Casinos in Virginia

If you are travelling to Virginia expecting to have many gambling options, then you should be aware that unfortunately this is not the case. The state laws in Virginia are very strict, and they are particularly conservative about gambling in this region of America. Although there are ongoing debates with regards whether or not more casinos in Virginia should be permitted, for the time being it looks like it’s going to be slim pickings.

Casinos in Virginia

However, although commercial casinos aren’t regulated in the state of Virginia, there are a couple of options. The lottery is fully authorized as well as the operation of one rather large racetrack named the Colonial Downs Racetrack. In actual fact this racetrack has people visiting from far and wide as it offers a great all round gambling experience for the people of Virginia and neighboring states too.

Alternatively, gamblers can make their ways over the border to Maryland in order to enjoy a whole selection of lovely gambling facilities. Maryland is home to some of the most popular commercial casino establishments in the whole of the United States, and offers players something a little more intimate and less daunting than the likes of the strips in Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

As well as the option of fulfilling your gambling wants and needs in Maryland, there is also the option to legally gamble online. With many online casinos as well as online sports and horse betting sites to choose from, gamblers from all walks of life are now tapping into these sites in order to win big from the comforts of their very homes.

Online gaming may be something of a recent phenomenon, but it has become hugely popular for a variety of reasons, including the money people save on transport to get themselves to a nearby land based gaming facility. What’s more, online casinos in particular like to serve up generous welcome promotions like free cash for certain games when a play signs up an account with them. Take advantage of these offers and you’ll be well on the way to winning the big bucks!

Virginia Gambling Laws

Virginia state law is quite restrictive when it comes to the gambling. There are only a few options, available to gamblers: horse racing, state lottery and charitable gambling, including duck races.

Pari-Mutuel Betting

Only horse racing is considered as legal in Virginia in a form of pari-mutuel betting. There was only one racetrack, Colonial Downs, for those who want to bet on-track. It was opened in 1997, but after a dispute with the state racing commission and the horsemen’s group this track closed in October 2014. Except this one, there are a lot of satellite offices available for off-track betting, as well as EZ Betting terminals in a number of bars and restaurants, allowing you to place bets electronically. Required minimum age of participants is 18 years.


Virginia has its state-run lottery and participates in the interstate lottery games. You can try your luck in the most popular ones, including like Mega Millions, Powerball, Money Ball, Decades of Dollars. Scratch cards are also available in a number of retail locations all over the state. Players should be above 18 years to be allowed to play in a lottery games.

Charitable Gambling

Bingo, pull‐tabs, seal cards, raffles and duck races are allowed and must be conducted by non-profit organizations or tax-exempt institutions for the charitable purposes. Raffle prizes valued at more than $100,000 are not allowed, and no bingo jackpot shall exceed $1,000.


Although there are no legal poker rooms within Virginia, residents are still allowed to play at home as long as these games remain social. This means that all participants in the game will be playing as equals, and no one gets any profit from hosting the game or from raking the pots. Online poker is illegal.


There are no casinos in Virginia, whether tribal or state-run. Movement to legalize riverboat gaming has been established since 1995, with the latest attempt in 2013 (Bill SB 1369) still failing.

Online Gambling

It is not allowed in Virginia. Although, there are no specific laws that openly state this as a fact, it is assumed that the existing laws on gambling automatically cover this form of gaming as well.