Virginia Sportsbooks Generated $265M in First Full Month Handle

The Virginia Lottery released February sports betting figures Thursday revealing sportsbooks in the state accumulated more than $265 million in wagers in the month which featured one of the biggest sports betting events in the US, the Super Bowl.

Lower than Average Operator Hold

The first full month of legal wagering in the Commonwealth saw the Super Bowl alone contribute to more than 7%, $19.56 million, of February sports betting handle of $265,778,306, as well as a new sports betting operator joining the market.

William Hill, which went live February 3, became the 5th legal sportsbook in Virginia, joining an already exemplary group of sports betting operators consisting of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and BetRivers. William Hill contributed to the February total with nearly a full month of operations.

Sports Betting in Virginia debuted in January by delivering $59 million in handle from the 4 operators which went live January 24, FanDuel and DraftKings, and January 27, BetMGM and BetRivers.

Sportsbooks paid to sports bettors in February winnings to the amount of $253,539,526 and retained $12,238,780, creating a 4.6% hold, lower than the 6.1% in January and the 7.2% industry average.

From the nearly $12.24 million retained in gross gaming receipts (GGR), sports betting operators had to cover $13,187,560 spent on bonuses and promotions, leaving them with a loss of $3,231,752 in adjusted gaming receipts (AGR) after subtraction other deductions, $2,282,972.

As the state imposes a tax on the AGR, sports betting operators paid $300,593.91 tax to the state of Virginia, which were allocated to the General Fund, 97.5% or $293,079.06, and the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, 2.5% or $7,514.85, within the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health.

Market Expansion Continues

The group of 5 expanded to 6 in March as WynnBet joined the fray March 11, and is promising further expansion, following temporary permits granted by the Virginia Lottery March 15 to Barstool Sports, Bally’s, and Golden Nugget, allowing them to showcase their sports betting products to bettors in the state.

The number of legal sportsbooks in Virginia is now certain to surpass the cap of 12 permits for online sports betting operators, following signed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in January HB 1847 and SB 1254.

The bills had provisions to ensure online operations for the new casinos in the state, in the cities of Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, as well as Richmond if approved in November this year, would not count against the total number of online sportsbooks.

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