Huddle Up: How To Watch March Madness Games At Virginia Casinos

Written By Adam Hensley on March 14, 2023Last Updated on March 22, 2023
virginia cavaliers men's basketball ncaa tournament 2023 march madness virginia casinos

The NCAA Tournament is back. And sportsbooks at casinos in Virginia give bettors a great atmosphere to wager during March Madness.

So as the No. 4-seeded Virginia Cavaliers and No. 8 VCU Rams get ready to tip off the tournament, perhaps now is the time for you to begin planning out your watch parties. Fear not: Virginia casinos have you covered. But fair warning: You cannot bet on in-state teams.

Still, both Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock and Rivers Casino Portsmouth boast state-of-the-art sportsbooks to fill your other March Madness betting needs. With food options and other entertainment available at both locations, there’s no shortage of things to do while spending the day binging basketball.

Place your NCAA Tournament bets at Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock

Technically, the Bristol location is temporary. But it still offers a physical sportsbook for bettors.

The Bristol Casino – Future Home of Hard Rock resides at the Bristol Mall site. Since it opened as Virginia’s first functioning casino on July 8, 2022, it’s been a major success.

You can place your sports bets at any of the five betting windows located within the sportsbook. Additionally, there are 19 sports betting kiosks on the property. Of those, 15 reside within the sportsbook. The other four are on the casino floor.

If you’re interested in placing a wager at Bristol Casino, be prepared to spend at least $5 – that’s the minimum bet accepted at the sportsbook and kiosks.

As of now, it appears the tentative timeline for the casino’s permanent location to open is in the spring of 2024. The permanent 300,000-square-foot site will feature a new sportsbook, 1,300 slots, 50 table games and a number of dining options. Live entertainment is on the docket as well.

For now, Bristol Casino is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. On Saturdays, the casino’s hours are 9 a.m. until midnight. On Sundays, the casino is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth features 27 sports betting kiosks, massive TV screens

The state’s first full-service casino boasts a sportsbook of its own, too.

Rivers Casino Portsmouth features the BetRivers Sportsbook. The area features an array of massive TV screens and plenty of seating. There’s a bar in the sportsbook, too, that offers favorites like wings, burgers and more. Not to mention drinks of your choosing.

The Portsmouth casino as a whole has plenty of food options, if you want to veer from the sportsbook for a quick bite to eat. Rivers Casino Portsmouth’s lineup includes:

  • Admiral’s Steak & Seafood for high-end dining
  • casual fare at Crossings Café
  • Mian, a quick-service Asian food option
  • Slice Pizzeria
  • Starbucks

Customers can place their bets at any of the 27 self-service kiosks. The BetRivers Sportsbook in is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you’re looking for something else to do to break up the basketball, the Portsmouth casino boasts more than 1,400 slot machines, more than 50 table games and 24 poker tables.

Virginians can wager on the NCAA Tournament from their phones, too

As March Madness gets underway, 15 operators are available to Virginia sports betting users. (Betr, the latest of the group, secured its Virginia license earlier this month but has not yet launched. At the time of its announcement, Betr said it would be ready for Virginia bettors “soon.”)

Here’s a look at the sportsbooks Virginia residents can choose from:

DraftKings Virginia PointsBet Sportsbook WynnBet Sportsbook
Caesars Virginia Sports Illustrated Virginia Unibet Sportsbook
BetMGM Virginia Bet365 Virginia Hard Rock Sportsbook
BetRivers Virginia Bally Bet Sportsbook Betway Sportsbook
FanDuel Virginia Barstool Sportsbook Betfred Sportsbook

Remember, you can’t bet on Virginia basketball

Per state regulations, Virginia residents are not allowed to wager on in-state college teams. So, in the case of this year’s tournament, Virginians can’t place any bets on their hometown Cavaliers, or any game they compete in. Same goes for the VCU Rams.

But college basketball teams (or any sport, for that matter) outside of state lines have the green light. Just make sure to get your bets in before tipoff these next few weeks, as live betting on college events isn’t permitted. Virginia law doesn’t allow bettors to place prop bets on college sports, which is the category live betting falls under.

Photo by Phil Sears / AP Photo
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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