Virginia Betting Handle up 55%; State Eclipses $5 Billion

Down To The Numbers

Between May 1 and May 31, Virginians wagered over $351 million dollars on sports, which is 55% higher than the handle that Virginians posted in May of 2021. Since then, Virginia has also doubled their number of licensed operators in the state from seven to fourteen including the addition of Sports Illustrated and Betway in May. 

Last month’s $351 million handle contributes to a $5.3 billion handle that Virginians have posted since the commencement of sports betting in the state in January of 2021. Bettors have taken over $4.8 billion of that home since its start date including roughly $308 million last month. May left operators with a 12.1% hold rate ($42.5 million) on their handles and after deductions from bonuses and promotions, sportsbooks took home roughly $27.5 million in adjusted gross revenue. Only five operators of the current fourteen, reported positive adjusted gross revenues in the month of May. However the $42.5 million non-adjusted gross revenue is the highest it’s been in the state since November 2021 and the $351 million handle is the lowest it’s been since September 2021. 

Still, at Virginia’s 15% tax rate, the state took home nearly $3.9 million in tax dollars, of which $97,406 will go to funding problem gambling treatment. Since Virginia launched last year, they have contributed over $840,000 to problem gambling treatment and taken in roughly $33.7 million in sports betting taxes. 

It is worth noting however, that from April’s revenue reports, sports wagering activity dwindled by roughly 12%. In April, Virginians pushed the $400 million mark in their handle which was a 69% increase from April 2021. However, operators had a 3% lower hold percentage in April than they did in May, so despite having a larger handle, the state actually recouped less, at just over $3 million. 

The higher April handle was especially surprising given the nature of sports betting in April is relatively tame and the month of May was chalked full of NBA playoff games and the Kentucky Derby, which took place just next door to Virginia. Not to mention, two more operators were licensed during the month of May that didn’t operate in April. Nonetheless, year over year, Virginia is seeing huge growth, and with June having hosted the NBA and NHL Finals, that growth should see a steady increase. 

Other News

While Virginia’s sports betting market has never been better, the same cannot be said for its neighbors. After a tumultuous legislative session, North Carolina lost their sports betting opportunity by one vote which effectively killed any chance of sports betting in 2022. Virginia’s neighbor to the north, Maryland, has also struggled to get their market going this year. Despite residents voting to approve the bill almost two years ago, no progress has been made in launching the online sports betting market which has tensions high in the state. 

While these are unfortunate circumstances for North Carolina and Maryland, it will likely continue to benefit Virginia as intrigued bettors will cross state lines and continue to place bets in the Old Dominion.