Bounce Back: Virginia Sportsbooks See Uptick With June Sports Betting

Posted on July 30, 2021 - Last Updated on October 5, 2021

After two months of decline, Virginia sportsbooks rallied in June with $235 million in monthly betting handle.

While most US states saw a decline from month to month, VA sportsbooks instead witnessed a small bounce back.

After pulling $226,963,573 in May, VA sports betting operators saw a 3.5% uptick in June with $234,943,435. The Virginia Lottery, which oversees legal and regulated sports betting in the commonwealth, released the numbers on Friday.

Overall, in a little more than five months of betting, Virginia sports bettors have now wagered more than $1.3 billion.

Additionally, with the June numbers, total gross gaming revenue (GGR) has passed $100 million since the Virginia market launched on Jan. 21.

The numbers: June sports betting in Virginia

VA sports betting operators won $22 million in June. That’s down slightly from the $23.2 million that the sportsbooks cleared in May.

The adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for June was $14.9 million, which is down from $15.7 million (an all-time high) in the month prior. The lifetime tally now stands at $49.3 million.

Additionally, overall in June, VA sportsbooks generated $2.3 million in state taxes. That total includes $56,849 for problem gambling support in the commonwealth.

MonthHandleGGRHold %Bonuses and promosOther deductionsAGRTaxes
August 2021$182,418,252$17,967,4279.9%$6,868,639$2,410,724$8,688,064$1,378,539
July 2021$161,901,955$19,965,55612.3%$4,375,872$2,898,664$12,691,020$1,864,433
June 2021$234,943,435$22,006,2969.4%$4,983,544$2,125,855$14,896,898$2,273,995
May 2021$226,963,573$23,173,54910.2%$5,168,732$2,341,616$15,663,201$2,381,115
April 2021$236,432,523$19,442,3178.2%$5,529,294$2,532,886$11,380,137$1,652,147
March 2021$304,066,245$26,573,8778.7%$10,340,533$2,388,332$13,845,012$1,183,487
February 2021$265,778,306$12,238,7304.6%$13,187,560$2,282,972($3,231,752)$300,594
January 2021$58,896,564$3,586,0776.1%$6,343,077$478,612($3,235,612)$39,710
Total$1,671,400,854$144,953,8298.6%$56,797,250$17,459,661$70,696,968$11,074,021.80

All told, VA sports bettors averaged $7.8 million in daily wagers in June. That’s an increase over the $7.3 million daily handle the sportsbooks processed in May.

A summer betting slowdown?

Although Virginia was the quickest state to reach $1 billion in wagers, it’s faced some challenges in recent months.

June, much like the two preceding months, generally marks slower business for sportsbooks.

With most major sports organizations on a summer hiatus, much of the betting world’s focus has been on smaller sports.

Outside of Major League Baseball, popular June betting options that contributed to the monthly handle included:

  • PGA Tour
  • ATP and WTA tennis
  • NASCAR
  • UFC/MMA
  • WNBA

Additionally, sportsbooks nationwide are currently benefitting from an influx of wagering due to the 2020 Summer Olympics. They’re currently taking place after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a one-year delay.

Initially, Olympics betting wasn’t permitted in Virginia, but lawmakers ultimately fixed the issue.

Business should also pick up with the arrival of the NFL and NCAA football seasons in the fall. Both are wildly popular options with sports bettors.

More Virginia competition ahead

Most of the betting in Virginia has been done at FanDuel. The prominent sportsbook was the first to launch in Virginia, thanks to its partnership with the Washington Football Team.

In a recent VA Lottery Board presentation, officials said FanDuel has accounted for 49.5% of all wagering dollars in Old Dominion through last month.

DraftKings (25.4) and BetMGM (16.4%) rank second and third in the seven-sportsbook market, which also includes William Hill, BetRivers, WynnBET, and Unibet.

However, more competition is on the way. Although no new sportsbooks have launched in VA since April 28, both Barstool Sportsbook and Golden Nugget are expected to launch in August in time for football. Bally Bet has also received a permit but likely won’t launch until after the other two.

Photo by Dreamstime / Alexey Maximenko
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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