October Virginia sports bets cleared the $500 million mark for the first time, according to numbers released Thursday by the Virginia Lottery.
Customers placed a single-month record $528 million in bets at the 13 Virginia sportsbooks. Seven of the 13 operators reported positive numbers once customer wins and authorized state deductions were factored in. A month ago, nine of the 13 sportsbooks reported a profit.
Virginia taxes sports betting profits at a 15% rate. Still, the state allowed sportsbooks to claim about $963,000 in bonuses and promo offers to customers.
October’s $528 million is:
- Up 28% from September’s $411.3 million in handle.
- Up 24% from the $427.3 million collected in the same month a year ago. Virginia only had nine sportsbooks in October 2021.
Smaller profits from October Virginia sports bets
Customers had better results against the house compared to a month ago. Companies reported a 9.7% win percentage in the just-released October numbers compared to 13% in September.
So, even though October Virginia sports bets came in at a record pace, adjusted revenue fell from $48.4 million in September to $45.5 million in the most recent totals.
The state taxes winning customers and winning sportsbooks alike. The Commonwealth will get less from companies because of the lower revenue, however.
The Virginia Lottery collected more than $6.95 million from the sportsbooks in October. The number was a more robust $7.25 million in September.
No Virginia college bets leave tax money on the table
The state of Virginia doesn’t allow bets on in-state college sports — and the policy could be leaving money on the table.
Customers still bet on the Cavaliers and Hokies, but they’re using unregulated sites and apps for their at-home bets on Virginia teams.
A new American Gaming Association report suggests gamblers steer $511 billion in bets each year to illegal sportsbook and casino sites.
States don’t get to tax off-the-book transactions, so the AGA estimates illegal wagering “robs state governments of $13.3 billion in tax revenue each year.”
AGA President and CEO Bill Miller called the illegal gambling market “a scourge on our society.”
“We have always known that the illegal and unregulated market is expansive, but this report illuminates just how pervasive it is.”
From October’s taxes on legal bets in Virginia:
- About $6.8 million went into the general fund.
- $173,916 went toward problem gambling.
The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health gets 2.5% of gaming profits.
The $528 million in October handle shattered Virginia’s previous record of $485.5 million set in January 2022.