The first full month of sports wagering in Virginia — done exclusively online — generated a handle of nearly $265.8 million, according to figures released by the Virginia Lottery on Thursday.
The commonwealth has five operators, with William Hill entering the fray just prior to the Super Bowl to join FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, and BetRivers. Nearly $20 million of the handle came from the NFL championship, which delivered a Super Bowl victory for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs, but the Virginia Lottery did not break out how operators fared in the biggest sports wagering event of the year in the U.S.
While operators generated more than $12.2 million in gross gaming revenue, nearly $13.2 million worth of promotional play was offered by the five operational sportsbooks. That, along with other deductions, resulted in adjusted gross revenue of more than minus-$3.2 million — nearly identical to January when bettors placed nearly $59 million in bets over the first 11 days after launch.
For the second straight month, only one operator posted a positive adjusted gross revenue, which resulted in tax receipts totaling $300,594. The Virginia Lottery did not disclose which operator came out ahead for February, but based on the state’s 15% tax rate, it generated slightly more than $2 million in AGR.
In comparing handle volume for a first full month of business, Virginia held its own against Michigan, generating approximately $60 million less than the Wolverine State in February. Michigan’s overall $325.6 million handle, though, also includes retail sports wagering at its three casinos in Detroit.
Virginia also has far fewer mobile operators than Michigan and no casinos — something cities are working to change after voters approved brick-and-mortar casinos to be built in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk, and Portsmouth. Richmond will vote in November on whether to have a casino, and three finalists are making their public pitches this week.
Wynn Sports Interactive’s WynnBET came online in the state on March 11, while an additional three more are are in the pipeline after receiving temporary permits in recent weeks. They are Golden Nugget, Bally’s Corporation (Bally’s Bets), and Penn Interactive LLC (Barstool Sportsbook).