Virginia Gambling Guide

[This guide is a collection of information compiled from a variety of sources. Updates will be posted when new information becomes available. Last updated November 21, 2023]

Aside from the state-run lottery, there are three different forms of gambling currently allowed under Virginia law: casino gaming and sports betting; horse racing and historical horse racing; and charitable gaming.

In addition to these legal and regulated forms of gaming, an estimated 9,038 skill games, also known as gray machines, continue to operate in Virginia. These gray machines are slot-machine-style electronic games that have appeared at restaurants, gas stations, and convenience stores around the state and are unregulated in Virginia. More on them later.

Historical Horse Racing

Historical Horse Racing (HHR) is an electronic gambling system that allows players to bet on replays of horse races or dog races that have already occurred in past years. When a player pushes the button on an HHR machine it randomly selects a previously run horse race from a video library of over 60,000 to determine a win or loss.

HHR machines resemble or mimic standard slot machines you would find in a casino. The machines operate and look just like your average slot machine. The player places a bet and the machine selects a random horse race from its database to see if the spin will be a winner.

In Virginia, HHR machines can be found at Rosie's Gaming Emporium locations. Rosie's currently has seven locations in Virginia: New Kent, Vinton, Richmond, Hampton, Dumfries, Collinsville and Emporia. A total of 2,606 HHR machines are available in the Commonwealth of Virginia as of December 2022.

[How to win on HHR slot machines]

The Rose, Dumfries (Opening Mid-2024)

In February 2021, Colonial Downs Group, owner of Rosie's Gaming Emporium, presented a proposal to the Town of Dumfries to build a $389-million hotel and gaming resort on the Potomac Landfill in Virginia. The project calls for the construction of a 200-room hotel with eight restaurants and a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor. The gaming floor will host 1,800 HHR machines.

Horse Racing

Live horse racing is available at two racetracks in Virginia; Colonial Downs and Shenandoah Downs.

Colonial Downs is located in New Kent County, Virginia, adjacent to Interstate 64, halfway between Richmond and Williamsburg. The track host 27 days of racing per year between July and September.

Thoroughbred horses from around the country run on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Colonial Downs starting at 1:30 p.m.

Colonial Downs offers a family-friendly atmosphere for everyone, casual dining in the Jockey Club, upscale Turf Club dining, private suites for large parties, outdoor clubhouse boxes, reserved grandstand seating, and a hospitality tent trackside open to everyone.

Shenandoah Downs is located at Shenandoah County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Va. The facility is the highlight of any harness racing fan.

In 2023, the track will host two seven-week meets — one in the spring (March 31-May 13) and another in the fall (Sept. 16-Oct. 29).

The track is halfway between Winchester and Harrisonburg, off Interstate 81 at Exit 283. Parking and admission are free.

For online horse betting, there are four partner companies that Virginia residents can wager through —,,, and Fans can simply create an account with any partner site, fund it, and begin wagering.

For Off Track Betting, Virginians can place wagers at the following locations:

- Breakers Sports Grille, TJ Maxx Shopping Center, 9127 W. Broad St., Henrico, VA 23294
- Buckets Bar & Grill, 228 North Battlefield Blvd, Chesapeake, VA 23220
- The Windmill OTB Sports Grill, 2360 Virginia Ave., Collinsville, VA 24078

Live horse wagering is also available at all Rosie's Gaming Emporium locations.

Sports Betting

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation to legalize sports betting and granted the Virginia Lottery authority to grant online/mobile sports betting licenses to sportsbook operators. Legal online/mobile sports betting went live in Virginia on Jan. 21, 2021, with FanDuel as the first sportsbook to start taking bets.

Nineteen sports betting licenses have been issued to companies in Virginia, but only 16 are taking bets right now.

Here is a list of sports betting apps available in Virginia and when they started:

Jan. 21, 2021 - FanDuel [BET NOW]

Jan. 24, 2021 - DraftKings

Jan. 27, 2021 - BetMGM

Jan. 27, 2021 - BetRivers

Feb. 3, 2021 - William Hill (Rebranded as Caesars Sportsbook Aug. 3, 2021)

March 10, 2021 - WynnBET (Virginia service ended Aug. 11, 2023)

April 28, 2021  - Unibet

Aug. 3, 2021 - Caesars Sportsbook (Formerly William Hill, see above)

Aug. 10, 2021 - Barstool Sportsbook (Rebranded as ESPN BET Nov 14, 2023)

Sept. 30, 2021 - Golden Nugget Online Gaming VA, LLC (Acquired by DraftKings August 2021)

Nov. 25, 2021 - Bally Bet

Dec. 15, 2021 - PointsBet (Rebranded Fanatics Sportsbook Nov. 21, 2023)

March 31, 2022 - Hard Rock Bet

May 9, 2022 - SI Sportsbook

May 18, 2022 - Betway

Jan. 31, 2023 - Bet365

Feb. 1, 2023 - Betfred Sportsbook

Sept. 6, 2023 - Betr Sportsbook

Oct. 19, 2023 - Superbook

Nov. 14, 2023 - ESPN BET (Formerly Barstool Sportsbook, see above)

Nov. 21, 2023 - Fanatics Sportsbook (Formerly PointsBet, see above)

The first retail sportsbook in Virginia, Hard Rock Bet Sportsbook, opened on July 8, 2022. The sportsbook is located at Bristol Casino.

On Jan. 23, 2023, Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming opened Rivers Casino Portsmouth in Virginia. The casino has a BetRivers Sportsbook for in-person sports betting.

On May 15, 2023, Caesars Virginia opened a temporary casino in Danville, Va. The temporary casino has Caesars Sportsbook kiosks for sports wagering.

Casino Gaming

Five casinos are approved in Virginia. The goal was to build casinos in Danville, Norfolk, Bristol, Portsmouth, and Richmond. Voters approved casinos in Danville, Norfolk, Bristol, and Portsmouth.

During a voter referendum in November 2021, the idea of a casino in Richmond was rejected. Richmond then held a second voter referendum for the casino in November 2023. The casino was rejected a second time.

Hard Rock Bristol (May 2024, the temporary Bristol Casino opened July 8, 2022) - Hard Rock International plans to spend approximately $400 million to transform the shuttered Bristol Mall into Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol. The developers behind the project say the casino resort will feature a two-level gaming space, an outdoor entertainment venue with a capacity to hold 20,000 people, an indoor venue with 3,200 seats, seven restaurants, four bars, retail shopping, and a convention and meeting space. The development will also include a 350-room hotel.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth (opened Jan. 23, 2023) - Rush Street Gaming celebrated the grand opening of their $340 million Rivers Casino Portsmouth on Jan. 23, 2023 — making it the Commonwealth of Virginia’s first full-service permanent casino. The casino has a wide selection of slot and table games, restaurants, and a full sportsbook. The BetRivers Sportsbook features club seating, a bar, betting windows, 27 self-service kiosks, and multiple upsized high-definition screens for viewing events. The casino has 1,446 slot machines, 57 table games, 24 poker tables, and onsite dining and entertainment options. Admiral’s Steak & Seafood offers high-end dining; casual fare options include Crossings Cafe, Mian, Slice Pizzeria, Starbucks, and, opening later, Yard House.

Caesars Virginia, Danville (Late 2024, a temporary casino opened May 15, 2023) - Property plans include a 500-room hotel and a world-class casino gaming floor with over 1,300 slots, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a WSOP poker room, and a Caesars Sportsbook. In addition, the resort will feature a full-service spa, pool, high-quality bars, and restaurants. The location will have a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art live entertainment theater and 40,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The cost is estimated at $650 million.

HeadWaters Resort & Casino - The proposed $500 million riverfront resort and casino will transform Norfolk into a premier tourist destination in the mid-Atlantic. The resort and casino will be located on approximately 14 acres of land east of Harbor Park along the banks of the Elizabeth River and be operated by the Pamunkey Indians, who are native Virginians. Tourists will be able to quickly and easily access the resort and casino off Interstate 264. The tourist destination is estimated to generate 6.2 million annual visits, which will have a substantial economic impact on the City of Norfolk. The resort and casino will include a 300+ room hotel, luxurious spa, entertainment venue, multiple pools (both indoor and outdoor), on-site restaurants including a sports bar, steakhouse and international cuisine, waterfront views, gaming parlor with sportsbook, slot machines, and table games.

[This guide is a collection of information compiled from a variety of sources. Updates will be posted when new information becomes available. Last updated November 21, 2023]