Virginia Gambling Laws

Legal Gambling > State Gambling Laws > Virginia Gambling Laws

The Virginia Gambling Laws establish the regulations involving gambling in the state of Virginia. If you are curious about the legislation surrounding gambling in the state of Virginia, then you will be able to read the statutes below. The Virginia code of laws will let you determine whether or not what you wish to do is legal. Whether it is gambling online or gambling with your buddies, this laws below should give you some insight into whether you are protected by the law. We cannot tell you if online gambling is legal in Virginia for two reasons. First of all, we are not attorneys. Second of all, there is no written law covering Virginia Online Gambling Laws that are not general gambling laws.

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Is Online Gambling Legal in Virginia?  

We do not condone breaking the law. If you are unsure whether or not your preferred form of gambling is legal gambling, speak with an attorney and ask him to tell you what the Virginia Gambling Statutes mean.

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Virginia Gambling Statutes

§ 18.2-325. Definitions.

1. "Illegal gambling" means the making, placing or receipt of any bet or wager in the Commonwealth of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance, whether such game, contest or event occurs or is to occur inside or outside the limits of the Commonwealth.

a. For the purposes of this subdivision and notwithstanding any provision in this section to the contrary, the making, placing, or receipt of any bet or wager of money or other thing of value shall include the purchase of a product, which purchase credits the purchaser with free points or other measurable units that may be risked by the purchaser for an opportunity to win additional points or other measurable units that are redeemable by the purchaser for money at the location where the product was purchased.

b. Nothing in this section shall be construed or interpreted to prohibit the conduct of any lawful game, contest, lottery, scheme, or promotional offering that complies with the requirements contained in § 18.2-325.1.

2. "Interstate gambling" means the conduct of an enterprise for profit which engages in the purchase or sale within the Commonwealth of any interest in a lottery of another state or country whether or not such interest is an actual lottery ticket, receipt, contingent promise to pay, order to purchase, or other record of such interest.

3. "Gambling device" includes:

a. Any device, machine, paraphernalia, equipment, or other thing, including books, records and other papers, which are actually used in an illegal gambling operation or activity, and

b. Any machine, apparatus, implement, instrument, contrivance, board or other thing, including but not limited to those dependent upon the insertion of a coin or other object for their operation, which operates, either completely automatically or with the aid of some physical act by the player or operator, in such a manner that, depending upon elements of chance, it may eject something of value or determine the prize or other thing of value to which the player is entitled; provided, however, that the return to the user of nothing more than additional chances or the right to use such machine is not deemed something of value within the meaning of this subsection; and provided further, that machines that only sell, or entitle the user to, items of merchandise of equivalent value that may differ from each other in composition, size, shape or color, shall not be deemed gambling devices within the meaning of this subsection.

Such devices are no less gambling devices if they indicate beforehand the definite result of one or more operations but not all the operations. Nor are they any less a gambling device because, apart from their use or adaptability as such, they may also sell or deliver something of value on a basis other than chance.

4. "Operator" includes any person, firm or association of persons, who conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs or owns all or part of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation.

§ 18.2-325.1. Lawful games, contests, etc.; methods of entry; requirements.

Pursuant to subdivision 1 b of § 18.2-325, any lawful game, contest, lottery, scheme, or promotional offering (the contest) may be conducted provided the following requirements are met:

1. There is available a method of free entry to all participants wishing to enter the contest without purchase;

2. There is equal opportunity to play and equal odds of winning for all participants regardless of whether a participant entered with a valid purchase or through a free alternative method of entry;

3. There are written disclosures about the contest including:

a. The terms and conditions that a participant must meet to enter and possibly receive a prize or other thing of value;

b. The manner in which to request free entry into the contest;

c. The identity of the contest sponsor;

d. The end date of the contest period;

e. A statement that the making of a purchase will not increase the odds of winning;

f. The odds of obtaining a winning configuration or game piece, which shall be expressed as a numerical ratio, if applicable, or as dependent on a number of entries, if applicable;

g. A statement of whether any winner of a prize or other thing of value must complete an approved claim form in order to receive the prize or other thing of value; and

h. A statement of whether proof of identity is required for a winner to redeem the prize or other thing of value;

4. The disclosures required by this section shall be included in "the official rules" of the contest, and may be in the form of independent signage; printed on the product or container; shown in a multimedia display on the product dispenser; or otherwise available by mail, on the Internet, or by toll-free telephone call;

5. Any advertising copy shall include the following:

a. The name of the operator and the contest;

b. A statement that no purchase is required to enter or play the contest;

c. The start and end dates for entering the contest, which shall be consistent with the official rules;

d. A statement of eligibility to participate in the contest; and

e. A disclosure of where the contest is void.

6. In the case of a device with a multimedia display, the official rules shall be available for display without cost; and

7. No consideration or anything of value is required in order to play or enter into the contest, except for the product purchased, if any.

§ 18.2-326. Penalty for illegal gambling.

Except as otherwise provided in this article, any person who illegally gambles or engages in interstate gambling as defined in § 18.2-325 shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. If an association or pool of persons illegally gamble, each person therein shall be guilty of illegal gambling.

§ 18.2-327. Winning by fraud; penalty.

If any person while gambling cheats or by fraudulent means wins or acquires for himself or another money or any other valuable thing, he shall be fined not less than five nor more than ten times the value of such winnings. This penalty shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed under this article.

§ 18.2-328. Conducting illegal gambling operation; penalties.

The operator of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. However, any such operator who engages in an illegal gambling operation which (i) has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days or (ii) has gross revenue of $2,000 or more in any single day shall be fined not more than $20,000 and imprisoned not less than one year nor more than ten years.

As used in this section, the term "gross revenue" means the total amount of illegal gambling transactions handled, dealt with, received by or placed with such operation, as distinguished from any net figure or amount from which deductions are taken, without regard to whether money or any other thing of value actually changes hands.

§ 18.2-329. Owners, etc., of gambling place permitting its continuance; penalty.

If the owner, lessee, tenant, occupant or other person in control of any place or conveyance, knows, or reasonably should know, that it is being used for illegal gambling, and permits such gambling to continue without having notified a law-enforcement officer of the presence of such illegal gambling activity, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

§ 18.2-330. Accessories to gambling activity; penalty.

Any person, firm or association of persons, other than those persons specified in other sections of this article, who knowingly aids, abets or assists in the operation of an illegal gambling enterprise, activity or operation, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-331. Illegal possession, etc., of gambling device; penalty.

A person is guilty of illegal possession of a gambling device when he manufactures, sells, transports, rents, gives away, places or possesses, or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of any gambling device, believing or having reason to believe that the same is to be used in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity. Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-332. Certain acts not deemed "consideration" in prosecution under this article.

In any prosecution under this article, no consideration shall be deemed to have passed or been given because of any person's attendance upon the premises of another; his execution, mailing or delivery of an entry blank; his answering of questions, verbally or in writing; his witnessing of a demonstration or other proceeding; or any one or more thereof, where no charge is made to, paid by, or any purchase required of him in connection therewith.

§ 18.2-333. Exceptions to article; certain sporting events.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent any contest of speed or skill between men, animals, fowl or vehicles, where participants may receive prizes or different percentages of a purse, stake or premium dependent upon whether they win or lose or dependent upon their position or score at the end of such contest.

Any participant who, for the purpose of competing for any such purse, stake or premium offered in any such contest, knowingly and fraudulently enters any contestant other than the contestant purported to be entered or knowingly and fraudulently enters a contestant in a class in which it does not belong, shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-334. Exception to article; private residences.

Nothing in this article shall be construed to make it illegal to participate in a game of chance conducted in a private residence, provided such private residence is not commonly used for such games of chance and there is no operator as defined in subsection 4 of § 18.2-325.

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