Virginia is in the middle of a gambling expansion. Voters legalized casinos in 2020. Two are open with construction still ongoing. Two more have been approved by voters. Virginia casinos offer the typical slate of games. Sports betting launched on mobile apps in 2021. There is a Virginia Lottery with standard lotto games. Online ticket sales and instant games are also available.
Virginia has one live horse racing track and multiple off-track betting parlors. Mobile betting apps for horses are also legal. Additionally, historical horse racing machines are permitted at live racetracks and satellite facilities.
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New casinos in Virginia
Casinos in Virginia are regulated by the Virginia Lottery. The authority was granted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2020. Voters approved four casinos by local referendums that November. Casinos may offer slots, live and electronic table games, live poker, and sports betting.
The first casino in Virginia opened in Bristol on July 8, 2022. Then, the second casino opened its doors on January 23, 2023, in Portsmouth. The Danville one launched on May 15, 2023. The Norfolk casino is still awaiting final approval. While restaurants may be accessible to minors, casino games are limited to guests 21 years of age and older. The casinos are in temporary facilities while permanent ones are under construction.
Hard Rock Casino Bristol – 500 Gate City Hwy, Bristol, VA
In 2024, construction is expected to finish on Virginia’s first casino, Hard Rock Casino Bristol. The temporary casino is located in the old Bristol Mall. Plans include a hotel with 800 rooms and an outdoor pool.
On July 8, 2022, it opened as Bristol Casino. The location currently has over 20 table games, almost 900 slots, a Hard Rock Sportsbook, and three restaurants.
Rivers Casino Portsmouth – 3630 Victory Blvd, Portsmouth, VA
Rivers Casino Portsmouth is the second casino to open in Virginia. It has more than 1,400 slots, 81 table games, a poker room, and a BetRivers Sportsbook. There are multiple dining options, an event center, and a Topgolf Swing Suite. A hotel expansion is also planned for the property.
Caesars Virginia – Danville, VA – 1100 West Main Street, Danville, VA
The temporary Caesars Danville casino opened on May 15, 2023. The permanent structure is expected to open in 2024. Plans include 1,300 slots, 85 table games, 24 electronic table games, a 25-table WSOP poker room, a Caesars Sportsbook, and a 500-room hotel. Property amenities will include multiple restaurants, a pool, a spa, and an event center.
HeadWaters Casino – Norfolk, VA
In Norfolk, local voters also approved a casino that is expected to open in 2024. Headwaters casino is being built by the Pamunkey Indian Tribe. Its location is planned next to Harbor Park and Norfolk’s Amtrak Station. Plans include slot machines, table games, a sportsbook, multiple restaurants, a 300-room hotel, a spa, as well as indoor and outdoor pools.
Sports betting in Virginia
The Virginia General Assembly authorized the Virginia Lottery to regulate sports betting in 2020. Sportsbooks are permitted at casinos. Sports bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Mobile sports betting is also available throughout the state. Authorized sportsbooks include Bally Bet, Bet365, Betfred, BetMGM, BetRivers, BetWay, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Sportsbook, Sports Illustrated, Unibet, and WynnBet.
Approved sports wagers in Virginia
Most professional sports leagues and NCAA Division I sports are approved in Virginia. However, wagers may not be placed on any college team that is located in Virginia. Wagering on high school sports and equivalent-level clubs is also prohibited.
Wagers approved by the Virginia Lottery include single-game bets, teasers, parlays, moneylines, over/under bets, pools, exchange wagering, in-game wagering, and propositions. However, proposition bets with negative outcomes (injuries, penalties, etc), wagers on drafts, and bets on trophy awards like the Heisman are prohibited.
Approved events include Australian Rules Football, baseball, basketball, boxing, bull riding, cricket, darts, football, golf, ice hockey, jai alai, lacrosse, MMA, motorsports, Olympics (summer and winter), rugby, snooker, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis, and volleyball. Available bets may vary by sportsbook.
Online gambling options in Virginia
Online sports wagering is available through daily fantasy sports contests and sportsbooks in Virginia. Daily fantasy sports contests are available to players 18 years and older while sportsbooks are limited to 21 years of age and older. Lottery tickets may only be purchased online by residents of the state.
Sweepstakes contests are also allowed in Virginia. Sweepstake games are free to play. However, packages are available to purchase additional gameplay and chances to win. Players must be at least 18 years of age to participate in sweepstakes contests.
Virginia horse racing
In Virginia, there is one remaining horse racetrack and multiple satellite facilities. Wagers may be placed at live horse races, at off-track betting parlors, and on historical horse racing machines. Pari-mutuel bettors must be at least 18 years of age.
Virginia residents may also wager on races using mobile betting apps. Approved apps include NYRA Bets, TVG, TwinSpires Racing, and Xpressbet.
Colonial Downs – 10515 Colonial Downs Pkwy, New Kent, VA
Colonial Downs hosts live thoroughbred horse racing from mid-July through early September. Races are held Thursday through Saturday with a post time of 1:30pm. The racetrack has two racing surfaces. There is an inner grass racetrack and an outer dirt track.
Accompanied minors are welcome to attend live racing events at Colonial Downs. There is no charge for parking or general admission. Reserved seats in the Grandstand are available starting at $5.
Historical horse racing locations
In addition to simulcast wagering, historical horse racing (HHR) machines are permitted through the Virginia Racing Commission. Using historical racing information in the background, these machines look and play like traditional slots. These games are found at Colonial Downs and its affiliated Rosie’s locations. Players must be at least 21 years old.
|Rosie’s in New Kent (inside Colonial Downs) |
Friday & Saturday 8am-4am
|Rosie’s in Dumfries|
Friday & Saturday 8am-4am
|Rosie’s Game Room|
37 machines & OTB
Friday & Saturday 8am-4am
|Rosie’s in Hampton|
|Rosie’s in Richmond|
|Rosie’s in Vinton|
Friday & Saturday 8am-4am
|Rosie’s in Emporia||Coming fall 2023|
Off-track betting parlors
Simulcast wagering is available at two VA Horseplay locations, in addition to the above Rosie’s locations.
- Breakers Sports Grille – 9127 W. Broad St, Henrico, VA
- Buckets Bar & Grill – 228 North Battlefield Blvd, Chesapeake, VA
State lottery in Virginia
Voters approved the Virginia Lottery in 1987. Since then, its oversight has expanded from lotto tickets and drawings to sports betting and casinos.
Lottery games include instant games, Mega Millions, Powerball, Cash 4 Life, Cash 5, Pick 4, Pick 3, keno, and scratch-off tickets. In Virginia, lottery tickets can be purchased by residents online.
Players must be at least 18 years of age to play lottery games in Virginia.
Virginia Gambling FAQs
What casinos are open in the state of Virginia?
Hard Rock Bristol, Rivers Casino Portsmouth, and Caesars Danville are now open in Virginia.
What is the minimum age to gamble in Virginia casinos?
Casino players must be at least 21 years of age in Virginia.
Are casinos legal in the state of Virginia?
Yes. Voters legalized casinos in 2020. The first casino, Hard Rock Bristol, opened in July 2022.
What types of games are allowed in Virginia casinos?
Virginia casinos may offer slots, table games, live poker, and sports betting.
Are sportsbooks legal in the state of Virginia?
Yes. Retail and mobile sportsbooks are legal in Virginia for players 21 years and older.
Is sports betting legal in the state of Virginia?
Yes. Online and mobile sports betting is legal in Virginia for players 21 years and older.
What online gambling options are available in Virginia?
Available online gambling options in Virginia include daily fantasy sports contests, sports betting, horse racing, lottery tickets, and sweepstakes games.
Are live horse races held in Virginia?
Yes. Live thoroughbred races are held at Colonial Downs in Virginia.
Can you bet on horse races in Virginia?
Yes. Wagers may be placed at live races, off-track betting parlors, and using mobile apps.
What is the minimum age to wager on horse races in Virginia?
Horse bettors must be at least 18 years of age in Virginia.
Does Virginia have a state lottery?
Yes. The Virginia Lottery offers lotto drawings, online instant games, scratch-off tickets, and keno games.
How old must you be to play lottery games in Virginia?
Lottery players must be at least 18 years old.
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Last Updated on September 10, 2023 by Kristina Mehaffey