Growing VA Sportsbooks Hit New Milestone As New Ops Enter

Written By Matthew Waters on April 5, 2022
VA sportsbooks

VA sportsbooks passed $4 billion in handle in the market’s 13-plus months of operation since launching last January.

The $4.1 billion in handle ranks eighth in US sports betting but only for a bit. Virginia sports betting will drop to ninth once the March report is in for New York.

Gross revenue since launch is $352.4 million, eight-best in the country, but that does not translate directly to tax dollars. Promo deductions mean tax revenue is $24.6 million, 11th-best in the US.

VA sportsbooks dip in February

Handle from the 11 live mobile Virginia sportsbooks was $401.9 million in February, which fell 17.2% from January. Handle was up 51.2% from last February, though, which was the state’s first full month of betting.

That was a seasonal dip based on the end of NFL betting and was felt across most of the country. Virginia should return to growth in March thanks to March Madness betting.

Of course, Virginia does not allow betting on in-state colleges and likely will not in the near future, so that will limit the market a bit.

The top event of February, the Super Bowl, saw a nearly 70% jump in action over last year. Super Bowl betting totaled $33.2 million this year, up from $19.6 million in 2021.

Only four books paid taxes

The Virginia Lottery only breaks out operator-specific details at its four board meetings each year. That means it is unknown who paid taxes in February, just that only four operators did.

Operators deducted $15.8 million in promos and $3.8 million in other deductions. That dragged gross revenue to $7.9 million from $27.5 million. A bill that would have capped those deductions to an operator’s first 12 months died this session.

Those four operators combined to pay $1.4 million in taxes to the state.

Hard Rock joins VA sportsbooks as 12th operator

There are now a dozen online VA sportsbooks live after Hard Rock launched March 31.

Hard Rock is the first brand to launch this year in Virginia but it will not be the last.

Betway, SI Sportsbook and two other operators are waiting to launch. They should be live during the first half of this year.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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