The experts at BetVirginia.com have assembled this guide to explain what we mean when we talk about revenue and sportsbook handle for Virginia sports betting that the state reports each month.
There is an active market with many online or mobile operators as well as a growing number of retail sports wagering options at brick-and-mortar casinos in the commonwealth.
The handle is simply the total dollars wagered on sports in the state each month. In Virginia, bettors wager hundreds of million of dollars each month. From the time legal sports betting launched in January 2021 to early 2023, legal, regulated sports bets were placed exclusively with online sportsbooks. Since then, physical casinos have begun taking retail wagers on sports, albeit in much smaller numbers.
The Virginia betting apps revenue on sports refers to the amount that operators have left after they pay out winning bets. From there, bookmakers pay 15% tax to the state on the adjusted gross revenue.
In July, sports wagering handle in Virginia, online and retail combined, was just over $293.6 million, which was down 9.8% from June ($325.5 million). However, the July 2023 handle was an increase of 10.4% from July 2022 ($266 million), according to the Virginia Lottery.
July’s sports betting AGR (adjusted gross revenue) of $28.21 million was up 6.7% from June ($26.43 million) and up 31.8% from July 2022 ($21.4 million).
Looking at just mobile/online sports betting, the July mobile sports betting handle of almost $291 million was down 9.6% from June ($322.1 million) and up 9.4% from July 2022 ($266 million).
The sports gambling operators’ hold in July 2023 was 11.06%.
Twelve operators reported a positive AGR for July, and total tax payments were almost $4.12 million. Tax collections were up 4.5% from June ($3.94 million), and up 34.5% from July 2022 ($3.06 million). The $4.12 million of tax money allocated in July 2023 was distributed as follows: Just over $4 million for the general fund and $102,880 for problem gambling treatment and support.
The Virginia sports betting handle in 2022 was more than $4.9 billion. That was an increase of more than $1.7 billion compared to the first year of Virginia sports betting, 2021, when the total wagered was just over $3.22 billion.
The tax rate for Virginia sports betting is 15%. That’s what operators pay to the state out of the adjusted gross revenue derived from sports wagering once winning bets are paid out.
The Virginia Lottery reports its figures for sports betting once a month, usually at the end of the following month or on the first day of the month after that. For instance, March 2023 figures were released on May 1, 2023.
The Virginia Lottery states on its website: “Of the state tax on sports betting AGR, the statute specifies 97.5% is to be deposited in the state’s General Fund and 2.5% is to be deposited into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.”
The Virginia Lottery regulates sports betting in the commonwealth.
Mobile sports betting handle refers to the amount of money wagered on mobile or online apps, using phones, laptops or other online devices. Many mobile operators offer Virginia sports betting promo codes to their customers. In Virginia, sports betting was done exclusively online for the first two years of operation; the state had no brick-and-mortar casinos at the time. Since then a few casinos have opened in the state and several can accept retail bets on sports in addition to more traditional slot machines and table games.
Handle is the terms used to refer to the amount of money wagered in a month. If a handle is reported as $350 million, that means that the operators in the state combined to accept that much money from people betting on sports. Revenue refers to what’s left over after winning bets are paid out; Virginia gaming revenue on sports is taxed based on the amount of adjusted gross revenue each month.
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