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Virginia – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The colony of Virginia was the first permanent colony to be set up by the English on the North American continent. It eventually grew to a state so large that even after being split from its Western counterpart is still home to eight million people. The split was due to a difference in opinion as to which side to join during the Civil War. However, the state is now more often defined by its stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and the bounteous Chesapeake Bay. While states across the bay, like Delaware and New Jersey as well as neighboring West Virginia, have made great strides in creating a regulated gambling market, Virginia, unfortunately, lacks behind its contemporaries.
More information about Virginia – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
Unlike West Virginia’s fully regulated online gambling market, Virginia is somewhat of a mixed bag. While recent changes legalized online sports betting in 2020, which was great news, online casinos have unfortunately not had the same treatment and remain in a gray-zone. As it is so far forbidden for local operators to establish themselves in Virginia, people instead flock to sites based overseas. These are still licensed to operate within their own jurisdictions and it is, therefore, the state government’s responsibility to block access to these sites. As this is something that is usually way out of the scope of most governments, players can freely access these sites but without being backed by defined industry standards or the possibility to take legal recourse.
- Is the casino fully licensed?
- What is the reputation of the licensing body?
- Will you be able to use your preferred payment methods?
- Will you be able to participate in loyalty programs?
- Does the site feature sports betting?
Those wishing to go ahead and play anyway should first take the time to establish a site’s legitimacy and value. Asking yourself a few questions like the ones above is a good start and so is checking out some casino reviews like the ones found right here at GoodLuckMate.
You may be surprised to discover just how far Virginia’s relationship with gambling goes back. The 1612 “Great Virginia Lottery” was the first lottery to be held in what would later become the US. The lottery was first set up to fund the creation of the settlement of Jamestown, which is now home to over 15,000 people. The Virginia lottery we know today, run by the Lottery Board of Virginia, wasn’t established until 1987, however, this was still way before many other states implemented their own state-run lotteries. It is now this same board that will in charge of the legalized sports betting scene that has just sprung up as recently as 2020. The only exception is betting will not be allowed for college and university team matches.
While this is certainly great news, it is still missing that extra step of giving the same treatment to online casinos. Many close by states, including West Virginia, have already made the leap and there is some hope that this new momentum will be a catalyst for further changes in the near future.
Despite the fact that there is very little incentive for online casinos to provide localized content to unregulated or restricted markets, Virginia is in the fortunate position of being a part of the US. Industry standards align well with US players, as English is the default language of the vast majority of sites, along with the fact that most are also US-centric when it comes to payments, but more on that below. Major US events, including the Superbowl and Oscars, also have big worldwide appeal and is, therefore, something that sites are happy to be a part of. It may however not be all that easy when looking for good promotions and deals though, as sites will generally only direct market themselves to their intended markets. While this may be less of an issue now that more and more states are loosening up their laws, it remains a factor for those who reside in unregulated states.
In the same vein as English being the default language for the industry, so too are US dollars (alongside euros) the default currency. Online casinos cater to players from all over the world, but catering to the various local currencies and payment methods is simply too big an endeavor for the majority of operations. That is why defaults are provided, such as US dollars, which are widely available geographically while also being supported by virtually all payment providers around the world. It will therefore be extremely difficult to find an online casino that doesn’t support US dollar payments, as well as providing a choice of different payment methods to do so with. The only exception would be for the newly fashionable cryptocurrency casinos that deal exclusively in virtual currencies.
With a handful of other states having already lead the charge, Virginia sits in a very good position to learn from their examples. Virginia was considered rather restrictive when it came to gambling in the past, with the main contention being the complete ban on most types of operations, including tribally run casinos and riverboat casinos. The newly formed legislation authorizing sports betting both online and offline really gives the state a new image for gamblers around the world. The market remains in its infancy however and there is still a long road ahead to making it a successful and valuable addition to the state’s entertainment industry and tax revenues.