Virginia September Sports Betting Up 61% & Other Key Takeaways

By Bill Ordine

There was a substantial jump in Virginia sports betting handle for September, which was in line with other sports gambling jurisdictions with NFL and college football seasons starting.

Virginia bettors wagered nearly $294 million in September, an increase of about 61% from August ($182.4 million).

Nine licensed operators were included in September’s sports gambling financial report from the commonwealth, with the latest operator being Golden Nugget Online Gaming. Golden Nugget Online Gaming was the most-recent sportsbook to launch, going live in Virginia at the end of September.

VA Sports Betting, September vs. August

Total HandleRevenue Taxes
September$293.852M$10.334M$1.557M
August$182.418M$8.688M$1.378M
Change Up 61.1% Up 18.9% Up 13.0%

Here are three key takeaways from the September VA gambling report:

Revenue Doesn’t Keep Pace

Despite a significant increase in handle, Virginia sports operators, in the aggregate, did not see a corresponding jump in adjusted gross revenue. The AGR for September was a little more than $10.33 million, which was an increase of about 18.9% from August ($8.69 million) and actually more than $2 million lower than July’s AGR of $12.7 million, according to the state lottery release. Sportsbooks saw a combined 10.53% hold.


Bonuses & Promos for Bettors

Virginia sports bettors enjoyed a bonanza in bonuses and promotions in September. The giveaways amounted to a robust $17.42 million, more than doubling the $6.87 million reported in August.

Virginia’s sports gambling statute allows operators to deduct certain customer acquisition costs, so while the big bonuses and promotions were to the advantage of gambling customers, they adversely impact AGR which, in turn, affects tax collections.


Tax Collector Had Better Month

The August tax collected by the commonwealth was almost $1.56 million, an increase of about 18% from August’s approximate $1.38 million, but lower than July’s $1.86 million. The commonwealth reported that four operators reported net positive AGR for September.

More help is on the way. The Virginia Lottery expects Bally Bet to launch in the state in mid-November with five more sportsbooks expected to receive Virginia sports betting permits in the coming months. The Bally’s Corp. permit was approved by the lottery on March 15.

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Bill Ordine
Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others
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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others
... Read More