Virginia Sports Betting A Slam Dunk In March

Written By Phil West on May 3, 2024
City of Richmond with $635.5 million overlaid, signifying March 2024 sports betting revenue

March Madness sparked sports betting in Virginia, as the $635.5 million wagered in March was the third-highest monthly total in the commonwealth’s history.

It was bested only by January’s all-time record of $652.9 million and November’s impressive $638.8 million.

March was also the seventh straight month that Virginia sports betting handle has finished north of $500 million.

State Took In More Than $6M From Sports Betting in March

Sixteen online sportsbooks fuel the Virginia sports betting market. As usual, the vast majority of wagers in Virginia were made online. which accounted for nearly $629.7 million of the total. The remaining $5.9 million was bet at the state’s three casinos: Caesars Virginia Danville, Hard Rock Bristol and the Rivers Casino in Portsmouth.

Bettors came away with nearly $587.9 million, resulting in a 7.5% hold, for a little more than $42.4 million in adjusted gross revenue.

That translated to about $6.25 million in tax revenue in March. From that, close to $6.1 million entered the state’s General Fund coffers, with an additional $156,000 deposited into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

AGA Says More Than $2 Billion Was Bet on the NCAA Tournaments

March was fueled by betting on the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), an estimated $2.72 billion was wagered on March Madness, making up 2.2% of the total handle legally wagered by Americans in 2023.

That follows a record betting year in 2023, according to the AGA.

“In 2023, sports betting achieved new records for handle ($119.8 billion) and sportsbook revenue ($10.9 billion), up 27.8% and 44.5%, respectively. This growth was largely fueled by continued maturation across most existing markets as well as several new markets, particularly in Massachusetts and Ohio.”

One of Virginia’s neighboring states, North Carolina, recently adopted online sports betting. Unlike Virginia, North Carolina allows betting on Virginia-based colleges and prop betting on tournaments. Due to these laws, Virginia is likely seeing some bettors siphoned off to North Carolina, especially when top Virginia colleges make deep runs in March Madness.

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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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