Virginia bettors wager $58.9m on sports in first month of legal betting

Bettors wagered more than $58m on sports in the first month of betting in Virginia.

According to the Virginia Lottery, sportsbooks in the state of Virginia processed $58.9m in sports bets in the first 11 days of legal betting in Virginia in January.

During the first month of legal betting in Virginia, revenue after customers winnings amounted to $3.6m after bettors won back $55.3m from the state’s sportsbooks.

However, when it came to adjusted gross revenue, operators in the state made a loss of $3.2m. This was calculated after accounting for any promotions and bonuses offered by the state’s sportsbooks along with other deductions.

For the 11-day period, sportsbooks paid out $6.3m in bonuses and promotion and $478,612 in other costs.

Sportsbooks in the state are taxed 15% on adjusted gross revenue and paid $39,710 in tax revenue in January.

In its announcement, the Virginia Lottery said that it expects bonuses and promotional expenses tied to customer acquisition to drop considerably, which in turn would increase sports betting revenue and tax revenue.

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.

Under the legislation, the state will permit the launch of at least four sportsbook apps but no more than a dozen. As the bill also legalised five new casino locations, those casinos may take up to five of the 12 sports betting licences.

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 on January 26 with the launch of the BetRivers sportsbook.

New bills being considered

Lawmakers are currently considering new bills that would expand the state’s sports wagering market.

Two bills HB 1847 and SB 1254 were identical bills introduced at the start of the state’s legislative session and clarify details from the sports betting legislation that was signed into law last year.

The bills propose several changes to Virginia’s sports wagering market. First of all, mobile sports betting licenses for casinos will not count towards the current cap of 12 mobile-only licenses. The mobile-only licenses are only available via a bidding process and so far two have been awarded.

The bills also give the state lottery the power to approve new sports betting markets so that future legislation will not be necessary.

Both pieces of legislation are awaiting signatures from the House Speaker and Senate President before being sent to Governor Ralph Northam for final approval.

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