Virginians bet $402M on sports in February
Super Bowl contributed to almost 17% increase from January
Virginians bet almost $402 million in February, according to data released April 1 by the Virginia Lottery.
Virginia sports bettors won more than $374 million in February. Since the state legalized sports betting in mid-January 2021, Virginia has recorded $4.1 billion in wagers.
February’s gross revenue was decrease of more than $83.6 million from January, when the state reaped about $485.5 million. Bets on the Super Bowl, which was played Feb. 13, totaled almost $33.16 million, according to the Lottery.
“January was the majority of the NFL playoffs, and casual sports bettors love nothing more than NFL playoffs and March Madness,” said Steven Schult, the managing editor of PlayVirginia and PlayFL. “So there were just more games that they were willing to bet on. Even though the Super Bowl is incredibly popular and one of the most heavily bet on events of the year, in February, that’s it.”
Year-over-year comparisons are better indicators of market maturity than month-over-month because of the calendar of sporting events, Schult said. Virginians wagered about $265.78 million in February 2021.
“Essentially this is what we expected to see because of the growth in the market,” Schult said. “The first year we saw pretty explosive growth in Virginia, and that’s due to mainly the way that they set up the market,” allowing online and mobile or app-based betting — more convenient for bettors — instead of waiting for brick-and-mortar locations.
Although sports betting sees seasonal slumps, this year’s monthly revenues should exceed the previous year’s totals.
“Since it’s still a somewhat new market, we expect to see growth even through the rest of the year,” Schult said.
The 11 licensed operators included in February’s reporting were Betfair Interactive US LLC (FanDuel) in partnership with the Washington Commanders; Crown Virginia Gaming LLC (Draft Kings); BetMGM LLC; Rivers Portsmouth Gaming LLC (Rivers Casino Portsmouth); Caesars Virginia LLC (William Hill); WSI US LLC (Wynn); Golden Nugget Online Gaming VA LLC, Bally’s Corp.; Penn Sports Interactive LLC; Unibet Interactive Inc.; Colonial Downs Group LLC; Digital Gaming Corp. VA LLC; VHL, VA LLC; and HR Bristol LLC.
The state placed a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue. With four operators reporting net positive adjusted gross revenue, the monthly taxes for February totaled $1.4 million. Since its approval to date, the state has reaped about $24.62 million in taxes.