Virginia Online Gambling Laws

Posted by Chris Spencer . Last updated:

State of Virginia residents have very few land based gambling activities and make it mostly an online gambling state. luckily for Virginia residents there are no online gambling laws which makes residents open to almost any online gambling website. We recommend you make sure online gambling websites are licensed and regulated before joining them. This is to ensure you information is safe we hope we have provided Virginians with everything they need to know about the online gambling laws for the state. We also hope you were able to find your perfect online gambling website.

Virginia Gambling Laws

§ 11-14. Gaming contracts void.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, all wagers, conveyances, assurances, and all contracts and securities whereof the whole or any part of the consideration is money or other valuable thing won, laid, or bet, at any game, horse race, sport or pastime, and all contracts to repay any money knowingly lent at the time and place of such game, race, sport or pastime, to any person for the purpose of so gaming, betting, or wagering, or to repay any money so lent to any person who shall, at such time and place, so pay, bet or wager, shall be utterly void.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a contract governing the distribution of state lottery proceeds shall be valid and enforceable as between the parties to the contract.

§ 11-15. Recovery of money or property lost in gaming.

Any person who shall, by playing at any game or betting on the sides or hands of such as play at any game, lose within twenty-four hours, the sum or value of five dollars, or more, and pay or deliver the same, or any part thereof, may, within three months next following, recover from the winner, the money or the value of the goods so lost and paid or delivered, with costs of suit in civil action, either by suit or warrant, according to the amount or value thereof.

§ 11-16. Bill by loser; repayment discharges winner from punishment.

Such loser may file a bill in equity against such winner, who shall answer the same, and upon discovery and repayment of the money or property so won, or its value, such winner shall be discharged from any forfeiture or punishment which he may have incurred for winning the same.

§ 18.2-325. Definitions.

1. “Illegal gambling” means the making, placing or receipt, of any bet or wager in this Commonwealth of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance, whether such game, contest or event, occurs or is to occur inside or outside the limits of this Commonwealth.

2. “Interstate gambling” means the conduct of an enterprise for profit which engages in the purchase or sale within the Commonwealth of any interest in a lottery of another state or country whether or not such interest is an actual lottery ticket, receipt, contingent promise to pay, order to purchase, or other record of such interest.

3. “Gambling device” includes:

a. Any device, machine, paraphernalia, equipment, or other thing, including books, records and other papers, which are actually used in an illegal gambling operation or activity, and

b. Any machine, apparatus, implement, instrument, contrivance, board or other thing, or electronic or video versions thereof, including but not limited to those dependent upon the insertion of a coin or other object for their operation, which operates, either completely automatically or with the aid of some physical act by the player or operator, in such a manner that, depending upon elements of chance, it may eject something of value or determine the prize or other thing of value to which the player is entitled; provided, however, that the return to the user of nothing more than additional chances or the right to use such machine is not deemed something of value within the meaning of this subsection; and provided further, that machines that only sell, or entitle the user to, items of merchandise of equivalent value that may differ from each other in composition, size, shape or color, shall not be deemed gambling devices within the meaning of this subsection.

Such devices are no less gambling devices if they indicate beforehand the definite result of one or more operations but not all the operations. Nor are they any less a gambling device because, apart from their use or adaptability as such, they may also sell or deliver something of value on a basis other than chance.

4. “Operator” includes any person, firm or association of persons, who conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs or owns all or part of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation.

§ 18.2-326. Penalty for illegal gambling.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, any person who illegally gambles or engages in interstate gambling as defined in § 18.2-325 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. If an association or pool of persons illegally gamble, each person therein shall be guilty of illegal gambling.

However, if any person makes, places, or receives any bet or wager of money or other thing of value on a horse race in the Commonwealth, whether the race is inside or outside the limits of the Commonwealth at any place or through any means other than (i) at a racetrack licensed by the Virginia Racing Commission pursuant to Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.) of Title 59.1 or (ii) at a satellite facility or through advance deposit account wagering, as those terms are defined in § 59.1-365, licensed by the Virginia Racing Commission pursuant to Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.) of Title 59.1, such person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For the purposes of this paragraph, venue shall be in any county or city in which any act was performed in furtherance of any course of conduct constituting illegal gambling.

§ 18.2-327. Winning by fraud; penalty.

If any person while gambling cheats or by fraudulent means wins or acquires for himself or another money or any other valuable thing, he shall be fined not less than five nor more than ten times the value of such winnings. This penalty shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed under this article.

§ 18.2-328. Conducting illegal gambling operation; penalties.

The operator of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any such operator who engages in an illegal gambling operation which (i) has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or (ii) has gross revenue of $2,000 or more in any single day shall be fined not more than $20,000 and imprisoned not less than one year nor more than ten years.
As used in this section, the term “gross revenue” means the total amount of illegal gambling transactions handled, dealt with, received by or placed with such operation, as distinguished from any net figure or amount from which deductions are taken, without regard to whether money or any other thing of value actually changes hands.

§ 18.2-329. Owners, etc., of gambling place permitting its continuance; penalty.

If the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person in control of any place or conveyance, knows, or reasonably should know, that it is being used for illegal gambling, and permits such gambling to continue without having notified a law-enforcement officer of the presence of such illegal gambling activity, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-330. Accessories to gambling activity; penalty.

Any person, firm or association of persons, other than those persons specified in other sections of this article, who knowingly aids, abets or assists in the operation of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-331. Illegal possession, etc., of gambling device; penalty.

A person is guilty of illegal possession of a gambling device when he manufactures, sells, transports, rents, gives away, places or possesses, or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of any gambling device, believing or having reason to believe that the same is to be used in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity. Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-332. Certain acts not deemed “consideration” in prosecution under this article.

In any prosecution under this article, no consideration shall be deemed to have passed or been given because of any person’s attendance upon the premises of another; his execution, mailing or delivery of an entry blank; his answering of questions, verbally or in writing; his witnessing of a demonstration or other proceeding; or any one or more thereof, where no charge is made to, paid by, or any purchase required of him in connection therewith.

§ 18.2-333. Exceptions to article; certain sporting events.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent any contest of speed or skill between men, animals, fowl or vehicles, where participants may receive prizes or different percentages of a purse, stake or premium dependent upon whether they win or lose or dependent upon their position or score at the end of such contest.

Any participant who, for the purpose of competing for any such purse, stake or premium offered in any such contest, knowingly and fraudulently enters any contestant other than the contestant purported to be entered or knowingly and fraudulently enters a contestant in a class in which it does not belong, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-334. Exception to article; private residences.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to make it illegal to participate in a game of chance conducted in a private residence, provided such private residence is not commonly used for such games of chance and there is no operator as defined in subsection 4 of § 18.2-325.

§ 18.2-334.2. Same; bingo games, raffles and duck races conducted by certain organizations.

Nothing in this article shall apply to any bingo game, instant bingo, raffle, or duck race conducted solely by organizations as defined in § 18.2-340.16 which have received a permit as set forth in § 18.2-340.25, or which are exempt from the permit requirement under § 18.2-340.23.

§ 18.2-334.3. Exemptions to article; state lottery.

Nothing in this article shall apply to any lottery conducted by the Commonwealth of Virginia pursuant to Chapter 40 of Title 58.1.

§ 18.2-334.4. Exemptions to article; pari-mutuel wagering.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to make it illegal to participate in any race meeting or pari-mutuel wagering conducted in accordance with Chapter 29 (§ 59.1-364 et seq.) of Title 59.1.

§ 18.2-336. Forfeiture of money, gambling devices, etc., seized from illegal gambling enterprise; innocent owners or lienors.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 995.

§ 18.2-337. Immunity of witnesses from prosecution.

No witness called by the Commonwealth or by the court, giving evidence either before the grand jury or in any prosecution under this article, shall ever be prosecuted for the offense being prosecuted concerning which he testifies. Such witness shall be compelled to testify and for refusing to do so may be punished for contempt.

§ 18.2-338. Enforcement of § 18.2-331 by Governor and Attorney General.

If it shall come to the knowledge of the Governor that § 18.2-331 is not being enforced in any county, city or town, the Governor may call upon the Attorney General to direct its enforcement in such county, city or town, and thereupon the Attorney General may instruct the attorney for the Commonwealth, sheriff and chief of police, if any, of such county, or the attorney for the Commonwealth and chief of police of such city, or the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county in which such town is located and the chief of police or sergeant of such town, to take such steps as may be necessary to insure the enforcement of such section in such county, city or town, and if any such officers, after receiving such instructions, shall thereafter fail or refuse to exercise diligence in the enforcement of § 18.2-331, the Attorney General shall make report thereof in writing to the Governor and to the judge of the circuit court having jurisdiction over the acts thereby prohibited, and thereupon the Attorney General upon being directed so to do by the Governor, shall take such steps as he may deem proper in directing the institution and prosecution of criminal proceedings, to secure the enforcement of § 18.2-331.

§ 18.2-339. Enjoining offenses relating to gambling.

Whenever any person shall be engaged in committing, or in permitting to be committed, or shall be about to commit, or permit, any act prohibited by any one or more of the sections in this article, the attorney for the Commonwealth of the county or city in which such act is being, or is about to be, committed or permitted, or the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, may institute and maintain a suit in equity in the appropriate court, in the name of the Commonwealth, upon the relation of such attorney for the Commonwealth, or the Attorney General, to enjoin and restrain such person from committing, or permitting, such prohibited act or acts. The procedure in any such suit shall be similar to the procedure in other suits for injunctions, except that no bond shall be required upon the granting of either a temporary or permanent injunction therein.

§ 18.2-340. County ordinances prohibiting illegal gambling.

The governing body of any county may adopt ordinances prohibiting illegal gambling and other illegal activity related thereto, including provision for forfeiture proceedings in the name of the county. Such ordinances shall not conflict with the provisions of this article or with other state laws and any penalties provided for violation of such ordinances shall not exceed a fine of $2,500 or confinement in jail for twelve months, either or both.


[section=Virginia Charitable Gaming Provisions]

§ 18.2-340.15. State control of charitable gaming.

A. Charitable gaming as authorized herein shall be permitted in the Commonwealth as a means of funding qualified organizations but shall be conducted only in strict compliance with the provisions of this article. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is vested with control of all charitable gaming in the Commonwealth. The Charitable Gaming Board shall have the power to prescribe regulations and conditions under which such gaming shall be conducted to ensure that it is conducted in a manner consistent with the purpose for which it is permitted.

B. The conduct of any charitable gaming is a privilege that may be granted or denied by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or its duly authorized representatives in its discretion in order to effectuate the purposes set forth in this article.
ß 18.2-340.16. Definitions.
As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

“Bingo” means a specific game of chance played with (i) individual cards having randomly numbered squares ranging from one to seventy-five, (ii) Department-approved electronic devices that display facsimiles of bingo cards and are used for the purpose of marking and monitoring players’ cards as numbers are called, or (iii) Department-approved cards, in which prizes are awarded on the basis of designated numbers on such cards conforming to a predetermined pattern of numbers selected at random.

“Board” means the Charitable Gaming Board created pursuant to ß 2.2-2455.

“Bona fide member” means an individual who participates in activities of a qualified organization other than such organization’s charitable gaming activities.

“Charitable gaming” or “charitable games” means those raffles and games of chance explicitly authorized by this article.

“Charitable gaming supplies” includes bingo cards or sheets, devices for selecting bingo numbers, instant bingo cards, pull-tab cards and seal cards, and any other equipment or product manufactured for or intended to be used in the conduct of charitable games. However for the purposes of this article, charitable gaming supplies shall not include items incidental to the conduct of charitable gaming such as markers, wands or tape.

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“Conduct” means the actions associated with the provision of a gaming operation during and immediately before or after the permitted activity, which may include, but not be limited to, (i) selling bingo cards or packs, electronic devices, instant bingo or pull-tab cards, or raffle tickets, (ii) calling bingo games, (iii) distributing prizes, and (iv) any other services provided by volunteer workers.

“Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“Fair market rental value” means the rent that a rental property will bring when offered for lease by a lessor who desires to lease the property but is not obligated to do so and leased by a lessee under no necessity of leasing.

“Gaming expenses” means prizes, supplies, costs of publicizing gaming activities, audit and administration or permit fees, and a portion of the rent, utilities, accounting and legal fees and such other reasonable and proper expenses as are directly incurred for the conduct of charitable gaming.

“Gross receipts” means the total amount of money generated by an organization from charitable gaming before the deduction of expenses, including prizes.

“Instant bingo,” “pull tabs,” or “seal cards” means specific games of chance played by the random selection of one or more individually prepacked cards, including Department-approved electronic versions thereof, with winners being determined by the preprinted or predetermined appearance of concealed letters, numbers or symbols that must be exposed by the player to determine wins and losses and may include the use of a seal card which conceals one or more numbers or symbols that have been designated in advance as prize winners. Such cards may be dispensed by electronic or mechanical equipment.

“Jackpot” means a bingo game that the organization has designated on its game program as a jackpot game, exclusive of a “winner-take-all” bingo game, in which the prize amount is greater than $100.

“Landlord” means any person or his agent, firm, association, organization, partnership, or corporation, employee, or immediate family member thereof, which owns and leases, or leases any premise devoted in whole or in part to the conduct of bingo games, and any person residing in the same household as a landlord.

“Management” means the provision of oversight of a gaming operation, which may include, but is not limited to, the responsibilities of applying for and maintaining a permit or authorization, compiling, submitting and maintaining required records and financial reports, and ensuring that all aspects of the operation are in compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations.

“Operation” means the activities associated with production of a charitable gaming activity, which may include, but not be limited to (i) the direct on-site supervision of the conduct of charitable gaming; (ii) coordination of volunteers; and (iii) all responsibilities of charitable gaming designated by the organization’s management.

“Organization” means any one of the following:
1. A volunteer fire department or rescue squad or auxiliary unit thereof which has been recognized in accordance with ß 15.2-955 by an ordinance or resolution of the political subdivision where the volunteer fire department or rescue squad is located as being a part of the safety program of such political subdivision;
2. An organization operated exclusively for religious, charitable, community or educational purposes;
3. An athletic association or booster club or a band booster club established solely to raise funds for school-sponsored athletic or band activities for a public school or private school accredited pursuant to ß 22.1-19 or to provide scholarships to students attending such school;
4. An association of war veterans or auxiliary units thereof organized in the United States;
5. A fraternal association or corporation operating under the lodge system;
6. A local chamber of commerce; or
7. Any other nonprofit organization that raises funds by conducting raffles that generate annual gross receipts of $40,000 or less, provided such gross receipts from the raffle, less expenses and prizes, are used exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or community purposes.

“Qualified organization” means any organization to which a valid permit has been issued by the Department to conduct charitable gaming or any organization that is exempt pursuant to ß 18.2-340.23.

“Raffle” means a lottery in which the prize is won by (i) a random drawing of the name or prearranged number of one or more persons purchasing chances or (ii) a random contest in which the winning name or preassigned number of one or more persons purchasing chances is determined by a race involving inanimate objects floating on a body of water, commonly referred to as a “duck race.”

“Reasonable and proper business expenses” means business expenses actually incurred by a qualified organization in the conduct of charitable gaming and not otherwise allowed under this article or under Board regulations on real estate and personal property tax payments, travel expenses, payments of utilities and trash collection services, legal and accounting fees, costs of business furniture, fixtures and office equipment and costs of acquisition, maintenance, repair or construction of an organization’s real property. For the purpose of this definition, salaries and wages of employees whose primary responsibility is to provide services for the principal benefit of an organization’s members shall not qualify as a business expense. However, payments made pursuant to ß 51.1-1204 to the Volunteer Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Service Award Fund shall be deemed a reasonable and proper business expense.

“Supplier” means any person who offers to sell, sells or otherwise provides charitable gaming supplies to any qualified organization.

§ 18.2-340.22. Only raffles, bingo and instant bingo games permitted; prizes not gaming contracts.

A. This article permits qualified organizations to conduct raffles, bingo and instant bingo games. All games not explicitly authorized by this article or Board regulations adopted in accordance with § 18.2-340.18 are prohibited.

B. The award of any prize money for any charitable game shall not be deemed to be part of any gaming contract within the purview of § 11-14.

C. Nothing in this article shall prohibit an organization from using the State Lottery Department’s Pick-3 number or any number or other designation selected by the State Lottery Department in connection with any lottery, as the basis for determining the winner of a raffle.

§ 18.2-340.26. Sale of raffle tickets; drawings.

A. Except as provided in subsection B, a qualified organization may sell raffle tickets both in and out of the jurisdiction designated in its permit and shall conduct the drawing within the Commonwealth.

B. A qualified organization may sell raffle tickets for a raffle drawing which will be held outside the Commonwealth, provided the raffle is conducted in accordance with (i) the regulations of the Board and (ii) the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction in which the raffle drawing will be held.

C. Before a prize drawing, each stub or other detachable section of each ticket sold or won through some other authorized charitable game conducted by the same organization holding the raffle, shall be placed into a receptacle from which the winning tickets are drawn. The receptacle shall be designed so that each ticket placed in it has an equal chance of being drawn. .

§18.2-340.26:1. Sale of instant bingo, pull tabs or seal cards; proceeds not counted as gross receipts.

A. Instant bingo, pull tabs or seal cards may be sold only upon the premises owned or exclusively leased by the organization and at such times as the portion of the premises in which the instant bingo, pull tabs or seal cards are sold is open only to members and their guests. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit the conduct of games of chance involving the sale of pull tabs or seal cards, commonly known as last sale games, conducted in accordance with this section.

B. The proceeds from instant bingo, pull tabs or seal cards shall not be included in determining the gross receipts for a qualified organization provided the gaming (i) is limited exclusively to members of the organization and their guests, (ii) is not open to the general public, and (iii) there is no public solicitation or advertisement made regarding such gaming.

§18.2-340.26:2. Sale of instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards by certain booster clubs.

As a part of its annual fund-raising event, any qualified organization that is an athletic association or booster club or a band booster club may sell instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards provided that (i) the sale is limited to a single event in a calendar year and (ii) the event is open to the public. The Department may require organizations authorized under this section to make such financial reporting as it deems necessary.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as exempting organizations authorized to sell instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards under this section from any other provisions of this article or other Board regulations.

§ 18.2-340.27. Conduct of bingo games; special permits.

A. A qualified organization shall accept only cash or, at its option, checks or debit cards in payment of any charges or assessments for players to participate in bingo games. However, no such organization shall accept postdated checks in payment of any charges or assessments for players to participate in bingo games.

B. No qualified organization or any person on the premises shall extend lines of credit or accept any credit or other electronic fund transfer other than debit cards in payment of any charges or assessments for players to participate in bingo games.

C. Bingo games may be held by qualified organizations no more frequently than two calendar days in any calendar week, except in accordance with subsection E.

D. No more than two sessions of bingo games may be held by qualified organizations in any calendar day.

E. A special permit may be granted a qualified organization which entitles it to conduct more frequent operations of bingo games during carnivals, fairs and state, federal or religious holidays, which shall be designated in the permit.

F. Any organization may conduct bingo games only in the county, city or town or in any adjoining county, city or town in which they regularly have been in existence or met. The Department may approve exceptions to this requirement where there is a special circumstance or documented need.

§ 18.2-340.28. Conduct of instant bingo, pull tabs and seal cards.

A. Any organization qualified to conduct bingo games pursuant to the provisions of this article may play instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards as a part of such bingo game and, if a permit is required pursuant to ß 18.2-340.25, such games shall be played only at such location and at such times as designated in the permit for regular bingo games.

B. Any organization conducting instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards shall maintain a record of the date, quantity and card value of instant bingo supplies purchased as well as the name and address of the supplier of such supplies. The organization shall also maintain a written invoice or receipt from a nonmember of the organization verifying any information required by this subsection. Such supplies shall be paid for only by check drawn on the gaming account of the organization. A complete inventory of all such gaming supplies shall be maintained by the organization on the premises where the gaming is being conducted.

C. No qualified organization shall sell any instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards to any individual under 18 years of age. No individual under 18 years of age shall play or redeem any instant bingo, pull tabs, or seal cards.

§ 18.2-340.29. Joint operation of bingo games; written reports; joint permit required.

A. Any two or more qualified organizations may jointly organize and conduct bingo games provided both have fully complied with all other provisions of this article.

B. Any two or more qualified organizations jointly conducting such games shall be (i) subject to the same restrictions and prohibitions contained in this article that would apply to a single organization conducting bingo games and (ii) required to furnish to the Department a written report setting forth the location where such games will be held, the division of manpower, costs, and proceeds for each game to be jointly conducted.
Upon a finding that the division of manpower and costs for each game bears a reasonable relationship to the division of proceeds, the Department shall issue a joint permit.

C. No bingo game shall be jointly conducted until the joint permit issued pursuant to subsection B is obtained by the organizations.

§18.2-340.30:1. “Winner-take-all” games; proceeds not counted as gross receipts.

The proceeds from any bingo game commonly referred to as “winner-take-all” games shall not be included in determining the gross receipts for a qualified organization provided that such games are conducted as provided in subdivision 10 of §18.2-340.33.

§ 18.2-340.37. Criminal penalties.

A. Any person who violates the provisions of this article or who willfully and knowingly files, or causes to be filed, a false application, report or other document or who willfully and knowingly makes a false statement, or causes a false statement to be made, on any application, report or other document required to be filed with or made to the Department shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Each day in violation shall constitute a separate offense.

C. Any person who converts funds derived from any charitable gaming to his own or another’s use, when the amount of funds is less than $200, shall be guilty of petit larceny and, when the amount of funds is $200 or more, shall be guilty of grand larceny. The provisions of this section shall not preclude the applicability of any other provision of the criminal law of the Commonwealth that may apply to any course of conduct that violates this section.



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