Virginia Gambling / Poker Laws

Virginia Legal Poker / Gambling Laws
Is Online Poker or Gambling Legal in Virginia?
Last Updated April 3, 2018

Virginia is for lovers, or so goes the old tourism slogan for the state. It's also for American presidents (eight have been born there), those seeking education (more advanced institutions per capita than nearly any other state) and - of course - poker players. The population of the state is young, diverse and generally well-off, a demographic that generally enjoys high online poker participation rates. As the game's popularity continues to expand, more visitors contact us with questions about online poker in Virginia - questions that we'll cover in this always-updated Virginian's Guide to Playing Poker Online.

Online Poker Sites in Virginia

Choosing an online poker site doesn't sound like much of a task - until you set about doing it. That's when you realize how helpful it would be to have the perspective of other players who have already been in your situation, who have already compared all of the poker sites in VA and assembled the best picks in a handy list. Good news: you do.  This real money poker page is continually updated and reflects operators with the top combination of promotional value, security and reliability:

Poker Sites Open to Players From Your State
Bovada $500 Bonus 3-4 Day Payouts Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Wires
Ignition $2000 Bonus 3-4 Day Payouts Accepts Visa, Bitcoin, Wires
Intertops $600 Bonus 5 Day Payouts Accepts Visa, Wires


How Do I Play Online Poker in Virginia?

There are certainly states in America - Washington comes to mind as one - where residents do face a real challenge finding an online poker site that will let them play real-money games. Virginia does not fall into that category, so playing poker online is just as easy as doing anything else online.

Once you choose a top poker site and make an account, your only remaining hurdle will be depositing funds into that account.  The most popular methods for doing so for players from the state of Virginia: credit cards such as VISA and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Virginia Law and Online Poker Games

What view does Virginia law take of playing online poker for money?  Questions about gambling can be murky affairs, and questions about online gambling tend to be doubly so.  We don't pretend to have the legal background to offer absolute answers to such questions, but we can provide you with objective information about Virginia law and leave it to you to decide.

Virginia has a pretty standard definition of gambling provided via Section 18-2-325.  Basically, betting anything of value on anything that is "uncertain or a matter of chance" qualifies as illegal gambling in Virginia.

If you participate in illegal gambling as a player, you could face a misdemeanor charge (Section 18-2-326).

If you're on the business side of illegal gambling activity, there are a number of charges you could potentially face under Virginia law.  The primary charge for operators is "Conducting illegal gambling operation," which is a felony (Section 18-2-238).

Cheaters face an interesting punishment in Virginia.  Get caught cheating at gambling and you could be forced to a pay a fine equal to five to ten times the amount won via the cheating (Section 18-2-327).

Private gambling - commonly referred to as social gambling - is permitted in Virginia per the conditions set forth in Section 18-2-334.

Virginia law allows individual counties to come up with their own laws regarding gambling restriction, so players should check with their local law in addition to becoming familiar with state gambling law.

Read more: Virginia state code online below.

Will Virginia Regulate Online Poker?

It's always tough to put a specific number on a state's chances of regulating online poker, but with Virginia it's safe to say that regulated online poker is, at best, an underdog. There simply isn't any indication that the state government intends to even look at the issue of online gambling. If regulation takes off in bordering states, then Virginia's chances improve - but they will still likely remain below average.

Virginia in the News
  • US Lottery Officials Are Concerned by Millennials’ Disinterest in Lotto Tickets
    February 3rd, 2017

    United States lottery officials are concerned about the future growth of their games, because millennial gamblers seem less interested in playing the lotto than their parents. The US lottery industry generated $80 billion in sales in 2015, more than the combined sales for movie tickets, musical concerts, and song downloads. It is a huge industry

  • Illegal Betting Ring Which Used Terror Tactics Is Busted after a Brave Citizen Comes Forward
    January 30th, 2016

    An illegal gambling ring set up by a former USC Trojans football player is alleged to have used terror tactics against its victims. Some of the tactics used include mailed videos of beheadings, as well as photos of the desecration of the grave sites of victim’s deceased family members. The terror campaign only came to

  • Fin5 Hacker Group Stole 150,000 Credit Cards from Unnamed Casino
    October 16th, 2015

    Mandiant and FireEye, two American computer security firms, have located a new hacker group called Fin5. The group invaded the security of one online casino and stole at least 150,000 credit cards from the unnamed casino. More astounding, Fin5 is thought to have had access to the casino’s database for a year. FireEye is a

Virginia Gambling Facts

There are no casinos in the state of Virginia, and no tribal gambling facilities either. That leaves the Virginia Lottery, pari-mutuel betting and charitable gambling as the state's regulated gambling lineup. Social gambling also enjoys an exemption from VA online gambling laws.

What sort of activity is permitted under the charitable gambling exceptions to Virginia state law? The major forms are bingo games and raffles, with select additional activities available depending on the type and status of your organization. 

Does Virginia Offer any Regulated Online Gambling?

You won't find any Virginia-licensed online poker sites or casinos because they don't exist. The state of Virginia does not regulate any forms of Internet-based gambling - and it doesn't look they'll be getting into the business of doing so any time soon.

Recent Virginia Gambling Headlines

The talk in the year ahead will almost certainly be focused - possibly exclusively - on the potential for commercial casinos in the state. With a bill already filed that would legalize casinos in Virginia, it promises to be an exciting few months ahead for advocates of expanded regulated gambling in the state. Right now it's too early to handicap the bill's chances, and any new casino in the region is certain to face stiff opposition from a variety of corners. As we've already discussed, advocates of regulated online gambling will probably face a much longer wait in Virginia.

Virginia Gambling Resources

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services . The DACS is responsible for regulating charitable gambling in Virginia. Get all of the facts related to Virginia charitable gambling at the DACS homepage.

Casinos Near the DC Area . This guide from will walk you through all of the casino options in the region surrounding Virginia. While there aren't any casinos in Virginia, there are a number of options that are barely an hour away from most parts of the state.

Virginia Gambling Laws . Complete text of the gambling and charitable gambling law on Virginia's books, along with text of all 50 state laws regarding gambling.

Helpful Gambling Resources and Links