Virginia Sportsbooks Start New Year With Slight Increase in Handle

Virginia Sportsbooks Start New Year With Slight Increase in Handle
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

There was a modest increase in Virginia sports betting financial results for January as far as handle, compared to December 2022, but a decrease in adjusted gross revenue.

But a change from 2022 in how the taxable revenue is derived continued to reflect increases in adjusted gross revenue and in tax collections for January 2023 compared to the same month a year ago.

The January total sports betting handle (mobile and retail) was about $514.2 million, up 2.0% from December ($503.1 million) and up 5.7% from January 2022 ($485.5 million), according to numbers posted by the Virginia Lottery.

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Virginia Sports Betting, January vs. December

Total Handle Revenue Taxes
Change Up 2.0% Down 10.4% Down 9.4%

Virginia Sportsbook Apps Dominate Market

January’s mobile sports betting handle was nearly $511 million with about $3 million in retail handle from the commonwealth’s two operating casinos. January was the first month that the amount wagered at mobile Virginia sports betting apps was separated from betting at bricks-and-mortar casinos, which is still a fairly new option in what had been an online-only market.

The January sports betting adjusted gross revenue (AGR) was $42.12 million, down 10.4% from December ($47 million) and up 131.2% from January 2022 ($18.2 million).

The AGR total leaped because of a change in how sportsbooks can deduct bonuses and promotions given to customers from revenue totals to arrive at a taxable figure.

Sports betting taxes for January were $6,368,899, down 9.4% from December ($7,026,829) and an increase of 122.1% from January 2022 ($2,876,609).

New Player in Virginia Sportsbook Market

The latest Virginia sports betting operator to go live was bet365, a UK-based company.

The operator recently withdrew its attempt enter the Massachusetts sports betting market. That state launched retail wagering on sports on Jan. 31 and is set to have mobile sports betting begin on March 10.

One of the most notable operators in the UK, bet365 also has licenses to operate in Ohio, New Jersey and Colorado.

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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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