Sportsbook Financial

$427 Million In Wagers Placed with Virginia Sportsbooks in a Month

The record month — which was also boosted by the opening of the NBA season and baseball's postseason — officially made Virginia the quickest state in U.S. history to reach $2 billion in lifetime wagers

$427 Million In Wagers Placed with Virginia Sportsbooks in a Month
$427 Million In Wagers Placed with Virginia Sportsbooks in a Month

Virginia's sports betting volume skyrocketed to a state record in October with five weekends of football catapulting wagering to more than $427 million. The record month — which was also boosted by the opening of the NBA season and baseball's postseason — officially made Virginia the quickest state in U.S. history to reach $2 billion in lifetime wagers, according to PlayVirginia, which tracks Virginia's sports betting market.

"With a calendar that included an extra weekend of NFL and college football, the opening of the NBA and NHL seasons, and baseball's postseason, October was the best opportunity so far for Virginia sportsbooks and the results did not disappoint," said Dann Stupp, lead analyst for PlayVirginia.com.

"A strong start to the football season shows a maturing market with an increasing number of operators launching and a base of bettors that are increasingly comfortable with online sports betting."

Virginia's online sportsbooks generated $427.3 million in bets in October, easily topping the previous record of $304.1 million reached in March, according to data released Wednesday by The Virginia Lottery. The state handle was up 45.4% from $293.9 million in September as volume rose to $13.8 million per day over the 31 days of October from $9.8 millionin September.

October gross gaming revenue slipped 2.5% to $30.2 million from the record $30.9 million in September. $15.8 millionin promotions whittled taxable revenue down to $9.8 million, yielding $1.7 million in state taxes. 

During October, Virginia became the quickest to $2 billion in lifetime wagering. New Jersey — which in June 2018became the first state to launch sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — had long been the quickest market after PASPA to reach $2 billion in lifetime revenue. New Jersey took 10 months. The commonwealth managed to do it in fewer than 10 months after sportsbooks began taking bets on Jan. 21, 2021. 

Since launching in January 2021, Virginia has produced:

  • -$2.4 billion in wagering 
  • -$206.0 million in gross gaming revenue, yielding $90.8 million in taxable revenue 
  • -$14.4 million in state taxes

"It's hard to imagine a better start for Virginia's sports betting industry," said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia.com. "The brisk action over the last two months is raising the bar for the entire market, too. Not only are more Virginians betting, but they are expanding their interest in less conventional wagers such as in-game betting."

Virginia joined an overwhelming majority of legal markets in the U.S. to set a state record in October. Five weekends of pro and college football, baseball's postseason and the return of the NBA, were the clear catalyst in every state. But Virginia got some local help, too. The Baltimore Ravens have been one of the NFL's best teams and the Washington Football Team have remained in the playoff race, which boosts local interest. Additionally, the Washington Wizards got off to the franchise's best start since the 1970s. 

Plus, new sportsbooks continue to expand the market, which welcomed the Golden Nugget sportsbook on Oct. 13 and Bally Bet on Nov. 24.

"Success of regional teams is always an enticement for would-be bettors," Stupp said. "That is especially true when fans of franchises that have been struggling, such as the Redskins and Wizards, suddenly have good reason to get excited. If those teams can continue down that path, it could be a real boon for sportsbooks over the winter months."

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

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