Virginia Sports Betting Numbers Drop in February As NFL Season Ends

Virginia Sports Betting Numbers Drop in February As NFL Season Ends
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Virginia sports betting operators reported a drop in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for February compared to the previous month. A report released by the Virginia Lottery Board on Friday shows total AGR came in at $28,385,249 last month, down 32.6% from January ($42,127,492), but up 260% from February 2022 ($7,884,250).

February wagering activity included $32.5 million in bets on Super Bowl LVII, a drop of 2.58% from February 2022 ($33.157 million) in a year-over-year comparison.

State law places a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s AGR. Less betting in February, of course, means fewer taxes for the state. A total of $4,682,125 was paid to the state in taxes from sports wagering in February, down 26.8% from January ($6,368,899), but up 232.9% from 12 months ago ($1,406,280).

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Virginia Sports Betting, February vs. January


Total Handle Mobile Handle Revenue
February$433.807M$430.253M$28.385M
January$513.155M$510.982M$42.127M
Change Down 15.5% Down 15.8% Down 32.6%

Handle Also Down in Virginia

Of the state tax on sports betting AGR, 97.5% is to be deposited in the state’s General Fund and 2.5% is earmarked for the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Overall, operators of sportsbook Virginia betting apps plus retail operators combined for $433,807,108 in bets for February. That handle figure was down 15.5% from January ($513,154,592), but up 7.9% from February 2022 ($401,889,135).

Online/mobile sports betting alone handled $430,252,600. That was a 15.8% decrease from $510,982,033 the previous month, but a 7.1% rise from $401,889,135 in February 2022.

Virginia bettors won a total of $394 million in payouts from their bets, according to the Virginia Lottery report.

The Highs and Lows of VA Sports Betting

With February’s revenue numbers now in the books, Virginia has handled over $9 billion in sports bets since its launch on Jan. 21, 2021.

A drop in betting from the January Virginia betting report to February followed the typical pattern since the state launched sports betting. The year will continue to see a drop in betting activity for the next several months – that’s a nationwide pattern after the NFL regular season and playoffs are over – but an expected increase compared to year-over-year.

July has been recorded as the slowest month for sports betting, generating a total handle of $161 million in 2021 and $266 million in 2022.

October 2022 holds the highest betting handle's record in the state at $528 million.

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Current Virginia Sports Betting Market

A total of 17 sports betting permits have been awarded to companies by the Virginia Lottery Board since wagering was launched in 2021. Only 15 operators are live in the state today. Golden Nugget ceased operations in the commonwealth after being acquired by the DraftKings Virginia Sportsbook, and betr Sportsbook has not gone live yet after receiving a permit last month.

FanDuel was the first online/mobile sportsbook to go live in Virginia and last reported holds 41.08% of the market share.

But sports betting companies are starting to feel the pinch of competition as a few have scaled back on advertising and entering new markets.

PointsBet and Bet365 withdrew their applications to provide sports betting in Massachusetts, the latest state to launch sports betting. The PointsBet Virginia Sportsbook launched on Dec. 15, 2021, with Bet365 going live on Jan. 31, 2023.

Retail Virginia Sportsbooks Up Slightly in Handle

Two retail sportsbooks are currently operating in Virginia, Hard Rock Sportsbook at Bristol Casino (opened July 8, 2022), and Virginia BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino Portsmouth (opened Jan. 23, 2023).

These retail sportsbooks handled $3,554,508 in wagers for February, up 63.61% from January ($2,172,559). This left an AGR of $40,074 for February, down 85.93% from January ($284,851).

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Author

Keith Stein is a Virginia-based writer for BetVirginia.com who covers sports betting and casinos.

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