The sports betting market in Virginia posted in April a decline for the first time since its launch in January, in line with a nationwide trend of falling betting volumes due to the slower spring and summer sports schedule.
Some Competitions Are Irreplaceable
Virginia sports betting dropped in April below $240 million to remind everyone that sports betting volumes have a seasonal element as competitions like the National Football League (NFL) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) represent a bettor interest no other competition can replace.
According to analysts tracking industry developments, the seasonal slowdown is expected to affect sports betting volumes nationwide until the start of the new football season.
Data released on Friday by the Virginia Lottery showed sportsbooks in the state generated $236.4 million in total bets in April, representing 22.2% decrease on a sequential base from the $304.1 million in March. The April sports betting handle represented the lowest monthly reading compared to the first full 3 months of sports betting in the state.
On an average daily basis, April’s $7.9 million was 19.3% down compared to the March daily average of $9.8 million, a decrease explained by the lack of major sports holidays to spur bettor interest.
Virginia sportsbooks retained $19.4 million on April’s bets, a 27% slump from the $26.6 million won on bets in March. Adjusted gross revenue came out at $11.4 million, 17.4% lower than the $13.8 million in the previous month, contributing to $1.7 million in state taxes of which $41,304 allocated to tackle problem gambling.
Month of Falling Sports Betting Volumes
The decline in sports betting in Virginia was in line with the betting volume declines month-over-month registered in other states, with some of them like Indiana (-25.4%), Iowa (-26.7%), and Michigan (-0.5%) posting declines bigger than Virginia’s, while others like New Jersey (-13%), Tennessee (-13.6%), Pennsylvania (-14.4%), and Colorado (-18.8%) experiencing smaller ones.
Despite the slowdown in April, Virginia is still on track to become the state to reach the $1 billion threshold the quickest, having accumulated $865.2 million in wagers since the launch of sports betting in late January.
Being just $135 million shy of the $1 billion mark, Virginia is in a perfect position to cross the threshold in May, its 5th month of operations and overtake Tennessee which reached the milestone after 6 months of operation.
Factors that could give Virginia a push are the lasting deeper into the summer than usual National Basketball League (NBA) playoffs and the Olympics, as well the potential expansion of sports betting operations in the state with the upcoming launch of Penn National’s Barstool sports betting app scheduled prior to the start of the football season.