Virginia Bettors Wagered Plenty In First 11 Days Of Trickling Rollout

Posted on March 2, 2021
Virginia sports betting
Posted By on March 2, 2021

Virginia sports betting rolled into action in January with steady handle.

The Virginia Lottery released a first look into the state’s action Monday. In their first 10 days, bettors wagered $58.9 million in the VA sports betting market.

Bettors won $55.3 million for a hold of 6.08%.The state’s four operators spent $6.3 million on bonuses and promotions, and the state collected $39,710 in taxes.

The report stated an expectation promotional spending will decrease and revenue will reach “more sustainable” levels soon.

Growing base of Virginia operators

FanDuel received a head start, launching Jan. 21 thanks to its partnership with the Washington Football Team. The three-day head start was attributable to a quirk in state law favoring professional sports teams.

Three days later, BetMGM and DraftKings launched. BetRivers followed on Jan. 26. William Hill, through Caesars, received a permit on Jan. 27 but did not launch.

Twenty-five companies applied for licenses, but the Virginia Lottery continually refuses to identify the applicants. More licenses are expected to be awarded soon.

Virginia sports betting expansion?

Two bills set to expand the state’s betting market are headed to Gov. Ralph Northam.

The bills clear up language from last year’s legislation. Under the bills, mobile betting licenses through the state’s five casinos won’t count against a limit of 12 mobile-only licenses.

There are still 10 open mobile-licenses. DraftKings and BetMGM are mobile-only. With the bills, up to 18 licenses would be allowed, with more possible if additional major league teams make a move to Virginia.

Also clarified is legalizing Olympic betting and that the Lottery would gain authority for new market approval.

Big opening week in VA

The same week Virginia opened up, so did the Michigan sports betting market.

Michigan bettors wagered $115.2 million in its first 10 days after launching Jan. 22. With retail betting for the whole month, Michigan’s January handle reached $150.8 million.

Both Michigan and Virginia should continue to see their handle grow, with the potential to be among the top legalized states based on population.

According to Geocomply, there were 7.5 million transactions by more than 400,000 accounts in the two states during their opening weekend.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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