Virginia Sportsbook Numbers Spike in March As Seasonal Interest Peaks

Virginia Sportsbook Numbers Spike in March As Seasonal Interest Peaks
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The growing market for Virginia sportsbooks continues to post significant numbers, as the wagering handle in March jumped 9% from the same month last year. The month was obviously fueled by bets on March Madness, the NCAA Tournament.

The Virginia Lottery released its report on sports wagering activity report on Monday for the month of March 2023. The lottery report shows between March 1 and March 31, Virginians wagered $511,614,541 on sports, 9.0% higher than last March and up 17.9% from February ($433,807,108).

March is one of the busiest months for sports betting nationwide thanks largely to basketball. Sports fans in the D.C. metro area also still had the NHL Capitals and NBA Wizard to follow in that month before both teams were eliminated from playoff contention, and Major League Soccer season started, joining big European leagues in offering soccer betting action.

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Virginia Sportsbooks: March vs. February

Total Handle Mobile Handle Revenue
Change Up 17.9% Up 17.8% Up 67.9%

Virginia Sports Betting: Deep Dive On March Statistics

Virginia bettors won a total of $456,355,631, while sports service operators in the state held a combined 10.80% as losing bets, the Virginia Lottery said in their report.

In March, Virginia sports betting apps recorded $507,025,619 in handle, up 17.8% from February ($430,252,600) and up 8.0% from March 2022 ($469,484,017). In-person retail sports betting at two sportsbooks in the state handled $4,588,922 in bets. Retail locations include Hard Rock Sportsbook at Bristol Casino and BetRivers Sportsbook Virginia at Rivers Casino Portsmouth.

Combining online and in-person retail betting, sports operators in Virginia recorded an overall adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of $47,651,362, up 67.9% from February ($28,385,249) and up 232.7% from March 2022 ($14,324,441). AGR is defined as total wagers minus total winnings and other authorized deductions.

State law places a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s AGR. March sports betting came in at $7,413,213, a 58.3% increase from the February Virginia betting revenue ($4,682,125) and 250.3% higher than March 2022 ($2,116,289). The law also requires 97.5% of the tax payment to be deposited in the state’s General Fund. The other 2.5% goes into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Big Appetite For Betting In VA

After launching legal sports betting in January 2021, opening two casinos, and handling billions of dollars in bets, it seems like Virginia lawmakers need to focus on an associated problem with gambling, addiction.

“Too often are problems like gambling addiction overlooked, too often do we let these vices poison our youth. We must remember to care for the least, last, and lost among us,” Sen. Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, said in a post on Twitter.

Last month, Reeves and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the signing of Senate Bill 836, effective July 1. The bill will create the Virginia Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Advisory Committee. The committee’s goal will be to reduce the harmful effects of gambling on those who might be unable to control their habit.

Meanwhile, a study published in October 2022 by the Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission recommended that the Virginia Lottery keep tabs on new gaming opportunities and create a state policy office to monitor, study, and advise state officials about new and emerging forms of gaming.

Virginia has issued 17 permits to sports betting operators to run in the state since January 2021. The latest permit was awarded to Betr Sportsbook on March 3. Betr has not announced a date when they will go live in the state.



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

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