Sports betting in Virginia may have fallen month over month. But the latest numbers from the Virginia Lottery indicate a year-to-year jump.
According to the lottery, Virginia residents combined for $433.8 million in bets during the month of February. Bettors won a total of just over $394 million that month, which featured the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2023 Super Bowl. After factoring out bonuses, promotions and other deductions, Virginia totaled $28.4 million in adjusted gross revenue that month.
Unsurprisingly, online sports betting in Virginia continued to be a fan favorite. In February, 99.2% of all wagering activity occurred via VA sports betting apps. That means just $3.6 million of the month’s handle came from casino retail bets.
Super Bowl betting brought in more than $32 million
Historically, the Super Bowl stands as one of the biggest sports betting events in North America. And 2023 was no different, as Americans enjoyed the Kansas City Chiefs’ thrilling 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Looking specifically at Virginia, bettors gambled about $32.3 million on the big game.
Experts projected this year’s Super Bowl would see more wagers than any before it, and that’s no surprise. With sports betting now legal in 33 states, it’s more accessible now more than ever for fans to place bets.
In Virginia, where mobile sports betting continues to dominate, there are currently 15 legal sportsbooks. That number will grow, as Betr recently aquired a sports betting license in the state.
Virginia sports betting roughly $4.7 million in taxes in February
Virginia law says that 97.5% of the state’s adjusted gross revenue from sports betting goes into its General Fund. The remaining 2.5% then go to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.
Since nine sportsbook operators posted a net positive adjusted gross revenue for the month, Virginia saw about $4.7 million in taxes for February.
Specifically, the General Fund’s allocation came out to nearly $4.6 million. The state’s Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund received the remaining $117,053.12.
VA sports betting handle dropped month-to-month, but up from 2022
In January, Virginians wagered $513.15 million on sports. When considering February’s numbers, that equates to about an $80 million drop-off month to month.
While it may seem discouraging, it’s somewhat expected. Most states see their highest handles during peak football season, with bettors wagering plenty on the NFL and college football. But, specifically for February, there was just one football event to bet on.
Virginia’s sports betting handle during the month of February was 7.9% higher than the same month in the previous year. In February 2022, Virginia sports betting featured just over $400 million in handle.
A number of factors helped reach this point, a few of which being sportsbook accessibility and more mobile apps to bet from. But it’s a positive sign for the overall industry within Virginia and a logical step forward.
Be on the lookout for March’s sports betting figures
Just like how the Super Bowl commands plenty of wagers, so does the NCAA Tournament. And with it comes an uptick in handle.
Last year, Virginia residents wagered roughly $470 million during March Madness. At that time, it was the second-highest total for a single month in Virginia’s 15-month history of legal sports betting. That resulted in about $33.7 million in adjusted gross revenue.
It’s worth noting that at this same time last year, only 12 sportsbook operators called Virginia home.
As a reminder, Virginia residents cannot legally bet on college basketball programs located within the state. That means no residents were able to bet on the Virginia Cavaliers or the VCU Rams this March Madness. They were, however, able to wager on the other teams competing in the tournament.
Now we just wait to see how much Virginia bettors took to the NCAA Tournament.