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Virginia sports bettors wager $628.7m from January to March


The Virginia Lottery has released a gaming update for the first months of legal gaming in the state, showing that a total of $628.7m was wagered on sports from the market’s opening on January 21 to March 31.

While the lottery did not reveal the amount of revenue generated, $1.5m was paid in taxes by operators in the state during the period, with $38,095 going to the Problem Gambling & Treatment Support Fund.

Given the state’s 15% tax rate, this suggests adjusted gaming revenue – after accounting for promotional spend such as bonuses – of $10.2m. Operators spent a total of $30.0m on promotions between January and March, suggesting that gross gaming revenue was roughly $40.1m.

Of the approved operators, Flutter Entertainment-owned Fanduel – the first to launch in the state – took the majority of the market share, at 53%. DraftKings is the state’s next largest operator with 24% of the market share, followed by BetMGM with 14%, Caesars with 8% and Rivers with 1%.

WynnBet, having only started taking bets on March 9, does not hold a significant market share of the wagers placed from January.

Fanduel also accounted for the largest share of promotion spending, at 43%, which DraftKings at 23%, Caesars 20% and BetMGM, Rivers and Wynn spending 10%, 3% and 1% respectively.

Other operators to have been approved but which have not yet launched include Golden Nugget Online, Bally’s Corporation and Penn Sports Interactive.

BetMGM made the largest tax contribution of all the operators, at $700,025 between January and March. This suggests adjusted revenue of roughly $4.7m, and after accounting for promotional spend, suggests gross revenue of around $7.7m.

Fanduel followed on $547,886, all of which was paid in March, suggesting $3.7m in adjusted revenue, or roughly $16.5m in gross revenue when accounting for promotional spend. DraftKings contributed $275,919, also in March.

So far in 2021, 39 individuals have chosen to self-exclude from gambling products, with 5 opting out in January, 12 in February, 17 in March and 5 more as of April 15.

Two-thirds chose to self-exclude for five years, while others opted for a two-year period.

The most popular sport for wagering in Virginia was college basketball, accounting for 26.3% of all wagers placed. Professional basketball followed closely behind on 23.9%.

Parlays accounted for 16.7% of bets, and the second most popular sport after basketball was tennis, at 7.6%, followed by soccer at 6.7%, hockey at 5.9% and football at 5.0%.

The remainder of bets was made up from other sports including boxing, baseball, mixed martial arts (MMA), motorsports, golf and rugby.

Virginia’s annual sports betting application period will run from May 15 until May 31 this year, and Virginia Lottery said up to five additional sports betting permits could be awarded.

Results published earlier this month showed that sports betting handle in Virginia reached $265.8m in February, the market’s first full month of operation after opening on January 21.