Virginia Sportsbooks See Super Bowl Boost In First Full Month

Written By Pat Evans on April 1, 2021
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In their first full month of legal sports betting, Virginia sportsbooks took more than $265 million in wagers.

The Virginia Lottery released the state’s February figures on Thursday, with the total handle reaching $265.8 million.

Bettors won $253.5 million, while operators recorded a combined 4.6% hold.

Big first month for Virginia sportsbooks

VA sports betting launched on Jan. 21. The first 11 days of betting resulted in $58 million in wagers.

The first full month of betting action included the Super Bowl, which pulled in $19.6 million in bets from Virginians. The event accounted for 7% of the state’s monthly total.

As more legal markets roll out, the early revenue figures are similar to more mature states. Virginia’s February handle is near Indiana’s $273.8 million and Colorado’s $266.5 million.

Other recent full online launch handles

  • Michigan (February 2021) — $302 million
  • Tennessee (November 2020) — $131 million

Breakdown of sports betting in Virginia

Sportsbook operators live in Virginia can deduct certain promotional spending.

In February, the five licensed operators reported $13.2 million in bonuses and promotions.

The deductions resulted in a negative adjusted gross revenue of –$3.2 million. The state collected $300,593 in taxes, with one operator showing a positive adjusted gross revenue.

More operators coming to VA sports betting

FanDuel launched first into the state through its Washington Football Team partnership.

In February, four others were active:

  • DraftKings
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • William Hill

In March, more operators were approved:

  • WynnBet
  • Golden Nugget
  • Bally Bets
  • Barstool Sportsbook

Continued growth a possibility in Virginia

Five additional licenses became available when Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation to fix the 2020 bill on March 31.

Now, the potential market size is at least 17 sportsbooks. There is a maximum of 12 mobile licenses untethered to professional sports teams and casinos. Twenty-five companies applied for licenses, according to previous LSR reporting.

There are seven mobile-only licenses remaining, and applicants will get “substantial and preferred consideration” based on minority participation.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-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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