Virginia Sports Betting Sets Record For Handle in October

Virginia Sports Betting Sets Record For Handle in October
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Sports wagering in Virginia hit an all-time high in October as handle, which is the amount of money the public puts in action, in the commonwealth went over half a billion dollars in a month for the first time since mobile sports wagering started there in January 2021.

For October, the handle at Virginia sportsbooks was just over $528 million. That beat the old record of more than $485 million, which has stood since January 2022.

The October 2022 sports betting action was a 28.3% increase over September ($411.27 million) and 23.6% higher than October 2021 ($427.32 million) in a year-over-year comparison.

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Virginia Sports Betting Revenue Down Slightly

However, as handle went up, revenue declined in October. 

The October sports betting adjusted gross revenue (AGR) was $45.53 million, down about 5.9% from $48.39 million in the September Virginia sports betting revenue report. That September revenue was a state record, with October coming in at No. 2 all-time. In fact, the past three months (including $31.44 million in revenue for August) are the only three months in which Virginia sports betting has produced $30 million or more in revenue.

How far has the revenue come? October’s figure was up 365.3% from October 2021 ($9.78 million). 

The revenue difference between September to October was likely because September was an exceptionally good month for the bookmakers. NFL underdogs and the Unders (in Over-Under betting) had a good month. The betting public likes favorites and the Over.

The hold for the operators at Virginia sports betting apps in October was 9.69%. The state’s wagering on sports is all online.

The difference in year-over-year AGR is due to a change that limits how much operators can take off their revenue number for promotions and bonuses. That change in how AGR is calculated resulted in bigger taxes. The change was made in the middle of 2022.

Virginia Tax Revenues Close to $7M For Month

October sports betting taxes were almost $6.96 million, down 4.1% from September ($7.26 million) but up considerably, 298.4%, from October 2021 ($1.75 million) because less allowable deductions mean more taxable revenue.

Virginia has a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s AGR, which is defined as total wagers minus total winnings and other authorized deductions.

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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others

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