Legal Virginia Casinos: Retail & Gambling Casinos Reviewed For 2024

Fact Checked by Matthew Asher

Virginia online casinos aren't legal yet, though the gaming laws in Old Dominion are changing, and online casino games could be coming. Fortunately, while Virginians wait for online casinos, there are plenty of Virginia online sportsbooks to enjoy. 

For now, you can wager on your favorite slot machines, or try your luck at a blackjack table at Virginia retail casinos. Soon, you might be able to open an account at a VA online casino and play some of the top slot machines and table games at home, though there's no clear timetable.

Otherwise, here’s what you need to know while we wait for Virginia online casino sites to become a reality.

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Latest Updates for Virginia Online Casinos

Real-money online casinos aren't legal in many states, Virginia included. However, there are several alternatives to online gambling including social and sweepstakes casinos that allow you to legal play online casino games for free. 

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Although online casinos are not yet legal, be sure to claim Virginia sportsbook promos from legal sportsbooks, now valued at thousands in bonus bets and other promotions.

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Are Online Casinos Legal In Virginia?

No, online casinos are not legal in Virginia. State law allows for online and retail sports betting and land-based casinos in a limited number of cities. Virginia law would need to be changed in order for online gambling to be legal in the state.

There is hope that this could change in the coming years if sports betting does well in the state.

The SB 1126 gambling bill was passed in early 2020, paving the way for legalized sports wagering. It also looked at a way for land-based casinos in Virginia to be introduced. However, it wasn’t until 2020 that a revised bill – HB4 – sought to include casino games in the full package. Some Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operators were already live in Virginia.

HB4 passed the Virginia General Assembly in early 2020, with gambling operators and casinos overseen by the Virginia Lottery Board. The first sports betting sites launched in early 2021. Under the law, cities passing certain criteria are able to open a land based casino. The criteria for opening a brick ’n mortar Virginia casino is:

  • Decline in population of 7% or more between 1990 and 2016
  • 40% of all real estate is exempt from local property tax
  • Poverty rate of 20% or more
  • Unemployment rate of 3.6% or more in 2018

Cities needed to hold a public referendum to gauge support for any casino. Four cities already have OK’d a casino (Portsmouth, Norfolk, Danville, Bristol) while the fifth, Richmond, has now rejected a casino via referendum twice. 

Alternatives to Virginia Casinos Online

While you're waiting for online casino gaming to go live in Virginia, there are social and sweepstakes casinos such as BetRivers.net that offer online slot machines and table games at no cost to you! These are considered free-to-play casinos, which are perfectly legal in every state. 

If you're looking for something outside of casino gaming, you can also check out some of the top VA sports betting apps that allow you to bet on the go.

va online casino bonus

Will Virginia Offer Online Casino Bonuses and Promo Codes?

Although online casinos are not currently legal in Virginia, should they become legal, operators will undoubtedly offer a host of bonuses and sign-up promotions for new players. The most common bonuses casino players see in regulated states are:

First-deposit match

The operator matches your first deposit up to a certain dollar amount (and up to 100%). This bonus typically comes with significant play through requirements, so be sure to read the terms and conditions.

Free spins

Get a handful of free spins on select online slo machines; winnings may be subject to a play through requirement.

No-deposit bonus

These bonuses are typically a small amount in the neighborhood of $20. BetMGM VA has typically offered bonuses of this type during the summer. 

virginia online casino games

What Games Will Be Available When VA Online Casinos Are Legalized?

Should online casinos ever become legal in Virginia, the following games would likely be available to players:

  • Slot machines
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Live Dealer
  • Other card games such as three-card poker & Caribbean stud poker. 

Are There Any Land-Based Casinos in Virginia?

Yes, there are several Virginia casinos that are now open or are expected to open over the next year. Under Virginia law, five cities were given the go ahead to hold referendums to see if their residents wanted to authorize casino gambling. 

Four have held votes and now await construction of a casino while the fifth city (Richmond) must wait another two years after a casino effort was defeated in 2023 following a similar defeat in 2021. 

Let’s take a closer look at what Virginians could expect to find in the years ahead.

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headwaters casino

HeadWaters Resort & Casino Norfolk

The Pamunkey Indian Tribe are proposing to build a casino in Norfolk. The Resort Casino was approved in November 2020 and is set to be built in the middle of the city on the Elizabeth River. The new casino will be the only one in Norfolk built and operated by a recognized Virginia tribe.

About the Norfolk Resort & Casino:

  • $500 million casino and leisure complex
  • 150 table games
  • 3,000 video slots
  • 300-room hotel with spa and pool
  • Entertainment complex
hard rock bristol

Hard Rock Casino Bristol

Fans of the Hard Rock Resort and Casino will be enjoying table games and slot machines in Bristol now that the major operator has been given the green light. Hard Rock International became the official casino developer of the Bristol resort in December 2020. Owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock already operates land-based casinos across the United States. They also have experience in launching online casino gambling sites, putting them ahead of the pack should internet casino sites appear in Virginia.

About Hard Rock Bristol:

  • $520 million casino resort
  • 2,700 slot machines
  • 100 table games
  • 750-room hotel
  • 3,200-seat entertainment venue
rivers portsmouth

Rivers Casino Portsmouth

Rush Street Gaming signed a deal with Portsmouth in November 2020. The operator already runs successful Rivers Casino properties around the United States. We could also see a Rivers online casino in VA launching in due course.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth details:

  • $300 million casino and entertainment complex
  • Conference space and hotel
  • Poker room
  • BetRivers Sportsbook
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Must be 21+ to participate and present in VA. T&Cs apply.
caesars danville

Caesars Virginia Danville

Caesars Entertainment is first in the line for a casino in the city after a public referendum passed in November 2020. 

Caesars Virginia details:

  • $650 million gambling and entertainment resort
  • Casino with poker room and sportsbook
  • 500+ hotel rooms
  • 2,500-seat live entertainment venue
  • Conference center with 40,000 square feet of space
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richmond casino

Richmond

The Richmond casino is up in the air at the moment after most recently being defeated by voters 60-40 in November 2023. 

The most recent effort for a casino in Richmond was to be called Richmond Grand Resort & Casino, backed by Urban One and Churchill Downs. The casino was expected to feature a 55-acre park, restaurants, a concert venue and media production studio. 

The most recent Richmond casino defeat was in addition to a similar defeat in 2021. And the rejection two years prior was by a similar margin as well. For now, Richmond casino hopefuls will have to wait until 2025 at this point. 

Details for Richmond Grand Resort & Casino:

  • $561 million gambling and entertainment resort
  • Casino with sportsbook and poker room
  • 250+ hotel rooms
  • 3,000-seat concert venue
  • 55-acre outdoor park.

Casino Games Available at Virginia Casinos

Here's the different forms of gambling games that can be found at Virginia land-based casinos. 

virginia slots

Slot Machines

Slot machines are the primary form of gambling game in casinos across the globe, and the same goes for casinos in Virginia as well. On these machines, gamblers can find some of their favorite slot games with the latest technology to grace the gambling industry, and you'll be able to bet anywhere from penny slots to denominations of over $100 at some of the high roller areas. 

The reason that slot machines are so popular are because they are so easy to use. All you need to do is sit down, place a bet and push a button to watch the reels spin. HeadWaters Casino in Norfolk is expected to host the most slots in Virginia casinos at more than 3,000. 

virginia blackjack

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most popular forms of gambling outside of slots, and is among the easier games to understand. You play against the house for this casino game, so you and your friends can enjoy playing against the dealer. 

Often referred to as 21, blackjack is expected to be found at all Virginia casinos that offer table games. So when you make a visit to these casinos, make sure you check out some of the blackjack tables. 

virginia roulette

Roulette

Yet another easy to understand gambling game is roulette. This game is another one of the most common games found at casinos in Virginia, and guaranteed to be on casino floors given its popularity. A simple game, American roulette is played by guessing which number a ball will land on, that's it. However, there are variations and combinations of bets that can be made to increase your chances of winning, or increase your bankroll as well. 

When it comes to roulette tables, there are typically few found on casino floors given their size. That allows many gamblers to be positioned around the tables, so there's a good chance that when you spot a roulette table, it'll be packed. 

virginia craps

Craps

Craps has more of a learning curve but once you grasp the game, it's one of the most exciting table games at any casino. This game is busy, and to new gamblers it may be a little overwhelming. The game is played by each gambler at the table taking a turn at rolling the dice, and until that gambler rolls a 7, the turn is over. 

Like roulette tables, craps tables are larger than other game tables and are typically very busy. So if you see an opening at a craps table, make sure you jump in!

virginia video poker

Video Poker

Video poker games can sometimes be confused with slot machines to the inexperienced gambler. These games are self explanatory, poker games that are on a machine. And video poker games can be found in the majority of casinos. 

With video poker, you try to get your best poker hand. You are dealt a hand and are given the chance to hold as many cards as you want. You'll be dealt cards a second time and be rewarded based on the hand that you want. If you've never played video poker, head over to your nearest VA casino and give it a try!

virginia poker

Poker

Poker is one of the most popular forms of gambling worldwide, and it can be found at VA casinos. Most gambling facilities offer specific rooms dedicated solely to poker, and you can find those rooms at the majority of casinos in Virginia. 

If you're interested, most casino sites have information on upcoming poker tournaments or special poker events. 

Legal Gambling Timeline In Virginia

Online casino gambling in VA may be a few years away – and commercial casinos will still need to be built – but there is other gambling available in Virginia until then.

  • πŸ“† February 2024: Senate Bill 628, which removes Richmond as a casino host and replaces it with Petersburg, passes the Senate and moves to the House. 
  • πŸ“† November 2023: Voters vote against a casino in Richmond by a margin of 60-40. This is the second attempt at bringing a casino to Virginia's capital city. 
  • πŸ“† May 2023: Caesars Virginia opens as a temporary casino in Danville. The permanent casino will be open in late 2024. 
  • πŸ“† January 2023: Rivers Casino Portsmouth opens the first full-fledged casino in Virginia. 
  • πŸ“† July 2022: Hard Rock Bristol opens a temporary gaming facility, the first land-based casino to open in Old Dominion. The permanent casino is expected to open July 2024. 
  • πŸ“† November 2021: The effort to bring a casino to Richmond is defeated in a referendum. 
  • πŸ“† November 2020: The first land-based casino projects are approved.
  • πŸ“† October 2020: Virginia Lottery opens sports betting application period. Lottery will approve up to 12 operators, and the first sports betting apps are slated to go live in early 2021.
  • πŸ“† October 2020: NASCAR signs deal with WynnBet to provide a mobile sportsbook in Virginia.
  • πŸ“† February 2020: Virginia state legislature passes the amended HB4 gaming bill, legalizing commercial casino gambling and sportsbooks. Twelve mobile-only sports betting app providers could launch by the end of 2021.
  • πŸ“† 2020: SB 1126 is introduced looking to legalize online and mobile sports betting. It also addresses the potential for land-based casinos.
  • πŸ“† 2019: Live horse racing and pari-mutuel betting returns to Colonial Downs.
  • πŸ“† 2018: Historical horse racing betting is legalized.
  • πŸ“† 2016: Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is legalized.
  • πŸ“† 1987: Virginia state lottery is legalized.
  • πŸ“† 1973: Charitable gaming like bingo and poker is legalized.
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Why is Online Gambling Becoming So Popular?

Whether you want to bet in Virginia via your smartphone or on your PC, the benefits of online gaming are easy to see:

Bet at Home on Your Mobile Phone

In regulated states with few land-based casinos, online betting is ideal. Particularly if a drive to those casinos is far or inconvenient. Fortunately, plenty of casino gambling games are conveniently available on phone or desktop via sweepstakes and social casinos! Play slot machines or table games at home without opening the front door.

Enjoy Stakes at Your Level

Brick & mortar casinos often offer high minimum betting limits. Online casino gambling sites boast lower stake limits that suit recreational players. And if you're a big spender, you can choose larger bets depending on the game. Shop around to see what games offer which stakes. 

Claim a Welcome Bonus

Legal gambling sites in the U.S. usually offer a welcome bonus to new players, like those offered in online sports betting. Sign up and make a deposit to claim free bonus funds, free bets or free spins on the most exciting slot titles. Virginia gamblers would likely see the same kinds of bonuses.

Join a Loyalty Program

When you join an online casino, you can earn points every time you play. The more you play, the more points you’ll acquire. Points can be redeemed for cash, plus you can enjoy benefits like faster cash-outs and bespoke deals.

Top Online Casino Games to Expect in VA

When they eventually launch, the best Virginia online casinos will offer a tempting choice of games for their visitors to enjoy. The exact mix of games will vary from brand to brand, but you should expect to find the following categories of casino game available.

  • Online Slots The vast majority of titles at most Virginia gambling sites will be slot games, most of which are expected to be similar to those offered at tribal casinos in the state. Slot machines are easy to understand and to play - and modern casino game developers are constantly delivering amazing visual experiences to add to the excitement to play online slots.
  • Online Roulette At any online casino, just as in every real-life casino, you should expect to find roulette. There are a host of variations around the theme of a little white ball spinning around a wheel; and game developers explore them all, enabling the best online casinos to offer a host of ways to enjoy roulette.
  • Online Blackjack Blackjack is the most popular game at any casino, and online casino brands tap into that appetite by offering a large number of ways to play. Like roulette, blackjack combines a simple structure with endless intriguing possibilities. You should expect to find a host of ways you can enjoy blackjack when you visit online casinos in Virginia.
  • Online Craps Craps is far and away one of the most exciting table games around due to its fast-paced action and numerous bets. Now, craps can be an intimidating game to join on the casino floor given the popularity of the game, but now you can play craps online! Several online gambling sites like FanDuel and DraftKings now offer online craps, and the look and feel of the game is just like the real deal.
  • Online Poker Poker remains the card game most closely associated with betting, and as a result many online casinos have strong online poker sites. Some even have apps dedicated to the old game. Whether you prefer to play a video version of the game, or like to get your cards dealt by a live dealer, the best Virginia online casino sites for you will cater to your taste. However, you still cannot legally play online poker in Virginia.
  • Online Live Dealer Games While many online casino players are content to stick with video games, a substantial proportion enjoy playing with a live dealer in attendance. This is partly because it brings a flavor of being in a real casino to you, wherever you are playing. At the best Virginia casinos online, you can expect to find a host of table games presented and conducted by a live dealer, some of which could be located at tribal casinos in the state.
  • Online Video Poker Video poker is a popular form of casino gambling among many gamblers, and a simple game to understand as well. Expect Virginia online gambling operators to offer online video poker games in addition to the other forms of casino gambling like slot machines, table games and poker. Fans of video poker will be happy to hear that several online casinos will certainly bring the game to the Golden State, so keep an eye out for online video poker games when the time comes.

Responsible Gaming

It’s important to always gamble responsibly. If you feel like you may have a problem, there are resources and support available to you from the online operator’s site, from the Virginia Lottery and from support groups such as the Virginia Problem Gambling Helpline (1-888-532-3500) and the Virginia National Council on Problem Gambling. You can get help and learn ways to help prevent gambling addiction, such as setting deposit and wagering limits and how to self-exclude from wagering for any period of time.


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Virginia Online Casinos FAQ

Author

Chet Fussman is a writer for BetVirginia.com. Fussman is a former horse racing writer and longtime sports editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. He's a poker and blackjack player and frequent sports bettor, who plans to send the U.S. Supreme Court a thank-you card for clearing the way for states to adopt sports wagering. Fussman's philosophy: Don't let the bad beats overshadow your winning ones.

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