VA Sportsbooks Join Sinking National Handle Trend In July

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VA sportsbooks

July’s slow sports schedule led to the lowest full month of handle for VA sportsbooks since the market launched mid-January.

Handle hit $161.9 million, which is nearly 29% off the previous low mark of $227 million set in May.

The drop is expected at this point. None of the 16 US sports betting jurisdictions to report July figures reported an increase in handle.

Virginia sports betting not an outlier

Only three reported increased revenue and while Virginia’s was down, it fared better than most. Sports betting revenue was $20 million, down 9.3% thanks to a chunky 12.3% hold.

VA sportsbooks are taxed at 15%, but that’s on adjusted gross revenue. Once bonuses and promotions ($4.4 million) and other deductions ($2.9 million) are accounted for, taxable revenue was $12.7 million.

That led to $1.9 million in taxes paid by the four operators with net positive AGR for July.

How did VA sportsbooks rank in July drop?

In terms of handle, Virginia sportsbooks had one of the worst months in the country.

StateJuly handleJune handleDifferenceJuly revenueJune revenueDifference
New Hampshire$36,724,165$39,268,179-6.5%$3,062,545$3,869,773-20.9%
New Jersey$578,729,290$766,888,420-24.5%$54,966,257$71,267,544-22.9%
Rhode Island$22,095,960$29,468,571-25.0%$3,263,276$3,666,029-11.0%
West Virginia$21,290,275$29,923,766-28.9%$2,295,743$3,466,223-33.8%
Washington DC$12,808,240$19,518,408-34.4%$1,801,748$2,191,485-17.8%

Virginia’s handle tumbled 31.1% from June, only besting Washington DC’s 34.4% decline.

Revenue, on the other hand, was much better for Virginia. The state ranks fourth in the country so far with results from Colorado, Delaware and Illinois still unreported.

Why hold was so strong is unclear because the Virginia Lottery does not break down monthly betting results by operator or sport. Those details are typically saved for quarterly board meetings.

When will more operators be licensed?

The Virginia Lottery still has as many as five licenses to hand out. No progress has been announced on that since the Lottery said 18 companies applied back in May.

US newcomer BlueBet said on an earnings call the original timeline to award those licenses in August or September might be a bit delayed.

Barstool Sportsbook launched in August as the state’s eighth sportsbook. Golden Nugget was also scheduled for a mid-August launch but that never happened.

That’s also around the time DraftKings announced it was buying Golden Nugget Online in an all-stock transaction, which could have changed plans. Golden Nugget does not have an updated launch timeline, per a lottery spokesperson.

Bally Bet also has a license but not a launch timeline just yet.