Virginia Sets New Sports Betting Records In October

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on December 4, 2023
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Virginia’s sports betting industry remains strong as the football season continues, with total bets going over $570 million.

In October, there was a noteworthy rise in interest among bettors, with increased sports betting activity resulting in higher gaming revenue than in September and the rest of the year.

October sports betting handle hits a record in Virginia

According to the Virginia Lottery’s latest report, players in the state gambled $571.35 million in total bets (betting handle) throughout October. The number is 9.81% higher than Virginia’s betting handle in September of $520.3 million and is an 8.2% increase compared to October last year.

Of the total bets generated last month:

  • $565.57 million came from 17 online sports betting operators
  • $5.79 million came through three retail locations, Hard Rock Bristol, Rivers Casino Portsmouth and Caesars Virginia

Virginia’s monthly gaming revenue high surpasses $56 million

Virginia operators’ revenue showed monthly and yearly progress and is the highest this year.

After paying out winners and after other deductions, VA sportsbooks kept $56.36 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The figure shows a 23.65% increase from September, as well as a 23.79% rise from October 2022. Here’s how the revenue figure compares to previous months:

  • October: $56,364,083
  • September: $45,616,219
  • August: $27,905,144
  • July: $28,210,927
  • June: $26,434,330
  • May: $42,547,380
  • April: $38,932,367
  • March: $47,651,362
  • February: $28,385,249
  • January: $42,127,492

Virginia state law places a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The number is calculated as total bets minus winnings and other authorized deductions.

Nine Virginia sportsbooks contribute $8.6M in tax payments

Of the state tax on sports betting AGR, the Virginia statute specifies:

  • 97.5% is to go towards the state’s General Fund
  • 2.5% is the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

According to the Virginia Lottery’s latest analysis, nine operators reported net positive AGR for October, contributing to $8.55 million in tax payments for the month, which resulted in:

  • $8.34 million going to the General Fund
  • $213,754.92 going towards Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund

Unibet Sportsbook is leaving Virginia

Last week, Kindred Group, which operates Unibet online casino and sportsbook, announced their plans to end operations in the North American market by June 2024.

Their decision to leave the US gambling market coincides with the timing of their license renewal, which will expire in April 2024. Kindred Group launched its Unibet brand in Virginia in partnership with Pala Interactive in April 2021.

Apart from Virginia, the company will also exit Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Photo by Eric Christian Smith / AP Photo
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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