HomeDaily Fantasy Sports in Virginia

Daily fantasy sports in Virginia

Daily fantasy sports, often shortened to “DFS”, refers to games and contests that are a variant of traditional fantasy sports leagues. Players buy into contests run by licensed DFS operators and compete with other individuals rather than against the DFS site.

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On this page, we’ll explain how to get signed up for daily fantasy sports in Virginia. We’ll also showcase some of the top DFS operators and offer some tips for playing.

Yes, playing DFS is legal in Virginia. In fact, Virginia was the first state to pass legislation specifically addressing daily fantasy sports, passing the Fantasy Contests Act in 2016.

You can find a full list of approved DFS operators at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website.

What are the best DFS sites in Virginia?

There is no singular “best” DFS site in Virginia, as operators will run their contests in different ways and have varying arrays of games to enter. However, we have found these platforms to be reputable, fair, and player-friendly for new users and seasoned daily fantasy sports veterans.

FanDuel Virginia


FanDuel was one of the first DFS operators to rise to prominence in the United States, though it was founded in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2009. The online sportsbook is also far and away the most-used platform in Virginia by lifetime handle.

DraftKings Virginia


DraftKings and FanDuel dominate the DFS space, so much so that a potential merger between the two companies was nixed in 2017 by the Federal Trade Commission over fears of creating a monopoly. DK has a broad national player base, so you can virtually guarantee that contests will be filled and able to run.

Underdog Logo


Underdog Fantasy has risen to prominence in recent years due its “best ball” format. While other DFS leagues may require you to select a starting lineup each day and pick between which players you want to use, best ball leagues will automatically award points for your highest-scoring players at each position. Underdog also holds massive season-long best ball leagues that have prize pools exceeding $15 million.

How to get started with Daily Fantasy Sports in Virginia

The signup process for various Daily Fantasy Sports sites may look slightly different depending on where you play. However, DFS players in Virginia will be able to get started by following roughly these same steps.

  1. Decide where you want to play: If you want to try out a few different DFS operators, you are more than welcome to do so. As long as your budget allows, test a few different sites before deciding on your favorites.
  2. Access the registration form: Next, navigate to the registration form on the DFS site or mobile app. Typically, there will be a “Join Now” or “Register” button located in the top right corner of your screen.
  3. Decide on credentials: At a minimum, you’ll need to provide an email address and password, but you may also be asked to include a phone number. Some sites may also have you pick a username instead of just using your email address when logging in.
  4. Verify your identity: Under Virginia law, you must be at least 18 years old to participate in DFS contests. When registering, you will need to provide your legal name, address, date of birth, and in most cases the last four digits of your social security number.
  5. Agree to the terms and fund your account: Finally, you’ll need to agree to the terms of use and privacy policy by checking the boxes on the registration form. You may also need to check boxes to affirm you are legally allowed to participate in DFS contests. After submitting your registration, log into your account and make a deposit using an approved payment method. Depending on the site, you may get your welcome bonus immediately after making your deposit, though in some cases, you may need to play a contest first.

What kinds of DFS leagues can I play in Virginia?

Here are a few of the different kinds of DFS leagues you can play in Virginia.

  • Single-game contests: Single-game DFS contests require players to draft the best lineup of players they can from one head-to-head game in a given sport. Players earn points based on their roster’s stat performances during the game (rules may vary slightly depending on the category to adjust the weight of scoring metrics). Prizes are disbursed based on the size of the player pool; some DFS events have a winner-take-all format while other contests may have prizes for the top three (or more) players
  • League-wide contests: Similar to same-game DFS contests, league-wide events give drafters a pool including all players who are playing in a game on contest day rather than limiting the selection to one specific matchup. Contest participants usually have a budget to use when picking their players who are all assigned different “salaries” for that day by the DFS operator. This budget selection method is used instead of an auction draft or snake draft, especially for contests with a high player limit.
  • Pick’em contests: Pick’em contests don’t actually involve drafting a roster but instead earn players points for picking the winners from a series of sporting events. The more correct picks you make, the more points you earn. Pick’em contests have come under scrutiny in recent years over concerns that they operate too closely to sports gambling, especially in states where sports betting is prohibited.
  • Best ball: Most DFS events will require players to set a lineup from the players they’ve drafted. However, best ball events allow you to earn points from any players on your roster, even if you didn’t add them to your “starting lineup.” Instead, best ball games only count the points from the highest-scoring player at a given position, so setting a lineup isn’t nearly as important as how you’ve drafted.

Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports legislation in Virginia

Here is a brief timeline of daily fantasy sports legislation in Virginia.

  • 2006: Congress passes the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which blocked gambling operators from accepting money in states where various gambling practices were prohibited. However, the Act did not address daily fantasy sports, interstate lotteries, skill games, or other interstate and intertribal gaming activities.
  • 2009: FanDuel is founded in Edinburgh, Scotland. The company would later become a DFS and online sports betting powerhouse, especially in Virginia.
  • 2012: DraftKings is founded in Boston, MA. By 2015, FanDuel and DraftKings held a 95% market share among U.S. daily fantasy sports operators.
  • 2016: Virginia passes the Fantasy Contests Act, becoming the first state to pass legislation specifically addressing DFS sites. Some states have left daily fantasy sports operators in legal limbo, neither approving nor prohibiting residents from participation, but VA took a firm stance and paved the way for others to follow suit.
  • 2020: Virginia sports betting is legalized throughout the state, which also gave a boost to the legal status of DFS sites by acting as an additional safety net against critics who argue daily fantasy sports functions too similarly to sports betting.

Tips for playing Daily Fantasy Sports in Virginia

If you decide to participate in daily fantasy sports events in Virginia, we hope you keep these tips in mind.

  • Practice in smaller games with lower stakes: Developing consistent strategies for your DFS leagues will take time, effort, patience, and persistence. Entering events with smaller prize pools and a lower number of entrants can help you hone these strategies while still keeping your likelihood of winning somewhat high.
  • Be smart about bonuses: Welcome and reload bonuses are somewhat frequent occurrences at DFS sites, but they aren’t all created equal. Pay attention to the details of the contests you’re entering to make sure they’re eligible for bonuses, and don’t blow through all your bonus credits on a single event.
  • Start your studs: Players who you drafted early and who have a bigger overall salary earned that draft position and DFS salary for a reason. In general, it’s more practical to start your stud who posts a more consistent stat total than to use a sleeper candidate with boom-or-bust stats.


Do I pay taxes on Daily Fantasy Sports winnings in VA?

Yes, you must pay taxes on daily fantasy sports winnings in VA. DFS winnings are taxable income under state and federal law and must be reported when filing your tax returns.

Can you play DFS using DraftKings in VA?

Yes, you can play DFS using DraftKings in VA. You can also use DraftKings’ sportsbook platform, but DK Casino is prohibited under state law.