Virginia Sports Betting Continues Past $1B Handle Despite Slide

Posted on July 1, 2021 - Last Updated on July 2, 2021
Virginia sports betting
Posted By on July 1, 2021
Last Updated on July 2, 2021

In less than five months, Virginia sports betting surpassed $1 billion in wagers.

With May’s $226.9 million handle, Virginia sports betting climbed past $1 billion since its Jan. 21 launch, according Virginia Lottery release Thursday.

In May, Virginia sportsbooks secured a 10.2% hold, generating $15.7 million in adjusted gross revenue. AGR since launch reached $34.4 million.

Slide in VA sports betting

Despite hitting the $1 billion mark in less than five months, the strong start continued a slide in May.

May handle was nearly $10 million less than April’s, while April was down 22% from March. April was the first slide in the young market.

Those drops likely can be attributed to slow sports schedules, as March Madness ends and football remains distant.

Virgina operators continue promos

In Virginia, sportsbook operators can deduct their bonus and promotion spending from revenue. In May, that figure was $5.1 million, bringing the combined total since launch to $40.6 million spent on bonus and promotions.

Four of the state’s seven operators in May reported a positive adjusted gross revenue.

The state levies a 15% tax and collected $2.4 million in May. Since January, the state collected $5.4 million in taxes.

List of sportsbook operators continues to grow

In May, there were seven active operators:

  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • William Hill
  • WynnBet
  • Unibet

Bally Bet, Barstool Sportsbook and Golden Nugget also hold licenses but have yet to launch.

In May, the Virginia Lottery opened up an application period for up to five new licenses. The lottery received 18 applications, according to a spokesperson.

Virginia sports betting fixes now official

Legislation that fixed some mistakes in the 2020 enabling legislation became official Thursday. Along with some minor changes, the legislation corrected an error that counts five casino licenses against a cap of 12 mobile licenses.

That change pushes the total number of potential Virginia sportsbooks to 18.

The fixes also allow for Olympics betting and gives the lottery the authority to authorize new betting markets.

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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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