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Virginia Sees Nearly $60M in Sports Betting Handle in First 11 Days

Virginia launched its online sports betting market in January, and the state experienced immediate success. The commonwealth experienced nearly a handle of $60 million. What makes this handle tremendous is it occurred in the first 11 days of the state’s sports betting launch. 

The First 11 Days of Sports Betting

Online sports betting launched on January 21st in Virginia. It was a staggered start meaning that not all betting providers could launch on opening day. Online providers continued to launch into February because of Virginia’s regulations. 

Four online sportsbooks were launched in the Virginia sports betting market in the first 11 days of operation. FanDuel launched on opening day because of its partnership with the Washington Football Team. DraftKings and BetMGM debuted a few days later, on January 24th. BetRivers, in collaboration with the Rivers Casino Portsmouth, made its mobile app available on January 26th.

Caesars Virginia was granted access to the state’s market on January 27th. However, company leaders chose to hold off on the book’s launch until February to create some Caesars Sportsbook hype. 

The Virginia Lottery plans on offering more permits for operators as the market continues to grow. Recent legislation passed in the Virginia government to allow more operators in the state and Olympic betting.

The Initial Handle 

Virginia only has online sportsbooks, so the $58.9 million handle in January came exclusively from mobile bets. Bookmakers were forced to hold $3.6 million. So many people were attracted to Virginia sports betting in January because of the extensive promotions.

Sportsbooks gave away $6.34 million in bonuses to new players. The betting providers had other fees, which totaled $478,000 so they ended up not profiting. The sportsbooks lost $3.2 million in January. 

This is not expected to be the case moving forward as long as the excitement continues for legal sports betting in Virginia. Sportsbooks will cut down on bonuses now after launching, so this alone will help them profit in the commonwealth

The state government made $40,000 in taxes because of the 15% tax on adjusted gross revenue. Most of the tax money in Virginia goes toward the state’s General Fund except for 2.5%, dedicated to the problem gambling fund. The VA Department of Behavioral Health created this fund. 

Michigan’s January Launch

Virginia was accompanied by Michigan when it came to launching online wagering in January. Michigan had already been operating retail sportsbooks before January. Michigan exceeded Virginia in January for sports betting handle from the 22nd of the month through the 31st.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported that the total handle was $115.2 million. This created a revenue amount of $13.3 million. The state took $111,696 in taxes from online sports wagering

Virginia had an excellent start, but it’s not on the same level as Michigan. Michigan is expected to become a top sports betting market in the United States. Michigan had the best handle debut of any state that launched sports betting in 2020. 

Virginia still has a lot of potential in the national sports betting market.

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