March Madness Spurs VA Sportbooks To Second-Best Month Ever

Posted on April 29, 2022

(LAS VEGAS) — The NCAA Tournament helped push Virginia’s sportsbooks in March to near-record highs with nearly $470 million in wagering.

The highest handle in Virginia for a month without NFL football and the second-most ever, March’s bets gave sportsbooks one last surge before a seasonal slowdown that will last until the fall, according to PlayVirginia, which tracks Virginia’s sports betting market.

“The popularity of the NCAA Tournament makes March among the industry’s most important months, providing sportsbooks one more jump in action before the slower months begin,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia.com. “Virginia outperformed expectations, especially considering the ban on betting on in-state college teams and the University of Virginia’s absence. The industry has done exceedingly well over the last seven months in expanding the young market, and March’s results were a sort of cherry on top.”

Virginia online sportsbooks accepted $469.5 million in wagers in March, up 54% from $304.1 million in March 2021, according to data released Friday by the Virginia Lottery. Sportsbooks averaged $15.1 million per day over the 31 days of March, up from $9.8 million per day in March 2021. The month’s bets were also up 17% from the $401.9 million wagered in February and topped only by the record $485.5 million bet in January.

Sportsbooks won $33.7 million in gross revenue from March’s bets, up 27% from $26.6 million in March 2021 and up 23% from $27.5 million in February. After $14.1 million in promotional spending and $5.3 million in other deductions, sportsbooks produced $14.3 million in adjusted revenue. That yielded $2.1 million in state taxes.

March represented the second consecutive month of year-over-year growth topping 50%. A similar growth rate will likely continue even as sportsbooks slow as the NBA playoffs, baseball, and major golf tournaments become the main attractions for bettors.

“Volume will inevitably slip over the next few months, but the industry’s focus will change, too,” Ramsey said. “The football season and the NCAA Tournament are prime opportunities to expand to new customers, which means more promotions. With sports such as golf taking center stage in the summer months, the industry can fare well with less volume.”

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Virginia, visit PlayVirginia.com/revenue.

Contact: Zack Hall, Catena Media, [email protected]

Photo by Denis Poroy / Associated Press
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