Virginia Sportsbooks Handle $402M In February For 51% Increase YOY

Posted on April 1, 2022

With a boost from Super Bowl betting, Virginia sportsbooks handled nearly $402 million in bets during February 2022, marking a 51.2% increase year-over-year.

On Friday, the Virginia Lottery released the Virginia sports betting revenue details for February.

Overall, Virginia sports bettors wagered $401,889,135 during the 28 days of February, or roughly $14.3 million per day.

The operators’ revenue for the month was nearly $27.5 million. That created a rather small hold of 6.8%, with bettors winning at their best clip since February 2021 (record 4.6% handle).

February betting also pushed the lifetime handle for legal Virginia sports betting to more than $4.1 billion.

February 2022 numbers dip after record-setting January

A year ago in February 2021, bettors tallied $265.8 million in bets. That was the first full month of legal betting in Virginia, which formally launched its market on Jan. 21, 2021.

Now, 12 months later and with the latest figures, we can make the first fairly meaningful year-over-year comparison. With YOY growth of more than 50% between February 2021 and February 2022, the market saw substantial growth.

However, it’s worth noting that only five sportsbooks (FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers and Caesars) were live in February 2021. This February, though, 11 sports-betting operators were live and taking bets in Old Dominion.

Despite the YOY growth, Virginia sportsbooks actually experienced a small decline month-over-month. In January, VA sports bettors registered a record $485.5 million in bets.

Here’s the year-to-date results for Virginia sports betting:

MonthHandleGGRHold %PromosOther deductionsAGRTaxes
February 2022$401,889,135$27,498,1336.8%$15,816,234$3,797,649$7,884,250$7,884,250
January 2022$485,544,417$39,050,0678.0%$16,850,981$3,978,519$18,220,567$2,876,609
December 2021$426,596,891$31,515,0157.4%$17,051,709$4,339,908$10,123,398$1,729,130
November 2021$402,621,132$48,337,03712.0%$14,993,073$3,417,267$29,926,697$4,233,167
October 2021$427,320,306$30,160,3857.1%$15,805,261$4,569,424$9,785,700$1,746,204
September 2021$293,851,531$30,929,24310.5%$17,422,068$3,172,781$10,334,395$1,557,498
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

February 2022 marked the fifth-highest monthly handle in 13 full months of betting.

Betting on 2022 Super Bowl accounted for $33.2 million of the $402 million handle in February, according to officials.

Looking ahead: VA sportsbooks in 2022

VA sportsbooks have already done brisk business to start 2022. That’s largely due to a sports schedule that lends itself to heavy betting, which likely continued in March:

  • January: NFL Playoffs
  • February: NFL’s Super Bowl
  • March: College basketball’s March Madness

However, the arrival of spring ushers in a slower betting schedule. Even with daily MLB games, as well as pending NBA and NHL playoffs, sports bettors just don’t bet like they do in the fall and winter.

In fact, in 2021, Virginia sportsbooks took in $304 million in bets in March. However, they failed to reach that monthly handle again until November – seven months later.

Will Virginia experience another spring and summer swoon in 2022? Like other states with sports-betting markets, a decline is all but guaranteed. But there’s reason for optimism as the Virginia sports-betting market expands in 2022. In fact, that expansion could include the first in-person retail betting opportunities.

Two of four Virginia cities that voted in favor of casinos are likely to open temporary gaming facilities this year. Those mini-casinos in Bristol and Norfolk could both offer retail sportsbooks on site.

Additionally, two other online sportsbooks, SI Sportsbook by 888 and Betwayhave received permits and are likely to launch sometime this year.

Photo by AP / Adam Hunger
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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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