After Virginia sports betting handle slipped from $426 million in April to about $404 million in May, the fall continued through June.
Virginia bettors wagered just over $325 million in June. That is 19.6% less than the month before. Even more stark is the $100 million drop when compared to April’s sports betting handle.
Those numbers might seem alarming, but it is the natural order of the sports betting industry.
While a dip is not ideal, it is expected for this time of year
There are more than a dozen Virginia online sportsbooks available to players. While bettors can access the apps when out of the state, players must be inside state lines to place online bets.
June is one of the slowest months of the year for sports betting because there are fewer major sports games to wager on. Both the NBA and NHL are in their finals and the start of the NFL season is still months away. Only the MLB is in full swing.
Bettors in Virginia had less options, which means less wagers were placed. This is a common trend every year in virtually every state. It is not an indicator of a struggling sports betting industry in the commonwealth. In fact, the sports betting marketplace in Virginia is growing steadily year over year.
Even with the dip, June was a successful month. Twelve operators reported a positive adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and bettors won just under $293 million. That meant operators had a hold percentage of 10.04%, leaving about $26 million AGR after accounting for more than $6 million in bonuses and promotions.
Virginia sports betting industry growing despite June dip
June, in a vacuum, was not a good month for sports betting, but a 10,000-foot view provides a different perspective.
In June of last year, around $295 million was wagered on sports. That figure jumped up 10.2% this year. The year-over-year trends are all pointing in the right direction in Virginia. That has a lot to do with the state having more sports betting providers in 2023 than in 2022.
In 2022, the total sports wagering handle through June was barely over $2.4 billion. A year later, over $2.6 billion has been wagered on sports through June. That is a 7.7% increase year over year.
Sports betting in June generated just under $4 million in taxes for Virginia
In Virginia, 15% of the total AGR is contributed as a sports betting tax. In June, just under $4 million was paid to the state, 37.3% less than the month prior.
This drop is somewhat in line with the fall in total sports betting handle. The amount is more than double the $1.9 million paid to the state in June 2022.
While 12 operators had a positive AGR in June, four found themselves in the negative, which means they contributed no tax dollars to Virginia.
Tax money from sports betting in Virginia goes toward two funds. The largest, 97.5%, goes to General Fund Allocation to pay for various projects and services across the commonwealth. The last 2.5% goes to responsible gambling programs through the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation.
Just under $100,000 went to address problem gambling, while the remaining $3.8 million went to the General Fund Allocation.
So far in 2023, Virginia sports betting operators have contributed about $34.5 million in taxes. Of that amount, around $863,000 has gone to support programs addressing problem gambling in the state.