Virginia was once a state very limited in its gambling offerings. But it has made a remarkable turnaround – now it’s one of the most relaxed and developing states in the country in terms of gambling options. Virginia sports betting is now legal and retail casinos are currently being constructed.
Virginia gambling laws certainly adjusted quickly, so many people aren’t up to date and don’t know what to expect. This page will break down all of these developments and explain where things currently stand in this historic state, as well as explore Virginia online sports betting apps and bonuses.
Virginia Sports Betting Apps 2021
- Caesars Sportsbook – Risk free bet up to $5,000
- BetMGM – Risk free bet up to $600
- FanDuel Sportsbook – Risk free bet up to $1000
- BetRivers – 100% deposit match up to $250
- Unibet Sportsbook – $100 Free Bet
- WynnBET – Risk free bet up to $500
- DraftKings Sportsbook – 20% deposit match up to $1000 + $50 free bet with $5 deposit
Sports betting looks unique in Virginia. Some states outlaw retail sports betting and create online-only sports betting industries. However, Virginia has no casinos. So, it created an online-only sports betting industry without prohibiting retail sports betting. However, when Virginia voted for sports betting legalization, they also voted to allow five cities to decide whether they wanted to open casinos. So, Virginia may have to revisit the retail sports betting question within the next few months or years.
But in the meantime, bettors have online sportsbook apps to place wagers. Seven have launched in Virginia so far, with three sportsbooks still to come. Here’s the rundown on Virginia sports betting today and what bettors need to know about their sports betting options.
Best Virginia Sportsbooks
Virginia has seven live sportsbooks, each with its own pros and cons. They won’t be the only sportsbooks to come to Virginia. But they’ll form the bedrock of Virginia’s online sports betting landscape. Here are Virginia’s seven current sportsbooks.
BetMGM is often one of the first sportsbooks to launch in a new state. It launched in Virginia on January 27, 2021, shortly after DraftKings and FanDuel. It offers a $600 risk-free bet as a welcome bonus, which is a moderate bonus in the sportsbook market. But bettors can also accrue MLife points toward their MGM Grand rewards accounts. If bettors have that account already, then BetMGM may be a no-brainer for them. BetMGM’s game lines offer odds that are strong all around, giving bettors a chance at some of the most competitive odds on the market.
That depends on the odds and promotions other sportsbooks run, of course.
BetRivers is affiliated with the Rivers Casino, which has properties across the United States. But with a mobile sports betting app, the casino brand can expand its reach past its properties. It launched on Janurary 27, 2021, making a swift entry into Virginia’s new sports betting industry. BetRivers offers a 100% deposit match up to $250. That high match rate makes up for its low dollar amount. It makes it easier for bettors to redeem more bonus credits than higher-dollar deposit bonuses. Combined with a strong VIP rewards program, bettors have a lot to consider in a BetRivers account.
DraftKings launched in Virginia on January 24, 2021, making it the second major brand to enter Virginia’s young sports betting industry. DraftKings offers a 20% deposit match up to $1,000. That high dollar amount is eye-catching, but bettors must remember that DraftKings also has a playthrough requirement. After their first deposits, bettors must wager $25 before getting $1 in site credits. But with DraftKings’ strong odds on favorites, bettors should consider a DraftKings account for the competitive odds, not just the welcome bonus.
Get your exclusive DraftKings Sportsbook bonus offer for new players. Deposit $5 or more to receive a $50 free bet. That’s like a 1,000% deposit match credited as a free bet, which is one of the most generous online sports betting welcome bonuses.
FanDuel was Virginia’s first sportsbook app. It launched on January 21, 2021, the same day that sports betting went live. It offers a $1,000 risk-free bet, which is great for bettors who can afford to bet big from the beginning. However, it’s an easy welcome bonus to miss. It’s only good for a bettor’s first wager, so bettors must be attentive if they want to take advantage of it. FanDuel’s game lines offer competitive odds on underdogs, so bettors who wager on that side of the line consistently should consider a FanDuel account.
Unibet launched in Virginia at the end of April 2021. It has a unique bonus offer that may interest new bettors. Bettors get $40 as a no-deposit bonus just for signing up. With our link, bettors can also get a $1,000 risk-free bet. They’re pushing into Virginia hard, so bettors who are interested in starting with a large welcome bonus should consider creating a Unibet account.
William Hill (now Caesars) launched a few weeks after sports betting went live in Virginia. Caesars offers new bettors a $5,000 risk-free bet. Caesars Sportsbook offers strong odds all around, making it a must-check for bettors who shop for the best odds. It also offers a great loyalty program bettors will want to take advantage of.
WynnBet is a smaller sportsbook brand that launched in Virginia in late March 2021. Anyone who frequents the Wynn Casino and Resort will recognize the brand name. This is another sportsbook that extends a casino’s reach beyond retail locations. WynnBet offers bettors a $500 risk-free bet. It’s a moderately priced risk-free bet which bettors can easily redeem. Bettors just have to remember to take full advantage of their first wagers or they could miss the welcome bonus.
Online Sportsbooks That May Come To Virginia
Even though Virginia has seven live sportsbooks, it’s awarded ten sportsbook licenses. The remaining three will likely be the next sportsbooks to launch. Here are the top candidates for Virginia’s next sportsbooks.
Barstool Sportsbook is the sportsbook that branched out from Barstool Sports. It offers a $1,000 risk-free bet, which bettors must use on their first wagers if they plan to redeem it. Since Barstool Sportsbook is connected to Barstool Sports, bettors who consume Barstool Sports’ content will likely enjoy Barstool Sportsbook, too. David Portnoy’s personality comes through in the sportsbook, too. Since it has a Virginia sports betting license, bettors should watch for Barstool Sportsbook to be one of Virginia’s next market entrants.
Bally Bet is the Bally Casino’s new sportsbook app. It has a temporary sports betting license in Virginia, so bettors should expect Bally Bet to be one of Virginia’s next sportsbooks. It offers a $550 risk-free bet to its new bettors. As the latest in a long line of casino sportsbooks, bettors should expect to see other casino sportsbooks down the line, too.
Golden Nugget has spread quickly. It’s yet another casino sportsbook, which Golden Nugget Casino patrons will have picked up on. Golden Nugget offers a $250 risk-free bet to its new bettors. It’s the last of the three sportsbooks with Virginia sports betting licenses but no product in Virginia yet. However, since it’s in several other states and has been expanding quickly, Golden Nugget may beat the other two sportsbooks to Virginia.
Best Virginia Sportsbook Bonuses
There are many sportsbook bonuses on the market. But there are a few main types of bonuses that are common among welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions. Here’s what Virginians can expect to find in their new sportsbooks.
Risk-free bets aren’t exactly risk-free. Bettors have to deposit and wager their own money first. If they lose, then bettors will be credited their lost stakes up to a certain amount. That ‘certain amount’ is the high-dollar amount advertised. Bettors get site credits back instead of cash, so bettors must use them to place more bets. Risk-free bets don’t give bettors cash they can walk away with. Welcome bonuses can be generous, but not that generous.
Deposit bonuses are a bit of a misnomer. Bettors are rewarded site credits based on how much money they deposit in their accounts. However, sportsbooks also include a playthrough requirement that actually rewards the site credits. For example, DraftKings’ 20% match rate qualifies bettors for $1 in site credits for every $5 they deposit. But bettors also have to wager $25 before they’re awarded $1 in site credits. Bettors must pay attention to deposit bonus terms to see which ones are good deals and which ones are just flashy advertisements.
No-deposit bonuses are almost as simple as they look. Once bettors register their accounts, they get the advertised amount of money in site credits. However, site credits are only good for betting, not for withdrawing. If bettors want to withdraw money from sportsbooks, then they’ll have to win. But since these bonuses are the closest things that bettors will get to free money, these bonuses are often small. They’re usually between $25-$50. Occasionally, sportsbooks will push them higher. But bettors shouldn’t count on these bonuses to fund their accounts.
Loyalty, Rewards, And VIP Programs
Loyalty, rewards, and VIP programs award bettors with points that unlock various perks. These are especially valuable for big spenders. The highest spenders can unlock perks like personal banking attendants and other rewards that’ll make them feel like VIPs. However, these programs are best for bettors who not only wager big but wager big consistently. Splurging one weekend isn’t enough to reach the highest VIP or reward tiers. But bettors shouldn’t bankrupt themselves just for VIP rewards. Nothing in Tier ten will make up for the amount of money bettors have to spend to reach it.
Why Virginia Sportsbooks Are Safe To Use
Virginia sportsbooks are safe to use because of the combination of government oversight and market pressure.
Most of Virginia’s sportsbooks so far are large sportsbook brands in multiple states. They depend on their reputations in past and current states to secure access to future ones. Gaming Commissions consider past lawsuits or any other legal actions in deciding whether to award a sports betting license. Without a sports betting license, sportsbooks can’t legally operate in their chosen states. They also jeopardize their existing licenses, which could threaten current market leaders. Sportsbooks are incentivized to keep bettor data safe and avoid scandals that could hurt their businesses.
If they lost market access, sportsbooks would also struggle to compete against other sportsbooks. One of the reasons DraftKings and FanDuel are so big is because they’re early entrants. They stake claims in sportsbook markets early and grow their customer bases first. That ensures they maintain market dominance wherever they go. Even basic security practices like end-to-end encryption help sportsbooks keep bettor data safe. It’s widespread and keeps the Gaming Commissions happy. If bettors want to download a sportsbook, there is no safer option than a legal, licensed sportsbook.
Virginia Sportsbook FAQs
21. Virginia’s sports betting bill spells the sports betting age out clearer than many other state bills. It’s usually set to avoid conflicts with retail sportsbooks’ liquor licenses. However, Virginia still doesn’t have retail casinos. So, sports betting has just been grouped with a higher tier of gambling than, say, bingo.
The Virginia Lottery regulates Virginia’s sportsbooks. It sets the industry regulations, including sports betting license requirements. The Virginia Lottery keeps sportsbooks in line so bettors have safe sports betting options. It’s one of the most critical regulatory bodies in Virginia for avid bettors and gamblers.
It’s as safe as any other government-regulated industry can be. The Virginia Lottery had many examples to model its sports betting regulations on when it legalized sports betting. It also contains the same provisions that make sports betting safe in other states, including investigation procedures for sportsbooks that aren’t cutting it.
If bettors have a complaint with a sportsbook, then they can go through the sportsbook’s complaint resolution process. Failing that, the Virginia Lottery has a complaint resolution process for giving customer complaints extra weight. It gives disgruntled customers more resources to right whatever wrongs they believe were committed against them.
Virginia sportsbooks use standard security measures like end-to-end encryption. They also have to submit their software to be tested for security before the sportsbook can go live for bettors. Regulatory and market forces keep sportsbooks secure and bettors safe.
Virginia sportsbooks include these common deposit options:
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Bank Transfers
- Cash Deposits
These deposit methods are sufficiently tied to a bettor’s identity to be accepted by sportsbooks. Withdrawal methods are more restricted. Bettors may only find PayPal, bank transfers, or cash withdrawals. Larger sportsbooks offer more options, but these make up the core offering of sportsbook withdrawal methods.