Up 45% from Sept.

Virginia posts record $427M monthly handle in October, quickest state to pass $2B lifetime mark

Regional teams such as Baltimore Ravens are credited with helping boost wagers.
2021-12-02
United States
Reading time 1:38 min

Virginia has posted a new monthly sports betting handle record in October, at $427 million in wagers, the Virginia Lottery announced on Wednesday. The figure represents a 45% increase over September’s handle.

The month of October marks the ninth full month of reporting since legal sports betting launched in the state on January 21. The new monthly record was tied to five full weekends of NFL and college football, plus the opening of the NBA season and baseball’s postseason.

Virginia’s sports betting catalog of approved leagues and sporting events continued to expand, and through the end of October, bettors have wagered a combined total of nearly $2.4 billion on a wide variety of sports. Virginia is the quickest state in US history to surpass the $2 billion mark in lifetime wagers, according to PlayVirginia.

Prior to Virginia, the quickest state to reach $2 billion in lifetime wagering was New Jersey, the first state to launch sports betting in the US, which did so in 10 months. Virginia broke this record, by reaching the mark in nine full months.

Virginia’s record handle of $427 million easily topped the previous record of $304 million, reached in March, while also up from $294 million posted in September. Volume rose to $13.8 million per day over the 31 days of October, significantly up from $9.8 million in September.

However, October's gross gaming revenue was down by 2.5% to $30.2 million versus the record $30.9 million posted in September. Operators also reported over $15.8 million in bonuses and free-play incentives during the month.

Since launch, Virginia has posted $206 million in gross gaming revenue, yielding $90.8 million in taxable revenue, and $14.4 million in state taxes, according to PlayUSA. Experts believe the positive trend could continue, as bettors have now become comfortable and start showing interest in less conventional wagers such as in-game betting.

Moreover, Virginia has also seen more sportsbooks now offering wagers to local bettors. While Golden Nugget’s sportsbook launched on October 13, Bally Bet went live in the state on November 24. Additionally, regional teams have seen success as of late, which is an enticement for bettors.

Virginia's state law places a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each operator’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR), defined as total wagers minus total winnings and other deductions. A total of 97.5% is to be deposited in the state’s General Fund, while 2.5% goes to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.

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