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Virginia Gambling Laws

The most common types of gambling in the United States include: horseracing, commercial casinos, paritmutuel gambling, charitable gambling (which directs revenue towards charitable organizations), tribal casinos, and the state lottery.

State laws govern what types of gambling are legal (if at all) and how legal gambling operations are regulated. Virginia gambling laws are relatively restrictive, and generally define gambling as betting on the outcome of any games or contests that depend on chance. While casinos and greyhound racing are specifically prohibited, the state allows horse racing and off-track betting at licensed facilities. Virginia also allows charitable gambling, where certain games (usually bingo, raffles, or even duck racing) are sponsored by nonprofit organizations, as well as betting on games of chance in private residences. Additionally, the state sponsors a lottery that features games such as: scratchcards, Mega Millions, Powerball, Pick 3, and Pick 4. The proceeds of the Virginia Lottery go to improving and supporting public K-12 education throughout the state.

The following chart highlights Virginia's gambling laws, with links to additional resources and articles.

Code Section

18.2-325 et seq.; 59.1-364 et seq.


Making, placing or receiving any bet or wager of money or other thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest, or event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance.

Horse Racing/Off-Track Betting

Horse races, parimutuel wagering, and off-track betting at licensed satellite facilities legal.

Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting

Greyhound racing specifically prohibited.

Casinos Allowed?

Gambling devices and places illegal.

Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned

Bingo, raffles and duck races sponsored by nonprofit organizations; contests of skill or speed between men, animals, fowl or vehicles; games of chance in private residences legal. Winning by fraud illegal.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For additional information on Virginia’s gambling laws, reference the links below for access to additional resources. You can also learn more about gambling, in general, by referencing FindLaw’s article Details on State Gambling Laws. If you have more specific questions or need more individualized assistance, you can consult with or retain a Virginia gaming attorney.

Research the Law

Virginia Gambling Laws: Related Resources

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