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Virginia Online Casinos


Regulation and legality of online gambling

Knowing that brick and mortar casinos are still outside the law frameworks in Virginia, we can assume that online gambling is also against any current laws enforced in the state. The true story is something in between.

The Virginia legal code does not include any new and specific internet gambling laws. However, it lacks the distinction between online and land-based gambling. Electronics are covered by the term ‘gambling device’, and so online gambling can be presumed to be outlawed in the Old Dominion. That doesn’t stop the state’s residents to invest their personal funds into US-focused gambling sites which are based offshore. Virginia did grant licenses to several fantasy sports websites in 2016. The state lottery also makes use of the internet in the sales of lottery tickets, so perhaps there is something to hope for in the upcoming years in the field of web gambling in VA.

Online gambling is neither legal nor illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Again, we have a situation where a state didn’t invest enough effort into defining the legal and regulatory parameters of online casinos. This can be due to a multitude of factors, but it’s usually the simplest one that has the most effect - lawmakers simply have too much on their hands.

In states inhabited by religious people, religious legislators get elected. Therefore, they aren’t really willing to regulate an industry that isn’t even fully legal. The result is often a plethora of legal loopholes and grey areas, allowing players to partake in some of their favorite activities. Now, before we delve into those loopholes, let’s take a look at all the legal options available.

Believe it or not, sports betting is legal in Virginia. Yup, that’s right. In April of 2020, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed off on a bill, after he initially had some recommendations and suggestions that he wanted the lawmakers to add.

This mostly pertained to proclaiming two of the state’s NASCAR facilities as ‘major sports franchises’, which is a definition that allows establishments to offer online and retail sports betting. As of mid-September 2020, sports betting still isn’t live. Experts believe Virginians will start playing at legal sportsbooks sometime before the end of the year.

It was perplexing to see a state as conservative as Virginia legalize sports betting, but, as we all know, no state can afford to have an anti-gambling stance when there are budget deficits looming over it.

Social gambling and lottery games are legal, too. Colonial Downs, a famous racetrack in Virginia, was a place where people could place bets on horse races. Since the place was shut down in 2014, Virginians couldn’t bet on live races anymore.

While there is legal lingo directed specifically at brick and mortar casinos, online gambling isn’t even mentioned. This makes it safe to conclude that you won’t get in trouble for playing at offshore casinos. Now, we aren’t just reassuring you without any knowledge - if there isn’t a law prohibiting something, you can’t be arrested for it.

To ensure your safety, make sure that any site you plan on playing at has a certificate for SSL encryption, as well as a strong license. If the jurisdiction licensing the casino is legitimate and internationally recognized, you won’t fall victim to fraudulent activities. The days of offshore casinos being scam hotspots have long passed, so there’s no need to worry.



Gambling history in Virginia

Historians have dated horse races back to the colonial days. It is known that the state banned horse races in 1897, which did not stop the activities. They simply sunk underground. Live and simulcast betting was eventually legalized in 1997, which is also the year when the first, and only, racetrack opened its doors to patrons from Virginia and beyond. Colonial Downs hosted thoroughbred races and harness racing, which discontinued by 2014.

The off-track betting facility was closed in 2015. The racetrack was closed due to disputes between the owners and the horse breeders. Shenandoah Downs inherited the horse racing industry and opened its second season in 2018.

The Virginia Lottery was established in 1988. There are over 5,000 retail locations where locals can buy lottery tickets, and the state also participates in Powerball, Cash4Life and Mega Millions Lotteries. All profits from the lottery sales are used for educational purposes. As for casinos, Virginia is one of the few casino-less US states. There are no active land-based casino facilities run by commercial companies or Native American tribes. In May 2018, plans were announced to reopen the dormant Colonial Downs horse-racing track and also a $700 million casino and resort up the highway from it that will be run by Pamunkey Indian tribe.


Land based casinos

Virginia is an interesting place to gamble at - it has over 600 bingo halls and not a single active brick and mortar casino. There is no lacking of bingo games, lottery draws, scratch-offs and instant win games, but there is not a single poker table in sight. Virginia casino lovers are used to crossing over to West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware or North Carolina for some slot and table real money action. The MGM Grand casino across the Potomac River in Maryland is highly popular among players from Virginia. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of MGM Grand’s business minimum is owed to patrons from the Old Dominion.

So far, the best chance of Virginia getting a proper land-based casino is the casino and resort project of the Pamunkey Tribe. This Native American tribe spent more than 30 years seeking federal recognition. They own gorgeous land, but need an economic boost, something that would be a stable source of income. According to some details released in the press, the tribe is interested in a 600-acre site near Quinton in New Kent County. However, they have a long way ahead if they wish to run a Class III gaming facility.

In the meantime, Virginia players explore alternative options such as ‘party casino’ establishments, which offer games that are just like casino games, without having real money involved. Taking a bus or a car ride to other states where gambling is allowed is another valid option, as well as going on cruise casinos which operate in international waters.

Neighbouring States: Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia



What’s the minimum age at which you can gamble online in Virginia?

21. While Virginia doesn’t have a tightly regulated online casino industry, that doesn’t mean underage gambling is a negligible offense. In fact, the police have prosecuted people for allowing minors to partake in casino games online.

However, if you’re 21 or older, you have nothing to worry about. Any laws that might pertain to online casinos contain convoluted language and no specific mentions. No one has ever been busted for playing at offshore casinos, which makes it evident that anti-gambling laws in Virginia are simply meant to discourage the creation of illegal gambling operations.

Which games can be played at Virginia online casinos?

With all the offshore casinos at your disposal, you can literally play anything you want. Just do some research, and you will be rewarded with high-quality fun.

Are live dealer games available, as well?

Oh, you best believe they are! Every state without brick and mortar casinos has a large number of players to flock to live casino sections at offshore casinos. This makes sense, as not everyone is willing to drive to Maryland or West Virginia to watch the roulette wheel spin.

Today’s live casino games are high-tech wonders, with added animations, bonuses, and other perks design to recreate that iconic Vegas feel.

What payment methods can you use to make a deposit?

The same as in the rest of the country! Cards are still the dominant force in the industry, but the ease with which you can get your info stolen has started to put off players at an increasing pace.

Some of them have begun using wire transfers (for bigger amounts) or eCheck. However, an overwhelming majority has started using eWallets and/or cryptocurrency, due to a cornucopia of valuable security features.

Do Virginia online casinos pay withdrawals fast?

Unless they request you to send a document scan to prove your identity, the waiting times depend mostly on the payment method you’re using. This has a lot to do with the technology/protocols behind a certain platform, but here’s what you can expect:

● Cards: 3-5 days

● eCheck: 4-6 days

● Wire transfers: 5-7 days

● eWallets: instant

● Cryptos

Fun Facts about Virginia

  • Northern Virginia handles up to 70% of the world internet traffic. Data centers in Loudoun County are known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’. They occupy millions of square feet and contain machines which operate 24/7 so that someone on the other side of the globe could look at cute cat picks. Ashburn alone has more than 5 million square feet of data space.
  • Virginians watch the ponies swim every year during an event called the Chincoteague Island Pony Swim. More than 100 wild horses swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Eastern Virginia and then they are auctioned off to raise money for a local fire department. This has been going on for more than 90 years.
  • Virginian laws are something to beware of. Children aren’t allowed to go trick-or-treating on Halloween in Virginia. It is also illegal to tickle women and spitting on a seagull.

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