Why You Can’t Bet On The NFL Draft In Virginia

Written By Cole Rush on April 26, 2023
NFL Draft Betting Virginia

The NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 27 and continues through Saturday, April 29. For football fans, it’s a nice taste of the season to come. Hot prospects get scooped up by major teams, giving us a glimpse into each team’s strategy for the 2023 NFL season.

For football betting enthusiasts in many states, the NFL Draft also brings betting opportunities. Unfortunately, Virginia sports betting does not include wagers on the NFL Draft.

Why is NFL Draft betting prohibited in Virginia?

Virginia is among a small number of states with legal sports betting that actually prohibit betting on the NFL Draft. These states are:

  • Connecticut
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia

Each state has language in its legislation that defines which competitions are eligible for betting. Such definitions exclude the NFL Draft, so bettors in those states can’t place wagers on the event. In other words, each state’s regulations determine whether you can bet on specific events. For Virginians, that means the NFL Draft is off-limits.

Could this change in the future? It’s possible, but not likely anytime soon. Changing regulations takes time. Stakeholders at various levels of government and regulatory bodies have to come to an agreement, set up the framework, then enact the changes. If Virginia does decide to revisit which competitions are eligible for betting, it won’t be for quite a while.

For some Virginians, there’s still a way to legally bet on the NFL Draft.

Neighboring states that allow bets on the NFL Draft

Virginia is nestled within a hotbed for legal sports betting. Every state (plus Washington D.C.) that shares a border with Virginia has legal sports betting options in some form. However, only a handful of them allow betting on the NFL Draft. Those are:

  • Maryland
  • Tennessee
  • Washington D.C.
  • West Virginia

How can you bet on the Draft in these states if you’re from Virginia? Simple: You can drive (or take a train, or even walk) across the border into a legal state, sign up for a sportsbook there, and place your bet. This is completely legal, as long as you’re physically located in a state that allows NFL Draft bets when you place your wager. It’s not convenient if you’re somewhere in the heart of Virginia, but folks who live near the state’s outer borders can use their NFL Draft betting neighbors to their advantage.

Where to watch the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and NFL Network. The schedule is:

  • Round 1: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST
  • Rounds 2-3: Friday, 7 p.m. EST
  • Rounds 4-7: Saturday, noon EST

Baltimore Ravens and Washington Commanders 2023 draft picks

The Washington Commanders have the 16th pick in the first round. The Baltimore Ravens have pick 22.

Both picks come relatively deep within the first round, making them hard to predict. There’s been some speculation that the Commanders could trade up, but whether it’ll happen remains to be seen. Washington missed the playoffs last year and has many gaps to fill.

The Ravens, meanwhile, are looking to fill a few defensive positions. Offensive lineman Ben Powers went to the Broncos as a free agent, leaving a gaping hole in the Ravens’ otherwise tough O-Line. There’s also Lamar Jackson‘s controversy to consider. The QB requested a trade, and the latest rumors point to a possible move to the 49ers.

There will be many twists and turns in the first round before Picks 16 and 22, so we’ll have to tune in on draft day to find out.

Photo by AP / John Locher
Cole Rush Avatar
Written by
Cole Rush

Cole Rush writes words. A lot of them. Most of those words can be found at gambling publications such as iGaming Business, Gaming Today, Bonus.com, MidwestSharp.com, ICE 365, and IGB North America. Cole also covers pop culture and books for Tor.com and TheQuillToLive.com. Cole has more than 9 years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

View all posts by Cole Rush