained with the laws governing casinos in Virginia, there are only a limited number of options available to players. Each has been listed down below:
- State Lottery – players are able to enter into the state lottery to win massive instant cash prizes that could change their lives.
- Bingo – there are many public halls that offer players the opportunity to play this extremely popular lottery game for real money or other prizes.
- Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) – sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel have been given licenses to operate in the state, meaning that gamblers in Virginia can test their knowledge of sports and luck by creating the ultimate team.
- Horse Racing – although horse racing is allowed, there are no racetracks in the state that provide gamblers with a chance to bet.
List of Casinos
While there are no actual brick-and-mortar casinos in Virginia, there are over 600 bingo halls available that offer players the chance to play the fun lottery game. If players are looking to play more traditional casino games, they can opt at visiting land-based casinos in neighboring states, such as Maryland, West Virginia or North Carolina.
Casinos in Virginia History
Virginia doesn’t really have a strong history of gambling. Although horse racing was pretty popular between the 16th and 19th century, the state outlawed it in 1897. As with many things, this did not stop gamblers from betting on horse racing or underground communities forming around it.
There wasn’t really all that much available to Virginia gamblers outside of illegal activities until real money bingo games were legalized in 1973. This paved the way for a state lottery, which was launched in 1988.
By 1997, horse racing betting was legalized again and this coincided with the opening of the Colonial Downs Racetrack. The track didn’t really garner as much interest as was hoped and was eventually closed in 2014 due to lack of interest. It is still legal to bet on horse racing though, even if there is no way to do it.
Virginia Casino FAQs
Are there casinos in Virginia?
No, there aren’t unfortunately. There aren’t even any Indian casinos in Virginia. If players are looking to play casino games such as slots, roulette, or craps, at a brick-and-mortar casino, they will need to visit a casino in a neighboring state. Alternatively, they have the option of visiting one of the many bingo halls available.
Are casinos legal in Virginia?
No, they are not. Any person found to be operating illegal gambling casinos in Virginia is most likely committing a felony based on how long it has been open and how much revenue it has brought in.
What forms of gambling are legal in Virginia?
Residents in Virginia are able to bet on the state lottery, daily fantasy sports, and bingo. Theoretically, they can also bet on horse racings but there are no available opportunities in the state.
In addition to this, players are able to participate in their own private gambling tournaments as long as it does not evolve into an enterprise.
Are online casinos legal in Virginia?
No, they are not. Residents in Virginia are only able to gamble through avenues that have garnered approval from the state government. At the moment, this really just means DFS through FanDuel and DraftKings.
What is the minimum gambling age in Virginia?
Residents in Virginia are able to start gambling from the age of 18. As there are so few gambling opportunities in the state, there aren’t any exceptions to this rule.
Where are the nearest casinos to Virginia?
If you are really looking at gambling at a real casino, you may want to have a look at the options available to you in West Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. It all depends on where you live in the state.