Virginia Sports Betting Handle Dips To $403 Million In May

Written By T.J. McBride on June 30, 2023
Sports betting remains solid in Virginia despite a slight dip in May.

After generating $420 million of sports betting handle in April, Virginia saw that number fall in May to around $404 million.

Just over $400 million in sports betting handle is still a strong figure, but it is a drop of 5.2% compared to April and a whopping 21.1% lower than sports betting handle in March.

On a more positive note, May sports betting handle was nearly 15% higher than May 2022. That indicates the sports betting market in Virginia is healthy and steadily growing.

Virginia bettors won $355 million in May

There are 14 Virginia sports betting apps to choose from. Most bettors in the state choose to make wagers online.

Those sports wagers led to just over $355.5 million in winnings paid out to bettors. After deductions and free play bets, sportsbooks were left with $42.5 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR), a hold percentage of 11.93%.

Yearly VA sports betting trends continue to point up

In the first five months of 2023, Virginia has seen its sports betting handle climb to nearly $2.3 billion. The vast majority came from online wagering. Just over $17.5 million was wagered on sports at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, which is less than 1% of the total pie.

In 2022, the total sports wagering handle through May was just over $2.1 billion. In 2023, that number has jumped up by about 9%, another indicator of sports betting growth.

A big reason for the growth in 2023 is having more licensed sports betting providers compared to 2022.

Virginia generated over $6 million in tax revenue

Virginia’s 15% sports betting tax led to nearly $6.3 million in tax revenue for the state. Despite the fall in total handle from April to May, sports betting operators contributed 7.7% more in tax dollars in May.

Taxes collected in May were 38% better than in May 2022.

There are 16 sportsbooks operating in Virginia, but only 11 operators reported a positive AGR for May. The five sportsbooks that found themselves in the red did not contribute to the tax dollars paid to the state.

Tax money from sports betting goes toward two funds in Virginia. The largest, 97.5%, goes to General Fund Allocation to pay for various projects and services across the state. The remaining 2.5% goes to responsible gambling programs through the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation.

Just about $157,000 went to address problem gambling, while the remaining $6.1 million went to the General Fund Allocation.

So far, in 2023, Virginia sports betting operators have contributed more than $30.5 million in taxes. Of that amount, more than $763,000 has gone to support programs addressing problem gambling in the commonwealth.

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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver. He is a Nuggets beat writer and also covers the regulated gambling industry across the U.S. His byline can be seen at ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report and more.

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