Monthly report

Virginia Lottery reports 55% YoY sports betting handle rise to $351M in May, but wagers down on monthly basis

Virginia Lottery headquarters.
Reading time 1:14 min

The Virginia Lottery announced Friday its report on sports wagering activity for May 2022. Bettors wagered $351.4 million during the month, a 55% rise compared to May 2021 when only seven operators were active, half the number active today.

However, handle was down when compared to April, a month in which the sports betting industry posted $399.5 million in bets. May now marks the second month under $400 million in betting handle in the state since September 2021.

Virginia bettors won a total of $308.9 million for a combined 12.10% operators win percentage. Through the end of May, the combined wagers totaled $5.3 billion on a wide variety of approved sporting events on an inception-to-date basis. Fourteen licensed operators were active and accepting mobile wagers during May.

State law places a 15% tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which is defined as total wagers minus total winnings and other authorized deductions. Virginia’s statute allows operators to deduct certain customer acquisition costs from AGR, and operators reported nearly $10 million in bonuses and free-play incentives in May. 

Five operators reported net positive AGR for May, leading to $3.9m in tax payments. Of the state tax on sports betting AGR, the statute specifies that 97.5% is to be deposited in the state’s General Fund and 2.5% is to be deposited into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund. 

In terms of latest news in the Virginia sports betting market, 888 went live with the SI Sportsbook in the state in May, its second market following a launch in Colorado last September. As part of its new launch, the company has partnered with Virtual Entertainment Partners, a Virginia-based small, woman-owned and minority-owned company to make "significant contributions" to communities across the state.

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