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 revenue 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. Those operators often offer Virginia sportsbook promo codes to their customers.
Virginia compiled a solid handle to close out the calendar year. The handle was down slightly from November but revenue and taxes surged.
The total handle for Virginia sports betting was $633,181,758 in December, which was down 0.9% from November’s sum of $638,831,057, but up 25.7% year-over-year from the $503,075,150 the state took in last December.
For revenue, Virginia sportsbooks finished December at $57,187,962, which was up 57.3% month-over-month (from November’s total of $36,354,936).
That surge in sports betting revenue meant the state’s tax bill jumped 54.5% month-over-month, going from $5,480,552 in November to $8,465,776 in December. That total represented a 20.5% year-over-year increase from the $7,026,829 the operators took in during December 2022.
For the year at-large, Virginia sportsbooks finished with a total handle of $5,590,022,862, which was up 13.7% from a year ago ($4,914,954,449). The state’s mobile sports betting handle ($5,357,427) was up 12.7% from 2022’s total of $4,914,954,449.
The yearly sports betting revenue figure ($447,717,451) was up 28.5% from 2022’s total of $348,313,222, putting the finishing touches on a historic year for wagering in Virginia.
The Virginia sports betting handle in 2023 was more than $5.59 billion, an increase of 13.7% compared to the $4.9 billion amount wagered statewide in 2022. In the first year of Virginia sports betting, 2021, the handle 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.
Cited by leading media organizations, such as: