Virginia Sports Betting Apps

Does Virginia have legal sports betting apps?

In early 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed a bill authorizing the Virginia Lottery Board to grant between four and 12 sports betting licenses, five of which can go to new brick-and-mortar casinos. This decision essentially legalized sports betting and casino gambling in a surprising departure from the state’s relatively anti-gambling past (with the exception of certain horse races and lottery games).

While sports betting is now legal in Virginia, the Board has not yet distributed any licenses to mobile sportsbook operators. Below, we’ll give you our best guess as to which sportsbooks are likely to appear in Virginia sometime in 2020.

The Top Online Sports Betting Apps In Virginia

Sports betting is now fully legal in Virginia, but mobile sportsbook apps have not yet launched. In fact, October 2020 marks the beginning of the license application period, so the question of which operators will apply still remains. We believe that experienced operators, or at least those with apps that are already up and running, are the ones most likely to transition into the Virginia market. Their apps may be available as early as spring 2021.

Chances are that many operators will try to launch their sports betting apps before the Super Bowl. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the mobile sportsbooks that Virginia sports betting enthusiasts are most likely to see hit the market in coming months.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings is one of the biggest and most widespread mobile sportsbook operators in the country, with a presence in many other states. Launching in Virginia should be relatively trivial, and it’s likely that players will also get to enjoy daily fantasy sports if the mobile DFS app comes to the state.

Download Size

At this time, the DraftKings mobile sportsbook is just 254.8 MB for iOS devices and 85.6 MB for Android phones or tablets.

What Can You Bet On?

DraftKings offers a wide variety of betting markets and wager types, even in comparison to other top sportsbooks in the industry. It’s also one of the few operators that offers eSports betting markets.

Interesting Features

Several interesting features make the DraftKings mobile sportsbook app worth your time, including an early cash-out feature and unique betting pools or markets that are only available to mobile app users. Live betting and a streamlined user interface round out an excellent app.

Recent App Updates

Bug fixes comprise most of the app’s updates, and one or two updates per month are the norm.

FanDuel Sportsbook

FanDuel, like DraftKings, has a presence in many other states that have legal mobile sports betting. It may also offer daily fantasy sports to Virginia players once it launches.

Download Size

The app is particularly small at just 22.6 MB in size, so it’s easy to download and fast to get up and running on either iOS or Android devices. 

What Can You Bet On?

While it doesn’t have quite as many betting markets as DraftKings, a solid spread of professional sports markets is available, plus international leagues and more niche sports like darts and racing. 

Interesting Features

The mobile app features a streamlined betting slip that allows you to place multiple bets simultaneously across multiple markets. A live betting interface is included, making it one of the best mobile sportsbooks for placing wagers on game days.

Recent App Updates

As with DraftKings, most updates occur every couple of weeks to get rid of bugs and make minor improvements to performance.

Caesars

Caesars operates a broad sportsbook network and already has a mobile app that would be well-suited to future Virginia betting markets. Since the casino arm of the company already works in partnership with Danville brick-and-mortar casino developments, a mobile sportsbook from this company is an inevitability more than a possibility.

Download Size

This sportsbook can be downloaded for 41.9 MB for iOS phones or 24 MB for Android devices.

What Can You Bet On?

There’s a great spread of different betting markets and wager types here, including professional sports like football, baseball, and hockey, plus lots of international betting markets so you can enjoy soccer and rugby leagues. 

Interesting Features

Caesars’ user-friendly app interface is streamlined and easy to operate, and it comes with a unique parlay bet feature that allows players to create their own bets to some extent. The attached online casino comes with over 450 games, and players can swap between both apps seamlessly.

Recent App Updates

This app isn’t updated as often as the others. Most updates add major features or bolster the app’s geolocation services.

What Devices Work With Virginia’s Online Sports Betting Apps?

Again, Virginia’s online sports betting market hasn’t officially launched since operators have just begun to apply for sports betting licenses. This being said, it’s most likely that big, established sportsbook operators like the ones mentioned above will be the first through the door.

This is great news for sports betting enthusiasts in Virginia since it means the apps will be available for both iOS and Android devices in general. You can use mobile sportsbooks on modern smartphones and on tablets.

Additionally, virtually all mobile sportsbooks come with both a desktop website and counterpart app. In some cases, the apps and desktop sites have slight differences that may make them better or worse choices for particular wagers or game day events.

All in all, however, Virginia sports betting enthusiasts can expect lots of choices for their future wagering once sportsbook apps launch in the state. 

The Desktop Experience Versus The App Experience

Since it’s likely that established sportsbook operators will be the first to launch in Virginia’s sports betting markets, we can make an educated guess about what players will experience when using the mobile app versus the desktop platform.

For example, DraftKings’ mobile app is widely considered to be one of the best in the industry. It offers an intuitive user interface that is designed from the ground up for the smaller screens and touchscreen interfaces common with smartphone devices.

Placing Bets

On a standard DraftKings app, players call up a betting slip from the bottom of the screen, where they place their wagers. Then, they can easily go back to browsing markets and special promotional bets. This style is distinct from the desktop version of the same app, which has the betting slip on the side of the screen and always available.

Some sportsbooks will even allow you to enjoy live betting. For example, FanDuel has an excellent live betting interface that lets smartphones and tablets livestream game day footage so that bettors can place bets as if they were watching the action in person.

Desktop platforms should also be great to use and ideal for in-depth bets or wager performance analysis.

Performance And Lag Time

In general, desktop apps run slightly more smoothly and allow you to see more information thanks to the larger screen size. But modern mobile sportsbooks are mostly lag-free, and updates come frequently to iron out kinks.

Mobile sportsbooks like Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are user-friendly and great for betting on the go.

How To Download Online Sportsbooks On Your iPhone In Virginia

Once mobile sportsbooks launch in Virginia, downloading them to your iOS device should be relatively simple.

  1. Visit the App Store and type in the name of the mobile sportsbook you want to use.
  2. Click “Download.”
  3. The downloading process will begin immediately, and the app should install automatically if your device has enough space.

How To Download Mobile Sportsbooks On Your Android Device In Virginia

On the other hand, downloading a mobile sportsbook for an Android device is a little trickier. Google doesn’t allow gambling apps of any kind on the Play Store, so you’ll need to visit the operator’s website personally and download the files directly.

  1. Type the name of the sportsbook you want to use into Google or another search engine.
  2. Navigate to the main screen. Look for a page that says “Download for Android” or something similar.
  3. There should be a download button somewhere on the page. Clicking this will begin a .apk file download.
  4. You may need to go into your phone’s Settings and allow permission from the website so that the download completes.
  5. Once the file is downloaded, installation should begin automatically.

How To Register For An Online Casino App In Virginia

Certain states, like Illinois, require new sports bettors to finalize their registration by visiting the brick-and-mortar casino that operates in partnership with the mobile sportsbook they want to use. It’s not likely to work this way in Virginia, however, since the state doesn’t have a lot of precedent for legal gambling in general.

This works in the player’s favor since it simplifies the registration process. We expect registering for a sportsbook to go something like this:

  1. Players will download the sportsbook they want to use onto their phone or device.
  2. They’ll register for an account by providing some personal information and linking a bank account or another funding method.
  3. They’ll have the opportunity to deposit funds and apply any promotional codes or opening bonuses.
  4. Start betting!

Theoretically, sports bettors will be able to start wagering from the comfort of their own homes without having to get up at all.

Standard Bonuses At Virginia’s Legal Online Sports Betting Apps

Opening bonuses are special promotional opportunities that new account holders can take advantage of. Here are a few types of opening bonuses that Virginia’s legal online sportsbooks are likely to offer once they launch.

No-Deposit Bonus

A no-deposit bonus provides a small amount of site credit for free, without requiring the player to make a deposit into their account. For example, DraftKings provides a no-deposit bonus of $25 of site credit just for signing up for the app.

What Is A Typical Bonus Size?

Bonus sizes are usually small since the site credit is completely free.

What Are The Key Terms & Conditions I Should Be Aware Of?

Most of these bonuses require players to play through any winnings they receive with the site credit one or more times. This prevents players from making an infinite number of new accounts and withdrawing the no-deposit bonus for a profit.

Additionally, some no-deposit bonuses, like the one that DraftKings offers, are divided into smaller amounts rather than available as a lump sum. For instance, the $25 credit is actually usable as five free $5 bets. 

Risk-Free Bet

A risk-free bet is essentially an amount of “freebie” credits that kick in when you make a wager and lose. It’s usually good up to a certain maximum amount. For example, DraftKings provides a risk-free bet of up to $500. This means a player can wager up to $500 and, if they lose, receive their funding back in site credit.

What Is A Typical Bonus Size?

These bonuses can be small or relatively large, like the above example. It all depends on the operator.

What Are The Key Terms & Conditions I Should Be Aware Of?

Keep in mind that risk-free bet credit also needs to be played through a couple of times before you can withdraw any winnings. Additionally, some risk-free bets must be used by a certain date. In the above example, the offer expires seven days after signing up for your account.

Deposit Match

A deposit match bonus is a promise from a sportsbooks operator to match your initial deposit up to a maximum amount. In DraftKings’ case, it’s a 20% deposit match bonus of up to $500.

For example, if you deposit $100, DraftKings will give you another $20 of site credit. If you deposit a whopping $2,500, you can get up to $500 in site credit.

What Is A Typical Bonus Size?

Bonus caps are usually quite large to incentivize players to make large deposits. They are more valuable as you put more money into your account.

What Are The Key Terms & Conditions I Should Be Aware Of?

Like the other opening bonuses, deposit match bonuses must be taken advantage of within a week or so of signing up for your account. Additionally, any winnings must be “played through” a few times before you can withdraw them.

Ways To Bet At Virginia’s Online Sports Betting Apps

We don’t know the full story yet about which apps will launch in Virginia. But we can predict what kinds of wagers will be available based on what’s standard for the industry.

Moneyline Bet

Moneyline wagers are simple and easy to understand, making them ideal wagers for beginners. These bets will have you wager on whether a team will win a match and by how much.

Prop Bet

A prop or proposition bet requires players to wager on multiple events that take place within a game. These may or may not affect the overall match outcome.

For example, players may make a proposition bet on who will score certain touchdowns or whether a player hits a home run.

Parlay Bet

A parlay wager is a successive type of bet. Players must wager on multiple conditions or victories in a row to win the wager overall. As an example, a parlay wager might include betting on how long a team goes on a winning streak over the course of a season.

Future Bet

Futures bets allow players to wager on future game events or outcomes. Or, they can pertain to future events within a season, like a player being traded from one team to another.

Other Unique Bets

Some sportsbooks for mobile apps will come with special wager types you can’t find anywhere else. Many of these are tied to the sports season.

FanDuel, for example, lets you place wagers on who scores the first touchdown of an NFL season. It’s essentially a unique type of proposition bet.

Does Virginia Offer Legal Casino Or Poker Apps?

Alongside sports betting, casinos are now legal within Virginia’s borders. There aren’t any brick-and-mortar casinos in the state yet. However, five cities have been pinpointed as potential future casino locations.

Most online casinos work in partnership with an operator that offers a corresponding mobile sportsbook. Since sportsbooks also just became legal alongside casino gambling, the infrastructure for online casinos is not immediately present.

But the legislation that has legalized a limited number of retail casinos did not include deals for online casinos. So it’s yet to be seen whether the attached online casinos, such as the one offered by Caesars, will be allowed to operate in conjunction with Caesars’ online sportsbook.

On the other hand, the legislation that legalized sports betting did not include provisions for poker. It’s tough to say whether those five casinos will include the game, or if players will be limited to sweepstakes poker providers like Global Poker. Regardless, no poker opportunities are available at this time.

FAQ: Legal Online Sports Betting Apps In Virginia

How old will I need to be to play on mobile sportsbooks in Virginia?

You’ll need to be 21 to enjoy Virginia’s future casinos or mobile sportsbooks.

Who’s going to regulate legal sports betting apps in Virginia?

The Virginia Lottery Board will regulate sports betting apps in this state. They’re also responsible for handing out licenses to various operators.

Is there any real difference between sports betting and fantasy sports apps in Virginia?

Yes. Sports betting is widely recognized as a gambling activity across the country, while daily fantasy sports takes a little more analytical skill to make predictions. However, many sportsbook operators also offer counterpart apps for fantasy sports. 

Will credit cards be useful for playing on Virginia’s mobile sports betting apps?

Yes. All future Virginia mobile sportsbooks will likely allow players to make deposits with credit cards or possibly even withdraw their winnings to linked credit cards.

What online sports betting apps will eventually be available in Virginia?

As described above, big operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars are solid bets for those operators likely to receive sports betting licenses. However, other operators like BetRivers and BetMGM might also enter the mix.

Does DraftKings already have a mobile sportsbook in Virginia?

No. But they’ll likely be one of the operators to hit the ground running when licenses are handed out by the Virginia Lottery Board.