Virginia

A State that's Preparing to Legalize Online Casinos
Online casinos 8

Currently, online casinos in Virginia are illegal, but it's pretty clear that the state is preparing to establish online casinos soon as they have recently legalized land-based casinos. Our Virginia online casino guide looks at the details, how to play online now, and what to expect in the future.

Best online casinos in Virginia

BetRivers.NET
93 score
10 - 1000 VC$ Bonus
- Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | Not a real money site. No gambling is involved or real money wins. Games are not intended for minors under the age of 18. | Terms and conditions apply

Pulsz
93 score
2.3 SCs + 5,000 GCs Bonus
- Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | There's no real money gaming offered at Pulsz.com and is intended solely for entertainment purposes. No purchase is necessary. Users must be 18 or over. | Terms and conditions apply

High 5 Casino
88 score
250 Game Coins
5 Sweeps
Review Play here

21+ | 600 Diamonds also available upon sign up. Not a real money site. No gambling is involved or real money wins. Games are not intended for minors under the age of 18 | Terms and conditions apply

Funrize
87 score
75,000 Coins Bonus
- Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | Not a real money site. Funrize is a social casino that does not provide any real money gambling. Players much be 18 years or older to join. | Terms and conditions apply

Gambino Slots
86 score
100,000 G-Coins Bonus
200 Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | Not a real money site. No gambling is involved or real money wins. Games are not intended for minors under the age of 18. | Terms and conditions apply

WOW Vegas
85 score
5000 WOW Coins Bonus
- Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | Not a real money site. No gambling is involved or real money wins. Games are not intended for minors under the age of 18. | Terms and conditions apply

Stake.us
84 score
$25 Stake Cash
250000 Gold Coins
Review Play here

21+ | Not a Real Money Casino Site. Intended for gaming entertainment. Players must be 18+ to join and play. | Terms and conditions apply

RushGames
81 score
VC$500 Bonus
- Freespins
Review Play here

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Located near almost all the states with legal online casinos, it’s surprising that Virginia has yet to show any current interest in legalizing them. However, considering the slow gambling history of the state – only legalizing land-based casinos for the first time in 2020 – things begin to make sense.

So, does that mean you cannot play any games at online casinos in Virginia? Most certainly not. While we highly recommend avoiding offshore unregulated casinos, Virginians can still access brilliant sweepstake casinos.

Sweepstake casinos don’t provide real money gaming but do make it possible for players to collect sweeps by playing games. You can redeem the sweeps for real cash prizes of various sizes, all depending on the casino you’ve selected.

In our Virginia online casinos guide, we’ll tell you more about the sweepstake casinos, the current laws in Virginia, what to expect in the future, and where you can access the best real money online casinos in neighboring states.


Are Online Casinos Legal in Virginia?

No, online casinos in Virginia are not legal or regulated to provide gambling services.

Offshore online casinos continue to promote their gambling services in Virginia without a license. These sites avoid the law by not being located in America, but rather offshore.

Since these casinos avoid the law, there’s no reason for them to honor reliable gaming services, fair promotions, or timely payments if you’re lucky to get anything. If an offshore online casino doesn’t pay, you can do nothing about it, especially since you’re also breaking the law by playing at online casinos in Virginia.

What is Legal in Virginia Casinos?

Since legalizing land-based casinos in 2020, more games have become available in Virginia. It’s also permitted to participate in sports betting and online sports betting since 2021, but online casinos remain illegal.

Sweepstake online casinos in Virginia are also legal since you don’t need to make a purchase or use real money. Instead, you can use the website credits to play games and redeem sweep coins for real cash prizes.

When will Virginia Legalize Online Casinos?

No talks are held about legalizing online casinos, but reading between the lines could give away some key factors.

Currently, land-based casinos are underway in Virginia, including Caesars Palace and Hard Rock, both of which are well-known for their remarkable online casinos in other states.

It could be argued that online casinos in Virginia are placed on hold until the construction and launch of these land-based casinos are complete, allowing these experienced online casino brands to establish the online industry.

If that’s the basics of the plan – which makes sense – we could see a complete turnaround towards online casinos as early as 2025.


Brief Gambling History in Virginia

Before 1973 – when charitable gambling was legalized – many residents participated in illegal forms of gambling in Virginia.

In 1987, Virginia took a big step towards legalized gambling activity by permitting a state lottery after it was voted in. The first Virginia lottery ticket was sold in September 1988.

Horse racing and the Virginia Racing Commission were established after the lottery’s success. The commission started in 1989, while the first race track opened in 1997 and remains the only track in the state.

Virginia casino games first appeared in 2004 with the arrival of EZ slot terminals. However, due to the limitation of games and available locations, an attempt was made to legalize riverboat casinos in 2013, but it failed to gain momentum.

The short gambling history in Virginia ends with legalizing sports betting in 2020 and soon after accepting the first online sports bet in the state in 2021.


Best Sweepstake Casinos in Virginia

Sweepstake online casinos in Virginia are perfectly legal as you don’t wager real money. Instead, you’ll use sweeps or coins to play the latest casino games and have the benefit of redeeming your sweeps for cash prizes.

There are various Sweepstake online casinos in Virginia, each offering a unique collection of games, tournaments, and rewards. Some focus on the best online slots, while others strive to deliver a complete casino experience with live dealer games, table games, and Video Poker.

Sweepstake Casinos in VirginiaWelcome Bonus
Stake.us$25 Sweeps + 250,000 Gold Coins
Pulsz Casino2.3 Stakes + 5,000 Gold Coins
Funrize Casino75,000 Coins Bonus
High 5 Casino5 Sweeps, 250 Game Coins, 600 Diamonds
Wow Vegas5,000 Wow Coins

In Which States are Online Casinos Legal?

The first state to provide legal online casinos was New Jersey in 2013. Soon after, multiple other states followed, as each state could choose to legalize online gambling independently. More than a decade later, six American states have legalized online casinos, and Rhode Island will be the seventh in March 2024.

Virginia’s Closest State with Legal Online Casinos

Access to online casinos from Virginia is relatively easy and doesn’t require long-distance traveling. West Virginia is the closest state with legal online casinos, but the variety of online brands is limited completed to online casinos in Pennsylvania.

Depending on where you are in Virginia, a drive of less than six hours could get you to Pennsylvania, where you can enjoy a wide range of online casino games, bonuses, and much more. If you’d rather take a shorter drive and don’t mind the limited range in Virginia, you could access games and bonuses legally within four hours.


Land-based Casinos in Virginia

Unlike most states, Virginia casinos are only now becoming a thing. In 2020, a bill was enacted by Governor Ralph Northam, allowing five cities to construct land-based casinos within city limits.

Rivers Casino in Portsmouth was the first to open its doors on January 23, 2023, and has since welcomed over a million players. This year, at least three more casinos are expected to welcome casino fans, including Caesars Palace in Danville and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol within the next few months.

Head Waters Resort & Casino is another promising casino destination under construction, expected to launch towards the end of 2024.


Virginia Online Casinos Might Become Available Soon

Considering the sudden legalization of land-based casinos and attracting brands with a significant online platform, some would say it’s quite obvious what the plan is; establish land-based casinos and allow those brands to establish online casinos in Virginia.

Looking at the legalization of sports betting, which followed a similar path, we can expect to see online casinos in Virginia around 2025.