Virginia's first casino, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, experienced a 10% drop in adjusted gross gaming revenue in November heading into the holiday season. The casino had posted consistent adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of $14 million for the past three months (August, September, and October).
November AGR came in at $12,650,361, down 10.6% from October ($14,144,160). Slot revenue was down 7.7% ($10,410,087) from October ($11,273,174). Table games experienced a bigger hit, down 22% ($2,240,274) from October ($2,870,986).
The casino will pay $2,277,065 in taxes to the state from their November AGR, down 10.6% from the October Virginia casino revenue ($2,545,949). Before November, Bristol Casino's biggest drop in revenue came in October, down 1.1% from September.
Distribution of Virginia Casino Funds
State taxes from the casino will be distributed among the Regional Improvement Commission (6%, $759,021.67), Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund (0.8%, $18,216.52), Family and Children's Trust Fund (0.2%, $4,554.13), and $1,495,272.70 left available in the Gaming Proceeds Fund.
Bristol Casino President Allie Evangelista predicts visitation at the property will increase over the winter.
“It’s a question mark on what is going to happen in winter because it’s an area with a lot of options when the weather is nice,” Evangelista said in a Bristol Herald Courier article last month. “When winter comes, it limits the options of what is there to do in their free time. We expect to be busy.”
Bristol Casino opened in July as a temporary facility and will expand into the full-size Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol scheduled to open in May 2024. The state has yet to enact legislation to make Virginia online casinos legal.
After months of anticipation, Evangelista, along with Hard Rock executives, elected officials, and business leaders, broke ground during a ceremony on Dec. 7 for the permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol.
Virginia Sports Betting Market Growing
Meanwhile, sports betting Virginia hit an all-time high in October for handle, or amount wagered. The Virginia Lottery reported over $528 million in bets for October. That beat the old record of more than $485 million, which has stood since January.
Mobile sports betting launched in the commonwealth in January 2021. Today bettors have their pick of 13 sportsbooks operating in the state: Bally's Bet, Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Betway, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, Hard Rock, PointsBet, SI Sportsbook, Unibet, and WynnBET. But things could change soon.
Changes in Virginia Sports Betting Operators
Recently, 888 Holdings announced that it will begin to focus more on states with online casinos and scale back support toward the SI Sportsbook Virginia app. The SI Sportsbook app is a partnership between 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated. The app launched in Virginia on May 9.
Even as the sports betting market shows signs of struggle, new operators are entering the market and veterans seek permits in other states.
UK-based sports betting app Bet365 was awarded a temporary permit on Aug. 15 to operate in Virginia, but no launch date has been announced. The permit was awarded under the name Hillside (Virginia), LLC.
Bet365 was recently awarded a license to operate in Massachusetts, thus expanding its US footprint, having recently gone live in Colorado. The brand is licensed in over 20 jurisdictions.
Look to BetVirgina.com for the Virginia sportsbook promotions and information that will help you make a more informed wager.