The Virginia sports betting handle went up almost 13% in August compared to July but other key financial benchmarks, such as adjusted gross revenue and consequently, tax collections, were down in a month-to-month comparison.
Sports bettors in Virginia wagered more than $182 million in August compared to almost $162 million in July. But the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for the eight online sports gambling operators in Virginia combined was about $8.69 million, down 31.5% from July’s nearly $12.7 million.
Virginia Sports Betting, August vs. July
|Change||Up 12.7%||Down 31.5%||Down 26.1%|
Here are three key takeaways from the August VA gambling report:
Hold Drops, Promos Up
The reasons for the decrease in AGR were a drop the operators’ aggregate hold and an overall increase in bonus and promotional spend by the sportsbooks. The combined hold for the sports operators was 9.85%. While still high compared to historic hold norms for sports wagering, the August hold percentage fell below the 12.33% hold in July. Historically, sports gambling hold has been broadly in the 5% to 7% range.
Meanwhile, the bonus and promotional spend in Virginia was about $6.87 million in August. Those are costs to attract and retain customers, and it was a significant jump (about 57%) from July’s bonus and promotion spend of $4.38 million.
Tax Collections Decrease
The reduced AGR led to a reduction in tax collections for the commonwealth from the previous month. The sports betting taxes in August were $1,378,540, down 26.1% from July ($1,864,433). In the commonwealth, there is a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on AGR, which is total wagers minus total winnings and other authorized deductions, such as bonus and promotion costs.
VA Operator Update
The eight licensed operators included in August’s financial reporting from the commonwealth were (with associated entities):
- FanDuel Virginia in partnership with the Washington Football Team;
- DraftKings Virginia;
- BetMGM Virginia;
- BetRivers Virginia;
- Caesars Sportsbook Virginia;
- WynnBet Virginia;
- Unibet Virginia;
- Penn National.
Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook launched in August.
A ninth sportsbook went live in Virginia when Golden Nugget Online Gaming launched on Thursday.
Golden Nugget was approved on March 15 and GNOG can be found via iOS app, Android and web browsers. Bally Bet was approved in March, but there has been no word on when it might launch.