Online games made up 21% of Va. Lottery income
Online contests launched statewide last July 1
The Virginia Lottery raked in $436 million from online lottery games between their July 1, 2020, launch and the end of February, making up 21.8% of the state lottery’s total $2 billion revenue during that period.
According to a news release Wednesday, 163,000 players have won prizes playing the lottery online, including the Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash4Life games.
The lottery generated $595 million for K-12 education in the fiscal year 2020, and it anticipates breaking sales and profit records in fiscal year 2021, which ends June 30.
Gambling options have broadened in Virginia in recent months; along with the Virginia Lottery’s online games, the state legalized sports wagering in January and currently has eight licensed sports betting operators. Bally’s and the Golden Nugget — casino companies vying for the casino project in Richmond — have received temporary licensure from the Virginia Lottery to run sportsbooks but are not currently active. In January, Virginians bet $58.9 million with mobile sportsbooks.
Under current law, the Lottery can allocate 12 mobile betting licenses, but Gov. Ralph Northam is considering legislation that would expand the number of licenses available. Sports betting platforms with minority ownership or that will provide assistance to a historically disadvantaged community or historically Black colleges and universities in Virginia can be given licensure without counting toward the 12-license total in bills passed during the recent General Assembly session. Northam has until the end of March to sign the bills.