First off, it appears that all
gambling is illegal in VA, unless it's specifically defined in the Code as legal (i.e. the government runs the operation like the lottery § 18.2-334.3). It also seems like if you are just hosting the gambling operation you don't even need to make money off of it for it to be a class 6 Felony. Just "supervising" it is enough (sounds close enough to "hosting" to be scary).
But then there's Section § 18.2-334 which excepts it if it's in a private residence (?), as long as there's no "Operator". That's a broadly defined word which they'll used to hang you from a tree with.
Really not sure why the government is even involved. Oh yeah, the Bible.
§ 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.
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, Internet access, or other thing, which purchase credits the purchaser with free points or other measurable units that may be (i) risked by the purchaser for an opportunity to win additional points or other measurable units that are redeemable by the purchaser for money or (ii) redeemed by the purchaser for money, and but for the free points or other measurable units, with regard to clauses (i) and (ii), the purchase of the product, Internet access, or other thing (a) would be of insufficient value in and of itself to justify the purchase or (b) is merely incidental to the chance to win money.
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.
18.2-328. 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.
§ 18.2-334. 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.