Virginia’s May sports betting report is out, revealing an expected dip in activity as 2022 reaches the halfway mark.
Virginia sports bettors might have doubled their action year-over-year, but wagering continues to slow as summer sets in.
Virginia wagering slows as summer sets in
In total, Virginians wagered just a tick under $351.5 million in May. That’s a 55% increase compared to May 2021, according to the Virginia Lottery’s wagering report. A big reason for this jump is that there were only seven operators at that time last year. This May, there were 14 live sportsbooks for bettors to choose from.
Compared to this year’s previous month of April, though, May numbers look far less appealing. Much like the majority of the betting nation, Virginia wagering activity fell thick into the summer slumps. April numbers already saw a lull in wagering activity, where bettors wagered only $399.5 million.
That number dipped further in May, resulting in an extra 12% decrease in wagering activity.
Old Dominion bettors cashed in on $308.9 million from winning bets, leaving sportsbooks with a combined 12.1% win percentage. Bettors fared slightly better in April when operators logged a win percentage of only 9.08%.
In May, only five operators reported positive adjusted gross revenue (AGR) — the total wagers minus any total winnings and other authorized deductions. In total, the state was able to collect $3.89 million in taxes from those operators. Of that number, 97.5% goes to Virginia’s general fund and 2.5% goes to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health.
Since sports betting was legalized in Virginia back in Jan. 2021, gamblers have won $4.8 billion from their $5.3 billion in wagers. Meanwhile, operators have paid $33.6 million in taxes to the state. The majority of that sum — $32.8 million — has gone to the general fund, while $841,894 has gone to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.
Limited May betting options
May’s limited sporting event schedule offered minimal options for bettors, leaving the NBA playoffs to take center stage. By the end of the month, the Golden State Warriors had beat out the Dallas Mavericks for a spot in the finals, while the Boston Celtics took down the Miami Heat.
The first round of the NHL playoffs coincided with the start of May. The Colorado Avalanche would go on to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the third Stanley Cup in franchise history.
There were also four PGA Tour events, with the biggest being the highly anticipated PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Justin Thomas walked away with the win and brought home a $15 million purse.
May was a big month for auto racing, too. In addition to six total NASCAR races, the IndyCar Series held its renowned Indy 500.
NBA Finals action should prove to have piqued the interest of Virginia bettors in June, though that likely won’t offset the expected wagering slumps still left to come this summer.