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Virginians have the opportunity to take in the spectacle and magnificence of horse betting Virginia thanks to horse betting. Citizens of Virginia can take pleasure in the thrill of making a wager on the horses. Whether it is live racing at the track or simulcasts from races throughout the nation. As a result, horse betting in Old Dominion has seen periods of growth and decline. Virginia currently only has one horse track that hosts live racing. After six years without any live racing on the turf, Colonial Downs resumed it in April 2019.

One of the most significant horse racing states in the US in Virginia. Virginians undoubtedly do enjoy the occasional flutter as they were pioneers of horse racing more than 100 years ago. Furthermore, they developed some best-thoroughbred horses to grace the track.

Yes. Virginia allows both live and online horse betting Virginia wagering. Additionally, there are 2,667 locations (as of 2021) across the state where gamblers can wager on past horse races. However, the licensing and deployment of historic horse racing machines (HHR) at Colonial Downs in 2018 was one of the strongest pushes for gambling in recent Virginia history. These machines offer a hybrid instant-win game that blends horse racing with slot machine play, allowing players to wager on previous races. Since their debut, HHR machines have gained a tonne of popularity and provided Colonial Downs with a significant source of cash.

Different types of horse race bets in VA

Similar to other activities, horse racing has its own terminology. Before placing a wager, it is crucial to be familiar with the terminology used in horse racing because each wager has its own specific nomenclature and guidelines. Online horse betting offers a variety of forms. However, there are two main types of horse wagers.

Straight wagers

The most fundamental kind of horse betting is the straight bet. In some instances, these wagers may also be referred to as single-horse wagers. Furthermore, in this type of wager, you are predicting that a specific horse will finish in the top three. The choices consist of:

  • Win bet - The bettor chooses the horse who will win in this type of wager. If the horse finishes anywhere other than first, the bettor loses the bet. It is the simplest wager you can place on a race is a winning wager.
  • Place bet - In this type of wager, the gambler is putting his money in second place. If the horse finishes in second place or higher, the bettor wins.
  • Show bet - A third-place result for the horse in the race is the outcome of this wager. But much like a place bet, the bettor also wins if the horse places better than third in the race.

Exotic wagers

Bettors can also make a single unusual stake on numerous horses. But as the number of horses in the wager rises, so does its complexity. These bets may alternatively be referred to as “multiple horse bets.” It may, however, be a little wider than that. Several varieties of exotic bets include:

  • Single race - The gambler chooses a winner from a field of rival horses in this kind of betting. The bettor can choose how many races he wants to bet on, though. In betting, this is equivalent to parlay betting.
  • Exacta - A wager on an exacta involves choosing two horses: one to win and one to place among the winners. The bettor must guess the finish order correctly in order to win the bet. Among all horse betting formats, this is the wager kind that is most well-known.
  • Quinella - When you choose two horses to win and place in this wager, the order is no longer significant. However, since you are now guaranteeing two possible outcomes, you must wager twice as much as you would have for an exacta bet.
  • Trifecta - The exacta wager extends in this wager. Three horses are the bettor's choice, place, and show. Like with the exacta, the bettor must enter the order precisely. One of the well-known horse betting choices is the trifecta. When you bet on the first three horses to cross the finish line in any race, large dividend payouts are typical.
  • Superfecta - You must tap four horses in order to win, place, show, and come in fourth. Order is a key factor in this wager. This is the only common horse wager that takes into account horses placing outside the top three. The winning pattern is significant in this case. If the horses do not finish in the projected order, the win does not happen.

History of horse betting in VA

Since the first horses were there in Virginia by colonists in 1609, racing horses have a long history there. The colonists of Virginia continued English gambling customs, such as betting on horses, in opposition to the anti-gambling Puritans in Virginia. Lotteries were once essential to the survival of the Virginia Company of London, which served as the colonization's financier until 1624. Oliver Cromwell's Puritanism was replaced by widespread gambling in English society once Charles II was on the throne in 1660. Because only the very privileged could afford to acquire horses for breeding or to maintain a horse for no other purpose than racing. Therefore, horse racing came to be known as the “Sport of Kings.” In colonial Virginia, everyone could wager, but it's possible that only the gentry could afford to keep a racehorse.

The top horse race betting sites in Virginia

In VA, there are many sportsbooks where you may bet on horses. A website or an app is typically available at these sportsbooks to assist customers in placing wagers on horse racing. Anywhere in the United States, you can do this while seated. Famous sportsbooks include:

  • BetRivers Virginia - The Virginia gambling site BetRivers offers one of the most popular authorized sports betting platforms in the United States is by BetRivers Sportsbook. In 2022, BetRivers will continue to be a reliable alternative in the online gaming sector thanks to its competitive odds, excellent customer service, and availability of its online casino. With BetRivers, horse bettors will legally gamble in Virginia. As additional markets legalize sports betting, horse betting in Virginia will surely make it to the top.
  • PointsBet Virginia - In the US, PointsBet launched in January 2019 as a result of a partnership with Meadowlands Racetrack. Residents of Virginia are eligible for exceptional fixed odds pricing and a sign-up code from the organization. The concept of “Points Betting” has been introduced by PointsBet. In the US, it is a distinct type of high-risk, high-reward sports betting. For the convenience of its customers, PointsBet has created a mobile app for horse racing.
  • Betway Virginia - It is a betting company with a UK footprint that provides a wide range of betting alternatives, from bingo to sports betting. The Betway sportsbook in Virginia offers a diverse collection of well-liked sporting lines, including horse betting. It is a safe sportsbook that has obtained authorization from several bodies, including eCOGRA. With its simple processing, bettors can place wagers from any location inside the state.
  • BetMGM Virginia - The BetMGM online sportsbook and Virginia betting app are the market leaders in Virginia's growing legal sports betting industry. More quickly than any other online sportsbook, BetMGM has actively participated in new internet markets. The BetMGM app and online sportsbook were developed in Virginia in partnership with MGM Resorts International and Roar Digital, two well-known names in the gambling business.
  • Caesars Virginia - Possibly the most well-known name in gambling is Caesars. The brand is a dominant player with a great track record among many American sports bettors throughout the years thanks to casinos operating in almost every legal market. Now Caesars has its operations in Virginia as well.
  • Unibet Virginia - It was one of the early adopters of online betting. The Atlantic City Hard Rock Casino was its first partner in this venture. Virginia residents can access Unibet's first-rate PC platform, mobile app, and hefty sign-up bonus. It provides a secure setting for bettors, so they can make wagers without being concerned. Residents of Unibet VA have a lovely mobile app they may use to make bets within the state.

About Colonial Downs in Virginia

The only one-and-a-quarter-mile track in North America having harness racing and a one-turn mile is Colonial Downs. On the backstretch, the horses begin their race from a chute. Colonial Downs had the fastest harness racing times in all racing. The race between quick horses has played a significant role in Colonial Downs and Virginia history. Since the early 18th century when horse thieves faced the death penalty and winning prizes were shillings or saddles. Horses competed in heats on frequently quarter-mile straight roads in the countryside, with their owners on and flinging themselves at the other riders to win. To ensure a fair run, there were no stewards present.

Thoroughbred racing did not become the Sport of Kings until the middle of the 20th century when wealthy Europeans immigrated to North America. This sport was playtime by the wealthy or those seeking to higher social standing. Horses were hand-walked from other counties and even Maryland to compete in races that were staged on opulent plantations near the James River. In the early 1900s, the counties bordering Richmond and Williamsburg were home to at least 10 racetracks.


What age do I have to be to bet on horses in Virginia?

If you want to bet on horses, you must be at least 21 years old. The age restriction is there to keep the relevant clientele. As a result, if you are under the age of 21, you cannot place a bed.

When did horse betting become legal in Virginia?

In 1989, horse racing in Virginia became legal. Virginians have access to licensed ADW organizations that accept bets on horse races year-round.

Where can I find the latest Virginia horse racing bonuses?

The latest Virginia horse racing bonuses can be found right here on this page. Many legitimate sportsbooks in Virginia provide bonuses for horse racing. Additionally, there are tempting benefits available for brand-new clients. We frequently update this page with bonuses like these.