Though the Old Dominion’s streak of $300 million-plus handles ended at 10 months, July’s handle represented an increase of 10.4% compared to July of last year. The $2.9-billion plus in wagers for the first seven months of 2023 is 8.9% higher than the same period in 2022.
One streak that did continue was operators posting double-digit holds, which reached five months after operators across Virginia combined to craft a hold of 11.1%. The house claimed $32.5 million in gross revenue winnings, up 24.8% from last year thanks to the hold being 1.3 percentage points higher. The gross revenue was just $200,000 shy of June’s $32.7 million.
Twelve of the 16 operators finished with positive adjusted gross revenue for July as the state was eligible to tax $28.2 million. The 15% rate resulted in an inflow of $4.1 million into state coffers, and the $38.6 million in receipts this year is running $20.3 million ahead of last year’s total in the same span.
The Virginia Lottery does not disclose handle and revenue by operator in its monthly reports.
Total deductions near an all-time low
The deductions between promotional credits and operator carryover totaled $4.3 million in July, the second-lowest total in 31 months of wagering, trailing only the $3.7 million accrued last December. Based on previous Freedom of Information Act requests by Sports Handle that have been fulfilled by the Virginia Lottery, it is likely bet365 comprises the overwhelming amount of negative carryover AGR.
While bet365 finished with a positive AGR in each month from April to June, it still carried a net AGR of nearly minus-$4 million into July. The Virginia Lottery noted that the operator’s promotional credits for July totaled $827,332, which means July would be the first time since entering the state in January that bet365 had an outlay of less than $1 million in promotional credits to bettors.
The state has been eligible to tax nearly 84% of the $303.2 million in operator gross revenue this year, compared to just over 53% for the first seven months of 2022. Since the budget amendment that took effect in July 2022 preventing operators in the state conducting wagering more than 12 months from deducting promotional play, Virginia has generated $75.2 million in sports wagering taxes. That is more than two-thirds of the $110.7 million in total tax revenue collected since the first wagers were placed in January 2021.
The $303.2 million in year-to-date revenue is up 31.2% compared to last year, boosted by a 10.4% hold that is 1.8 percentage points higher. The $254.3 million in adjusted gross revenue is more than double the $123.1 million for the first seven months of 2022.