Virginians Bet $638 Million On Sports In November, A 23% Increase From 2022

Written By Dan Holmes on December 29, 2023
Picture of $100 bill with sports ball icons on a story about sports betting revenue increasing in Virginia during November.

Sports bettors in Virginia wagered $638.8 million in November, a figure that represents a 23.1% increase over the same month in 2022. The total handle stems from bets placed online and at retail sportsbooks.

The state received $5.5 million in tax revenue in November, according to the Virginia Lottery. The general fund gets the bulk of that total, while 2.5% is allocated to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

Since it launched online sports betting in April 2020, Virginia has seen $13.1 billion wagered on sports. In excess of $135 million has been paid to the treasury as a result of legal sports betting activity. Virginia law mandates a 15% levy on adjusted gross revenue from sports betting operators.

Football undoubtingly fuels 3rd straight month of total handle over half a billion

There are more than a dozen Virginia online sports betting apps available to bettors in the commonwealth. The Virginia Lottery does not report revenue by sportsbook, nor does it reveal which sports are most popular among bettors.

Given the popularity of the NFL and college football, it’s reasonable to believe that those sports are the reason revenue numbers have been soaring in recent months. November was the third consecutive month that Virginia has seen total handle top $500 million. From October to November, total handle increased by 11.7%.

November saw the debut of ESPN Bet Virginia, which launched from PENN Entertainment on Nov. 14. That sportsbook replaced Barstool Sports.


Hold drops in November to 6.7%

Sports bettors in Virginia won a total of $595.8 million in November, with a 6.73% hold for operators. That’s a much lower rate than in October, when the hold was 11.2%. It stops a string of four consecutive months where the hold rate in Virginia was above 10%.

Sports betting operators are permitted to deduct promotional offers, which they did to the total of $1.5 million in November. That figure is much higher than the same month in 2022, when sportsbooks deducted a little over $817,000. Some states have seen sportsbook promos dwindle, but not so in Virginia.

Overwhelmingly, Virginia bettors prefer to wager on sports online. In November, 98.9% of all bets on sports in Virginia were placed via a mobile sports betting app or a sportsbook website. Virginians continue to prove their passion for sports and competition. Virginia is the most populous state that does not have at least one major professional sports team (NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL).

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayVirginia
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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