Richmond, Virginia skyline. Photo by Derrick Brooks
American newcomer to legal sports betting, Virginia, closed her second full month of sports betting in March, and numbers from the Commonwealth support the notion that it will eventually become an elite jurisdiction. The Virginia Lottery reports bullish sports betting numbers from March that don’t make it into the top tier of legal sports betting states but certainly cement their status near the top tier of tier two.
The legal sports betting situation in Virginia, launched on January 21, has improved in time to take advantage of the Super Bowl. Throughout all of this, Virginia officially passed the more established Colorado jurisdiction as sixth on the betting-friendly state list, with Illinois not yet reporting March.
March toward $ 300 million
The Virginia Lottery reports an impressive donation of $ 304.1 million in March for its online-only sports betting platform. That figure is 14.4% higher than Virginia’s first full month of legal sports betting in February, when the Commonwealth’s sports betting in a month hampered by a short 28-day betting period, one weekend less sports betting, and the end of the sports betting promotion, NFL season posted $ 265.8 million.
The first eleven days of sports betting in Virginia resulted in a profit of $ 58.9 million in January.
Gross gaming revenue was $ 26.5 million thanks to an 8.74% win rate. Sports betting in the state reported promotions and bonuses of $ 10.34 million and other deductions of $ 2.4 million, resulting in adjusted gross sales of $ 13.5 million for Virginia in March.
Positive adjusted sales are a story in itself for Virginia. March marks the first time in the history of short sports betting in Virginia that profits have been reported.
Thanks to a federally-friendly tax rate of 15%, the Virginia Treasury and local coffers raised $ 1.18 million from profits, nearly four times the $ 300,594 they made in February.
Much like the other participating states in the US for legal sports betting, basketball was the big story in March. Although March Madness was unable to bet on schools in Virginia, he still brought in $ 83.6 million in Commonwealth sports betting, which is roughly 27.5% of the total.
The professionals also brought in their fair share. While the NBA will continue to get its share of betting attention going forward, the absence of the NCAA basketball tournament could lead to a basketball betting hangover in March madness. We hope that a full betting menu in April will carry the legal dynamic of sports betting in Virginia.
Only five sports bets went online on January 21st – BetMGM, BetRivers, the two national DFS giants and William Hill. WynnBET was quickly accepted into the Virginia family on March 12th, and Kindred Group’s Unibet joined the party on April 28th, giving Virginia bettors seven prime options to consider.
Golden Nugget, Bally’s Corp. and Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook are on deck for launch, although firm dates have not yet been announced.
New laws passed in the Virginia legislature also pave the way for up to 18 sports bets for the state’s legal betting scene. The law goes into effect July 1st and hopes the Virginians can take advantage of the Summer Olympics when they actually take place.
National numbers expected to approach the record
The surge in sports betting in March wasn’t just a boon to state and local sports betting. The total number of national handles should approach, if not exceed, the record of $ 4.36 billion posted in January. We’re just waiting for Illinois, a state that reported a $ 510 million handle in February.
Assuming Illinois matches the February grand total (it almost goes without saying that they will beat it), it puts the national handle on track to hit $ 4.6 billion, which is the January grand total easily dwarfs. The March national handle will also increase the number of bets collected in the U.S. since the 2018 Supreme Court decision lifted its general ban on sports betting to a whopping $ 52 billion.
The legal sports betting scene in Virginia still has some work to do, and once it is there, its market is expected to end up in the top 10 legal sports betting jurisdictions consistently. Virginia has impressed so far – no reason to believe they won’t continue down this path for the foreseeable future.
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