Home » Virginia Sports Betting Handle Surges To $635 Million For March

Virginia Sports Betting Handle Surges To $635 Million For March

The Virginia Lottery reported sports betting handle of $635.6 million for the month of March on Wednesday, the commonwealth’s third-highest total.

Wagering increased 24.2% compared to the $511.6 million worth of bets placed in March 2023 as Virginia became the 10th state to surpass $15 billion in handle in the post-PASPA era. All four instances of handle in the Old Dominion clearing $600 million have occurred in the last five months.

Despite the increased activity, operators were unable to surpass $50 million in gross sports betting revenue for the fourth consecutive month, coming up short at $47.7 million. That was down 13.7% from March 2023 as the 7.5% hold last month was 3.3 percentage points lower. The March win rate also ranked eighth-lowest in 39 months of sports betting in Virginia and marked only the second time in the last 21 months it was below 8%.

The state was able to levy its 15% tax on $42.4 million in adjusted gross revenue, which was down 10.9% compared to 12 months prior. Promotional credits and bonuses accounted for only $13,000 of the nearly $5.3 million in total deductions when including the federal excise tax and operator loss carryover, the lowest in state history.

The Virginia Lottery does not disclose operator handle and revenue numbers in its monthly release but noted 13 operators among the 17 overall finished with positive AGR eligible for taxation. The $6.3 million worth of receipts lifted state tax revenue for the first quarter of the year to $22.5 million, $4.1 million more than the same period in 2023.

Virginia has been able to tax 89.7% of operator gross revenue through the first three months of 2024 compared to 81.6% for the first quarter of last year.

A strong first quarter

Sign Up For The Sports Handle Newsletter!

Wagering via sports betting apps accounted for the overwhelming majority of action in March as the 14 digital operators reported $47.2 million in gross revenue from $629.7 million worth of wagers. Virginia’s three retail books combined for a 9.2% win rate, collecting $542,500 in revenue from $5.9 million in handle.

In addition to reaching the $15 billion handle milestone, the $1.83 billion wagered in the first three months represented a 25.7% year-over-year increase. Even with a tough March by Virginia operator standards, the 9.4% hold contributed to an 18.9% increase in gross revenue to $172.1 million for the first quarter.

Adjusted revenue is up 30.7% in that same period to $154.4 million, aided in the last two months by bet365 no longer being able to deduct promotional credits and bonuses. The England-based sportsbook reached 12 months of operations in Virginia at the end of January, which ended its time frame for allowable promotional deductions per state regulations.

The only two mobile sportsbooks currently eligible to deduct promotional spend are Betr and SuperBook. Both entered the state in the second half of 2023.