Virginia’s sports bettors totaled $293 million in wagers in July, the last traditionally quiet summer month before the kick off of the NFL season.
From that just-shy of $300 million in bets, the 16 operators saw $27 million in adjusted revenues for a hold of 11.1%, according to the latest figures from the Virginia Lottery Board.
Overall, online sportsbooks saw their handle up 10% year-on-year, but down 8.8% on June’s $325 million in total wagers.
Tax Implications and Revenue Distribution
Virginia’s sports betting regulations mandate a 15% tax on the total AGR. For July, this translated to a tax revenue that was 4.3% higher than June, and a significant 25.6% increase compared to July 2022.
The distribution of this tax revenue is split between the state’s general fund (97.5%) and the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation (2.5%). For July, the general fund received an allocation of $4 million, while the Problem Gambling fund was allocated $102,880.45.
In comparison, June’s tax revenue saw the general fund receiving $3,841,208.48 and the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation getting $98,492.53, totaling $3.9 million. Cumulatively, for 2023, Virginia sports betting has generated impressive tax revenue exceeding $38.5 million.
Online sports betting dominated retail betting in Virginia in July, as is reflected nationally. However, despite — or maybe because of — being the state’s sole retail book, Hard Rock Bet at the temporary Hard Rock Bristol Casino did quite well. It accounted for 1.1% of the total handle, with $2.162 million in bets wagered during the month.
Operators and New Entrants
The Virginia Lottery’s report for July highlighted that 12 of the state’s sportsbook operators reported a net positive AGR, contributing to a total tax payment of $4.1 million. The remaining four operators, which reported negative AGRs, did not contribute to the tax revenue for the month.
Other than that, the state regulator does not reveal operator-by-operator statistics. Nationally, FanDuel and DraftKings dominate the scene, so a similar trend could be expected in Virginia.
One operator who won’t have been in July’s report, but will be in September’s future release, is Jake Paul- backed sportsbook Betr. The microbetting-focused sportsbook app finally debuted in Virginia this week after securing a license six months ago.
Its launch was delayed after regulators questioned why Paul didn’t declare an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission filing against him at the time Betr was granted a license. The Lottery Board subsequently fined Betr $25,000.
It will be hoping its launch in Virginia won’t see it join one of the four sportsbooks that reported a negative AGR for the month. However, based on its last-place performance in Paul’s home state of Ohio in July, it could be tough for the new market entrant.
There are currently no more license slots for online sportsbooks in Virginia. But at least one more (and potentially two more) retail betting spaces could open up in 2024. Caesars Entertainment’s high-performing temporary venue in Danville will be replaced by a permanent Caesars Virginia Resort with an on-site Caesars Sportsbook next year, and a long-planned casino in state capital Richmond is also slated to feature a sportsbook.