The Legal Status of Gambling in Virginia
This real money poker page is continually updated and reflects operators with the top combination of promotional value, security and reliability:. 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 cash games.
Virginia laws do not fall into that category, so playing VA online poker is just as easy as doing anything else online. Once you choose one of the top poker sites 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: What view does Virginia betting laws take of playing online poker for money?
Questions about gambling can be murky affairs, and questions about Virginia online gambling tend to be doubly so. Virginia law has a pretty standard definition of gambling provided via Section If you participate in illegal gambling as a player, you could face a misdemeanor charge Section 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 Private gambling — commonly referred to as social gambling — is permitted in Virginia per the conditions set forth in Section Daniels went to the Virginia Supreme Court. In March , Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn ruled [B] that the law is not vague and it allows for skill to be considered. However, since Daniels had not been charged with any violation the judge refrained from ruling whether poker is a game of skill.
Steve Emmert, an appeals court expert, opined that for the court to judge on this specific issue someone will have to be charged with felony for illegal poker gambling. George Pitsilides, a Virginia Beach restaurant owner, was charged with three felony counts of illegal gambling for running poker tournaments. He is facing a trial and a minimum three years in prison if he loses. His attorney, James Broccoletti, plans to play the poker being a game of skill card.
The court ruling in this case, if favorable, could be a game changer for poker and online poker in Virginia. Pitsilides pleaded to a lesser penalty in late Poker as a game of skill route was attempted through direct legislation as well but without success. There is also a movement from public interest groups for legalizing poker in Virginia. In general, any person who illegally gambles or engages in interstate gambling shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.
There are stated exceptions to this. State lottery, horse racing and charitable gambling when conducted according to law are specifically exempt from illegal gambling. State Lottery laws are covered under Chapter 40 of Title Under Section of the Virginia Code gambling contracts are void and under Section monies lost in gambling can be recovered from the winner through civil action suit.
As reported in Nvdaily. The objective of these bills was to outlaw online gambling through making purchases of things, including Internet time, which could be then wagered. All three bills were passed in April , and the following amendment was made to the Virginia Code.
The addition to the definition of illegal gambling under Section Poker at home described as private residences in Virginia has been exempted from the definition of illegal gambling under Section If a rake is taken in any form, then the game becomes illegal as David Engleton discovered when the police raided his Virginia Beach home after the games were staked out by undercover operators. Though charitable gambling is permitted in a regulated manner in Virginia, poker is not included in the list of games that are allowed.
Therefore, charity poker tournaments are illegal in Virginia. Live poker is illegal in Virginia. In January , Senator J. Chapman Petersen introduced SB with the objective of declaring poker as a game of skill and removing it from the purview of illegal gambling. The forms of gambling permitted in Virginia are pari-mutuel wagering, racetrack betting, state lottery and charitable gaming. There are no live casinos in Virginia, not even tribal casinos or river boat casinos. However, Virginia residents can easily go to neighboring states to gamble in casinos.
The recent success of live casinos in Maryland led to a new attempt to legislate regulated casino gambling in Virginia. This would prevent Virginia revenues from being spent in other states and also generate funds for infrastructure development.
In July , L. The bill sought to create the Virginia Casino Gaming Commission as the licensing body for casino gaming. It provided for a licensing and regulatory scheme for casino gaming and provided penalties for violations of the proposed casino gambling laws. The bill was referred to the senate committee on General Laws and Technology. In January , the committee passed by the bill indefinitely with a vote, thereby ending this attempt to bring casino gambling to Virginia. Senator Louise Lucas has again filed a casino gambling bill in the state of Virginia for the General Assembly session.
The bill was very similar as the last, but she was hoping to get more support now that Massachusetts has passed a bill to build brick and mortar casinos which will take revenue away from Virginia by people going to Massachusetts to gamble. This bill died in the state legislature in early , and no other piece of legislation has been introduced since.
Horse racing laws are covered under Chapter 29 of Title The Virginia Racing Commission [M] is vested with control of all horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering. Since , the racing took place at the Colonial Downs race track in New Kent County, but it closed its doors in late due to competition from neighboring states.
Betting is permitted at designated off track betting centers as well. Richmond Sunlight 215 reported that a bill SB had been introduced in the Virginia Senate to allow wagering on historical horse racing in However, the bill failed.