Casino Gambling in Virginia

Virginia Casino Guide

Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Virginia

Virginia has never opened their arms to allowing casinos within the state. In fact, there are no casinos in Virginia. If you want to gamble, you are going to have to play in online casinos that welcome players from Virginia or head over the state lines.

While the state is anti-casino, they do welcome some forms of gambling. The Virginia Lottery is a big deal within the state, offering many lottery games and dozens of scratch-offs. Horse betting was another venue for gamblers, but the state’s only track shut down all operations, including simulcast betting, after becoming unable to agree on a race schedule in 2014. Bingo and raffles done by permitted charitable groups are also legal.

History of Gambling in Virginia

Horse betting is probably the oldest form of gambling in Virginia. As a hobby of early colonists, horse racing was banned in 1897, though many continued to do so citing a loophole in the law. It wasn’t until the 1950s that there was a push to legalizing pari-mutuel betting, though it didn’t pass. Many tried again over the years and were finally successful in the 1990s. Meanwhile, the Virginia Lottery came into fruition in 1987, under the understanding that any revenues would go directly in the education fund.

With Virginia’s prime location, a more recent push has been in place to legalize riverboat gambling. The latest effort, SB1363, was defeated in 2013. That same year, the leader of the Virginia Senate, who is for the development of casinos in Virginia, was quoted as saying Virginia will not consider a casino until every state in the nation has one.

Age Restrictions for Gambling in Virginia

To purchase lottery tickets or scratch-offs, you need to be 18. Land-based and online casinos allowing Virginians require players to be 21.

Virginia’s Casino Gambling Outlook

Sure, Virginia may seem anti-gambling, but that may change in the near future. The Pamunkey tribe asked the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to recognize them as a federal tribe. If that passes, there is buzz that the tribe will consider opening Virginia’s first casino in the reservation that sits west of Richmond, Virginia. They were supposed to have an answer at the end of March 2015, but the decision was delayed until July.

Local Casinos

While you won’t find casinos in Virginia, there are two excellent options just across state lines.

On the other side of the Potomac River, a brand new MGM casino is being built north of the Virginia state line in National Harbor, Maryland. Once open, the MGM National Harbor will have a 23-floor hotel and huge gaming floors. It’s a $1.2 billion casino that’s going to be easy for many Virginia residents to reach.

About 80 miles from Roanoke, Virginia, The Greenbrier is a popular casino for day trips into West Virginia. In addition to a spa, golf, and exquisite dining, the resort’s 103,000-square-foot casino is packed with Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em, Three Card Poker, and well over 300 video slots.