VA Sportsbooks See Handle Growth In December While Revenue Falls

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VA sportsbooks

VA sportsbooks closed out their first calendar year with near-record handle, though revenue was hurt by customer-friendly results.

Sports betting in Virginia brought in $426.6 million in bets during December. That was up 6% over November and just missed the record of $427.3 million bet in October.

That is significant since many US sports betting jurisdictions hit handle records in October given its five full weekends of NFL betting and college football betting. December had just four weekends and a limited college football schedule.

Only nine of the 23 reporting jurisdictions saw monthly handle growth in December, three of which recently launched and are still ramping up.

Taxes paid by VA sportsbooks limited by promos

Operators reported $31.5 million in gross sports betting revenue but taxable revenue was less than a third of that total.

Sportsbooks wrote off $17.1 million promos and another $4.3 million in other deductions. That dragged taxable revenue down to $10.1 million. Only four of 11 operators paid taxes, which totaled $1.7 million.

Del. Mark Sickles, one of the sponsors that helped legalize sports betting in Virginia, wants to see unlimited promotional deductions end. He introduced HB 1103, which would only allow sportsbooks to deduct promotions from revenue in their first 12 months.

Critical point to pick up market share

While we do not know how individual sportsbooks did in December, it is a safe bet one of these four led the market by handle and/or revenue:

Those four led the way in terms of handle and promotional spending through November. according to a Virginia Lottery report from January. FanDuel was far and away the leader with 42.7% of handle from launch through November. DraftKings was a distant second with 26.8% of handle share.

It will be hard to catch the leaders at this point but if there were ever an opportunity to pick up customers, Super Bowl betting and March Madness betting will offer it.

That means the sooner SI Sportsbook and Betway can launch, the better for them. Both are expected to launch in the first quarter.