Is Sports Betting Legal in Virginia?

The Commonwealth of Virginia may be left with some tough sports betting decisions in the near future. West Virginia is already moving forward and may have betting by the start of the football season in 2018. Nearby states New Jersey and Delaware are already open for operations and Maryland is pushing forward with its neighbors are fully engaged, including Pennsylvania.

Thus far, there haven’t been a whole lot of legalized sports betting talks in Virginia or in Washington D.C. We’ll loop the D.C. area in with Virginia for the sake of this article. Virginia hasn’t really placed much of a premium on gambling as a source of state revenue. There are no casinos or race tracks in operation in the state. The only form of gambling is the state lottery, which benefits education. Virginians have been leaving the state to gamble for a long time and it has never incited a change in the state’s policies or overall demeanor at the government level. The push for legalized sports betting probably won’t change it much either.

After all, most people oversell the revenue that sports betting would actually bring in. For Virginia, a state that has lost monies for years to gambling outside the state, sports betting isn’t going to get that fire burning. Even as other states move forward, the Governor and the state congress have shown no urgency and really no willingness to open up the debate.

The D.C. metro area will fall under the same umbrella, as residents have just been going to Maryland or New Jersey or somewhere else to get their fill and their fix.


Recent News Stories About Betting

An editorial from the staff of the Daily Press in southeast Virginia addressed the state’s prior lack of consideration for the expansion of gambling and why legalized sports betting won’t be a primary issue.

Maybe Washington D.C. will go a little differently than Virginia, as D.C. lawmakers are expected to open up talks about sports wagering before going on recess in July.

Also from the Washington Post, Steve Thompson talked about how Maryland and Virginia have approached the topic. It looks like 2020 at the earliest for any discussion in Maryland and maybe not at all in Virginia.

Aaron McFarling’s request may fall on deaf ears, but he wrote about why Virginia should get involved with sports betting in an editorial for the Roanoke Times.



The fact that it’s hard to find news for “sports betting Virginia” on Google is all the proof you need to know that this isn’t happening anytime soon in the commonwealth. Neighboring states have expanded gambling in the past and Virginia’s elected officials have looked the other way. It hasn’t been a big issue and there haven’t been a whole lot of pushes to change it. Sports betting won’t be that catalyst. If Virginia ever adopts legislation, it will be a long way down the road.


Neighboring States



North Carolina

West Virginia