In 2019, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation allowing voters in five cities to decide whether their city should host a licensed casino. In November 2020, voters gave the thumbs-up to casinos in Bristol (Hard Rock), Norfolk (Pamunkey), Danville (Caesars), and Portsmouth (Rivers).
If you’re looking to hit the slots in Portsmouth, check out Rivers Casino, which opened in January 2023. Situated three miles southwest of downtown Portsmouth, Virginia, the Rivers Casino Portsmouth is a state-of-the-art casino resort that was built at a cost of $340 million. The casino offers a wide variety of gaming options. The casino boasts 1,448 slot machines, 57 table games, a 24-table poker room, high-limit gaming areas, and a top-notch sportsbook called BetRivers.
Although the resort currently doesn’t have a hotel, a 4-star hotel is slated to open in the future, adding to the allure of this already impressive establishment. The Rivers Casino Portsmouth is a top-rated entertainment hub, providing visitors with an exceptional gaming and hospitality experience that’s sure to make their visit unforgettable.
The casino is located at 3630 Victory Blvd, Portsmouth, VA 23701.
Over in Danville, Caesars Virginia will be opening an interim casino in July 2023, with the permanent casino set to open in late 2024.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Bristol is already up and running with a temporary casino that opened on July 8, 2022. The permanent Hard Rock Bristol is set to open its doors in July 2024.
Meanwhile, HeadWaters Resort & Casino in Norfolk is still in the planning stages. The temporary casino has yet to begin construction and an opening date has not been announced, but the permanent casino is expected to open sometime in 2024-2025.
Virginia Gambling Revenues
In Virginia, gambling revenues are generated through the state’s lottery system, which includes traditional lottery games, instant scratch-off tickets, and various online games. In fiscal year 2021, the Virginia Lottery generated more than $782 million in profits, which are then distributed to various state programs and initiatives.
The majority of Virginia’s gambling revenues go toward K-12 education in the state. In fiscal year 2021, the Virginia Lottery provided nearly $600 million in funding for public education, including school construction, renovation, and modernization projects, as well as the purchase of classroom supplies and materials.
In addition to education, a portion of Virginia’s gambling revenues are allocated to other programs and initiatives, including the Virginia General Fund, which helps support a variety of government programs and services, as well as the Virginia Department of Health, which provides funding for public health programs and services.
Another portion of Virginia’s gambling revenues is used to support problem gambling prevention and treatment programs. The Virginia Council on Problem Gambling, which is funded in part by the Virginia Lottery, offers a variety of resources and services to help individuals and families affected by problem gambling.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Virginia
Currently, there are no Indian gaming tribes in Virginia, although there have been efforts to establish tribal gaming operations in the state. This is largely due to the fact that the Commonwealth of Virginia has not officially recognized any Native American tribes as of yet.
However, there are several groups seeking recognition from the federal government as Native American tribes, and if successful, these groups would be eligible to establish gaming operations on their land. One such group is the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, which was granted federal recognition in 2016 and has expressed interest in opening a casino in Virginia.
In addition to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, there are several other groups seeking federal recognition, including the Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Eastern Chickahominy Indian Tribe, the Rappahannock Tribe, and the Upper Mattaponi Tribe. These groups have faced opposition from some members of the Virginia General Assembly and other groups, who have raised concerns about the potential impact of tribal gaming operations on the state.
Despite these concerns, there is no denying the historical and cultural significance of Native American tribes in Virginia, many of whom have been present in the region for thousands of years. These tribes have played an important role in shaping the history and culture of the state, and continue to fight for recognition and the right to operate gaming facilities on their land.
- Pamunkey Indian Tribe
- Chickahominy Indian Tribe
- Eastern Chickahominy Indian Tribe
- Rappahannock Tribe
- Upper Mattaponi Tribe
A History of Gambling in Virginia
Gambling has a long and complicated history in Virginia, with various forms of wagering and games of chance being played throughout the state’s history. In colonial times, gambling was seen as a popular pastime, with games such as faro, roulette, and even horse racing being played in taverns and public spaces. However, by the mid-19th century, gambling had largely been banned throughout the state, and it wasn’t until the 20th century that the state began to allow certain forms of gambling once again.
In 1973, Virginia became one of the first states to establish a state-run lottery system. Initially offering just one game, the Virginia Lottery has since expanded to include a wide range of games, including instant scratch-off tickets, online games, and multi-state lottery games such as Mega Millions and Powerball. In fiscal year 2021, the Virginia Lottery generated over $782 million in profits, which were distributed to various state programs and initiatives.
In addition to the state-run lottery, Virginia has also allowed for a limited number of charitable gaming events, such as bingo and raffles, to be held in the state. These events are tightly regulated and can only be operated by certain types of organizations, such as churches and non-profit groups. In 2019, charitable gaming in Virginia generated over $33 million in revenue.
Despite the limited forms of gambling that are currently allowed in Virginia, there have been efforts to expand gambling in the state in recent years. In 2020, Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law that would allow for the construction of up to five casinos in certain cities throughout the state, including Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond. The Virginia Lottery has been tasked with regulating these new casinos, which are expected to generate significant revenue for the state.
However, the road to expanded gambling in Virginia has not been without controversy. Some lawmakers and advocacy groups have raised concerns about the potential social and economic impacts of allowing new casinos in the state, including increased rates of problem gambling and the potential displacement of existing businesses. As a result, it remains to be seen how successful the new casinos will be in Virginia and whether they will ultimately be seen as a net positive for the state’s economy and residents.
Gambling Taxes in Virginia
If you win money from gambling in Virginia, you may be required to pay state and federal taxes on your winnings. In Virginia, all gambling winnings are subject to a state tax of 4%, regardless of the amount won. In addition, gambling winnings are also subject to federal taxes, which can range from 10% to 37% depending on the amount won and the individual’s tax bracket.
It’s important to note that gambling losses can also be used to offset gambling winnings for tax purposes. For example, if you win $10,000 from gambling but also lose $5,000, you would only be required to pay taxes on the net winnings of $5,000.
If you do owe taxes on your gambling winnings, you will typically be required to report them on your annual tax return. You will need to report both your winnings and losses, and may be required to provide documentation to support your claims. Depending on the amount of your winnings, you may also need to make estimated tax payments throughout the year to avoid penalties.
It’s also worth noting that some types of gambling winnings may be subject to different tax rules. For example, if you win a prize from a state-run lottery, the state may be required to withhold a portion of your winnings for taxes before you even receive your prize. Similarly, if you win a prize from a charitable gaming event, the organization running the event may be required to report your winnings to the IRS and withhold taxes on your behalf.
Virginia Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Virginia casinos before being taxed?
Currently, there are no operational casinos in Virginia. However, if and when casinos are established in Virginia, all gambling winnings are subject to a state tax of 4%, regardless of the amount won. In addition, gambling winnings are also subject to federal taxes, which can range from 10% to 37% depending on the amount won and the individual’s tax bracket.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Virginia?
If you are concerned about problem gambling and would like to ban yourself from casinos in Virginia, you can enroll in the Virginia Voluntary Exclusion Program. This program allows individuals to voluntarily ban themselves from all casinos in the state for a period of two years or more. To enroll in the program, you will need to complete an application and provide photo identification.
Who regulates gambling in Virginia?
The Virginia Lottery is responsible for regulating all legal forms of gambling in the state, including the state-run lottery and any new casinos that may be established in the future. The Virginia Lottery is also responsible for enforcing rules and regulations related to charitable gaming events and ensuring that all gambling operations in the state are conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
What is the minimum gambling age in Virginia?
The minimum gambling age in Virginia varies depending on the type of gambling being conducted. For the state-run lottery and charitable gaming events, the minimum age is 18. However, if and when casinos are established in Virginia, the minimum age for gambling in those facilities will likely be 21.
Can I gamble online in Virginia?
Yes, Virginia recently legalized online sports betting and casino gaming. The Virginia Lottery is responsible for regulating online gambling in the state, and several online sportsbooks and casinos are now operating in Virginia.
What types of gambling are legal in Virginia?
Currently, the only types of gambling that are legal in Virginia are the state-run lottery and certain charitable gaming events, such as bingo and raffles. However, in 2020, a bill was signed into law that allows for the construction of up to five casinos in certain cities throughout the state. These new casinos have not yet been built and are not yet operational.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Virginia?
Yes, if you itemize your deductions on your Virginia state tax return, you may be able to deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your gambling winnings for the year. However, the deduction is only available if you have detailed records of your gambling activity and can provide documentation to support your claims. It’s also worth noting that gambling losses cannot be used to offset other types of income for tax purposes.