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Virginia Online Poker Guide 2016

Virginia is not as open as states like Nevada or New Jersey when it comes to real money gambling laws, but the Old Dominion does offer some good wagering options for those who reside there or are visiting. You can place bets on horse and dog races, take part in charitable gambling and also play the Virginia state lottery.

Unfortunately there are no licensed casinos in Virginia however. You won’t find a commercial casino or a Native American tribal casino, and thus those in VA need to cross state lines if they want to experience the thrill playing at a gambling establishment that offers table games and slot machines.

When it comes to horse racing, pari-mutuel betting is legal and there is also EZ Horseplay technology, which allows people anywhere in the state to place real cash wagers on races by using their phone or the Internet. This facility is run by Colonial Downs and there are “100+ kiosk locations in bars/restaurants throughout Virginia.” You can also find legalized live and Simulcast dog racing in Virginia, and place wagers on those.

Virginia’s real money state lottery has been in operation since 1988 and pumps every cent of its profits into funding education in VA. You’ll find a big selection of draw and scratch card games to play, with prizes in the millions on a weekly basis and themed promotions running all year round.

Charitable bingo is legal in VA, providing all profits are directed as per state laws.

Read this page to find out the essentials, like:

  • Virginia State’s legal position on gambling
  • Where to play lawful Internet poker in VA
  • Hassle-free deposits and withdrawals
Virginia Online Poker Guide 2016

What’s on this page?

Online Gambling Law in Virginia

Online Gambling Law in Virginia

Online real cash gambling remains illegal in Virginia. An amendment was made to state legislation in 2011 to this effect, clarifying that bets made via the Internet are classed as breaking the law.

Thus far only three U.S. states have passed bills to legalize some form of online real money gambling – being Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. Virginia is not expected to be following that path anytime soon, but more on that later.

If you’re still unclear as to your legal right to access online casinos from Virginia, we would strongly advise you consult with a qualified legal professional. Some consider it a grey area, and there’s no doubt many folks in the state of VA regularly enjoy playing online for real cash.

Can Players from Virginia Play Online Poker?

Absolutely they do. Virginian poker lovers should have no problem finding real cash sites that accept their registration. It’s simply a case of finding the best poker site that works for you and getting an account set up. Once your decision is made you could be playing at a virtual table in a matter of minutes.

VA poker players should always perform due diligence before picking a real cash site to play at. Our advice is to consult a credible online poker portal, read reviews and ensure the site you’re going to play at is fully secure. You should also compare bonus offerings and the range of poker formats available.

Recent Developments

Virginia approved a horse racing bill in April 2016 that may see a “nonprofit coalition” allowed to run and operate off-track betting establishments, should Colonial Downs fail to renew their license.

The Facts

Virginia is not without its real cash gambling options, but if it’s table games and slot machines you’re after, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Bills have been discussed to try and bring a casino to VA, but as yet nothing has been passed to that effect.

The History of Gambling in Virginia

Virginia launched America’s first ever lottery, back in 1612, and by the mid-1700s betting on horse races had arrived in the Mother of Presidents state. VA has long had tight laws pertaining to real money gambling, however, and prevailing political opinion has long fallen on the conservative side of the fence.

VA’s state lottery came around in the mid-1980s and charitable gambling was approved in the mid-1990s.

Regulated Gambling Options in Virginia

The following would be classed as regulated gambling options in Virginia:

  • Pari-mutuel betting on horse and dog racing
  • Charitable betting, such as bingo
  • State lottery

The future of Regulated Online Gambling in Virginia

The future of Regulated Online Gambling in Virginia

It’s hard to be overly optimistic about VA’s prospects of legalizing real money online gambling right now. The state took a stance against online gambling with a 2011 amendment and continues to resist the notion of land-based casinos. You’d have to imagine those would need to come first before a serious debate over Internet gambling was presented.

That being said, you can’t rule out the impact of big success in the online gambling space should it produce for NJ, NV and DE. If that happens, you might find states like VA suddenly become more open to the idea.

The Bottom Line

Virginia is not as conservative as some other southern states, but there is still a long way to go in the Mother of States if it’s to genuinely compete as a real money gambling destination in the U.S.


  • [1]EZ Horseplay: About
  • [2] Virginia
  • [3]Assembly Approves Revised Horseracing Bill
  • [4]Poker Websites: Virginia
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