Virginia betting handle hits $265.8m in February

Virginia’s sports betting market produced solid figures for its second month of operation.

According to the latest figures from the state of Virginia, bettors in the state wagered a total of $265.8m on sporting events in February, the state’s first full month of legal betting.

February’s handle marks a significant increase on the $58.9m wagered during the first 11 days of legal betting when the market opened on 21 January.

The state’s revenue figures were boosted by the National Football League’s (NFL) Super Bowl, which made up $19.6m or 7.3% of the total bets placed in February.

Operator AGR remains low

Revenue also jumped 283.9% month-on-month to $12.2m in February, after bettors won back $253.5m from the state’s sportsbooks.

However, adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which is calculated by subtracting any promotions, bonuses and other deductions, showed that operators made a loss of $3.2m in February.

This is level with the $3.2m AGR loss operators made in January.

According to the Virginia Lottery, which regulates the market, the AGR figures can be attributed to promotional expenses that come with customer acquisition and only one betting operator reported positive AGR in February.

Operators in the state paid $300,594 in sports betting taxes which is split between the general fund and another fund for problem gambling services.

Sports betting in Virginia

The state of Virginia legalised sports betting in April 2020 after the state legislature passed a sports betting bill that would allow sportsbook apps to launch by the end of 2020.

Virginia’s sports betting market went live on 21 January with the launch of the FanDuel sportsbook via a partnership with the Washington Football Team. 

DraftKings, which is partnered with Crown Virginia Gaming, launched alongside BetMGM later in January. Portsmouth Gaming Holdings and Rivers Casino Portsmouth followed suit on January 26 with the launch of the BetRivers sportsbook.

Last month, the state governor signed a new bill into law that will make several changes to the state’s betting market which will include offering five more sports betting licences.

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