Virginia Sportsbooks Enjoy Strong July While Promo Play Plummets

The Virginia Lottery reported sports wagering handle totaling $266 million for the month of July, but the bigger news involved the state being able to tax the largest percentage of operator revenue since the state began accepting bets in January 2021.

The adjusted revenue of the state’s 13 mobile operators and one retail sportsbook totaled $21.4 million, which was 82.2% of the $26 million in gross revenue (the house enjoyed a robust 9.8% overall hold for the month).

The state budget that passed in June included a legislative change that prohibited operators “from excluding bonuses or promotions used to encourage betting from their adjusted gross revenue 12 months after they begin sports betting activity in Virginia.” The first full month of reporting since then showed a dramatic decline in promotional credits and bonus play as those established sportsbooks could no longer write off such action, and it totaled less than $400,000 in July. The previous low was just shy of $4.4 million, in July 2021. The majority of deductions this month came from adjustments, totaling $4.2 million.

July’s report marked the first time since launch that adjusted revenue accounted for at least 70% of the gross revenue, with the previous high 67.7% in June 2021. Adjusted revenue topped 60% just once in the first six months of this year, peaking at 64.7% in May.

The decline in deductions led to a notable increase in tax receipts for the state, which topped $3 million and were 63.4% higher than June’s total of nearly $1.9 million. Eight operators were eligible to be taxed in July. Virginia has collected $18.3 million in taxes through the first seven months of the year, $8.6 million ahead of last year’s pace.

Year-over-year numbers show plenty of growth

Though the $266 million handle represented a 9.9% decline from June, it was also 64.3% higher than July 2021. Gross gaming revenue inched 0.2% higher from the previous month. The win rate was nearly one full percentage point higher, but the rule change regarding promotions sent adjusted revenue soaring 64.8% higher month-over-month and 68.6% higher compared to July of last year.

Virginia also became the eighth state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $500 million in gross sports wagering revenue, with nearly 45% of that total coming from the first seven months of 2022. Handle for the year is $2.7 billion, 84.2% higher compared to last year. That has contributed to gross revenue surging 81.9% higher to $231 million and adjusted revenue nearly doubling to $123.1 million.

The win rate on gross revenue has been at least 8.7% each of the last four months, with July’s 9.8% the seventh-highest in 19 months of activity. The Virginia Lottery does not disclose handle and revenue figures by either operator or category in its monthly releases.


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