At this point no live Teas holdem poker action is available in Virginia
because of the state’s restrictive legislation in relation to most forms of
The state doesn’t allow any gambling except for lottery, pari-mutuel wagering
on horse racing, and games that are run for charitable purposes by not for
profit organizations. On top of this they also don’t allow casinos to be
operated on native Indian reservations like some other states in the US do.
What this means for you as a poker player is that you’ll need to be a little
bit creative to find a game, and you’ll have to put in some travel time to play
in a live cash game or tournament at a casino.
Charitable gambling is permitted in this state of Virginia. This is heavily
regulated though and only registered not for profit organizations will be able
to hold games and events.
The most common game played is bingo and you should be able to find a game in
community organizations or churches quite regularly throughout the state.
After bingo, the most common form of charitable gambling is in the form of
raffles. Again, these are quite commonplace and you should be able to find a
raffle without going too far.
From time to time you may also come across a poker or casino game night to
raise money for charities. These won’t be anything like sitting down in a real
casino to play though and usually involve non-cash prizes and various entry fees
where all proceeds go towards the charity in question. So, unfortunately you
won’t be able to sit down at a $2 / $3 no limit holdem cash table in the name of
Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is also permitted in Virginia. At least
five venues are scattered throughout the state including in Richmond. These
venues simulcast horse racing from around the country and world so you should be
able to find bets and races that suit you.
Strangely, greyhound racing betting isn’t permitted at all in the state. This
is probably because of the discrepancies between the law in relation to the
skill vs luck legislation and how it’s applied to horse racing.
Finally, you can also bet on the lottery in Virginia. The lottery is owned,
operated, and strongly regulated by the state and as such all profits from the
lottery go towards education. Specifically, the money goes to public schools to
allow for more schools to be built, better facilities, and scholarships and
allowances for students who are disadvantaged.
This allows them to attend school and get an education which is a great way
for money to be spent from lottery proceeds. The major national lotteries
including Powerball and Mega Millions are available to residents, as well as
some smaller state based lotteries and instant win scratch card and pull tab
games. This is pretty much the norm for most state run lotteries in the United
As you can see from the above you have some options to get your gambling fix,
but that doesn’t really help with that Texas holdem poker itch. If you do want
to play poker you’ll be able to set up a home game without any troubles from the
This is because wagering on a chance outcome in the state of Virginia is
permitted within a private residence. The residence becomes commercial if the
person who owns the residence in question begins to make a profit from any kind
of gambling that’s taking place within. So, if you wish to run a home game with
your friends that’s fine, just make sure you don’t start charging a commission
or rake. This would be poor to do to your buddies in any case.
The online world is a bit murkier when it comes to understanding the law and
whether as a player you won’t get in any trouble if you play online poker or
other games at an online casino. You’ll be able to find poker sites that accept
US players online, but they certainly won’t be the big names like Pokerstars and
Generally, they’re based off shore and will be smaller and less reputable.
It’s a bit of a different story for online casinos as some US casinos do exist
and they welcome players from certain US states.
You’ll also have access to several offshore online casinos that welcome all
US players and on these you can play your favorite luck based games like slots,
blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and craps. At this point in time it’s not illegal
to play on these sites, nor is it legal. The state just hasn’t really added
anything to legislation to address the online environment. If you decided that
you wanted to run an online poker site or casino that’s when you would be in a
lot of trouble with the authorities.
If you’re willing to put in a little bit of travel you’ll be able to find
some fantastic poker rooms in surrounding states. To the north Maryland, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania all offer some great poker options within a reasonable
West Virginia also offers some great poker action if you’re in the north or
the west of the state. To the south your options will be a little bit more
limited as North Carolina only has one poker room at the Harrah’s in Cherokee.
So it’s quite a drive from the south of Virginia to this poker room.
If you live in Virginia you won’t have to go to too much effort to find some
good Texas holdem poker action, and it’s a lot better than many other states
across the country.
It remains unclear if Virginia will change its tune in relation to gambling
and poker. They’ve taken a hard stance so far even with pressure from
surrounding states so the argument that tax dollars are being missed out on
mustn’t hold much weight with lawmakers and the authorities.
In any case, the people have the power in this respect and if a big enough
movement takes place to bring in casino gambling and poker then it will
eventually happen. It’s unlikely that this will be any time soon though so
you’re probably better off moving to another state if you wish to take up poker
Many people play poker in Virginia and there are a variety of ways you can do
so legally. The only thing that the state lacks is live poker in a casino or
card room environment.
This is a real shame and this is how poker should be played and what we all
love about the game. Given that some gambling is allowed in the state you’ll be
able to participate in a bit of action, but if you love your poker like we do
you know this won’t satisfy the need to take to the felt. So, jump in that car
and head over to Maryland Live!
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