Virginia became the 11th state in the post-PASPA era to clear $1 billion in sports betting handle Thursday, with the Virginia Lottery reporting nearly $227 million in wagers were accepted by the commonwealth’s seven mobile operators in May.
While May’s handle was 4% lower than April’s total of more than $236.4 million, it was enough to push Virginia over the $1 billion mark. At four months and 11 days of legal wagering since accepting its first wagers in late January, Virginia also became the fastest new sports betting market to reach the benchmark, erasing Tennessee‘s short-lived record of six months established in April.
Virginia and Tennessee are the only states to have exclusively online sports betting, though Virginia is in the process of expanding gaming to include casinos and retail sportsbooks. They are also two of five states to reach $1 billion in cumulative handle in 2021 along with Iowa, Michigan, and Mississippi.
|State||Month of first accepted sports betting wagers||Month reached $1 billion in sports betting handle||Length of time to reach $1 billion in sports betting handle|
|Nevada*||June 2018||September 2018||4 months|
|VIRGINIA||January 2021||May 2021||4 months, 11 days|
|Tennessee||November 2020||April 2021||6 months|
|New Jersey||June 2018||December 2018||7 months|
|Colorado||May 2020||December 2020||8 months|
|Illinois||March 2020||November 2020||9 months|
|Indiana||September 2019||July 2020||11 months|
|Pennsylvania||November 2018||November 2019||1 year, 1 month|
|Michigan||March 2020||April 2021||1 year, 2 months|
|Iowa||August 2019||February 2021||1 year, 7 months|
|Mississippi||August 2018||February 2021||2 years, 7 months|
|*Nevada has been accepting sports betting wagers since 1975|
Operators accepting those wagers also had reason to be in a good mood, generating nearly $23.2 million in gross gaming revenue, resulting in a hold of 10.21%. After factoring in promotional play and other deductions, the adjusted gross revenue for May was close to $15.7 million, which resulted in almost $2.4 million going to the state in tax receipts.
The state had generated nearly $3.2 million in tax revenue through the first three-plus months of wagering as operators burned through large amounts of bonuses and promotional play. Overall, bonuses, promotional play, and other deductions have contributed to non-taxable revenue of nearly $50.6 million since launch — accounting for nearly 60% of the $85.1 million in total operator revenue generated.