Virginia Sets New Sports Betting Records in October
Virginia is one of the fastest-growing sports betting markets in the US, reaching new heights in October 2023. The state’s sportsbooks accepted $528 million in wagers, a 19% increase from September and the highest monthly handle since the launch of legal betting in January 2021. The gross revenue also reached a new peak of $51.2 million, up 3.4% from the previous month. In this blog post, we will explore how Virginia achieved these impressive numbers and what they mean for the future of sports betting in the state.
The Factors Behind the Success
Several factors contributed to the record-breaking performance of Virginia sports betting in October. Some of the main ones are:
The NFL season: Football is the most popular sport among US bettors, and the NFL season, which started in September, boosted the demand for sports betting in October. According to the latest report by the Virginia Lottery, football accounted for $237.9 million in bets or 45% of the total handle. The NFL also attracts casual and recreational bettors who may not be interested in other sports or events.
The MLB playoffs: Baseball was the second most popular sport in October, with $77.8 million in bets, or 14.7% of the total handle. The MLB playoffs, which featured exciting games and series, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves vs. the Houston Astros, drew the attention of many sports fans and bettors. The World Series, which ended in November, was also a major attraction for sports betting.
The online dominance: Online platforms accounted for 99.5% of the total handle and 98.7% of the total winnings in October, showing the dominance of mobile betting in the state. Virginia has 12 licensed online operators, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and bet365, which offer convenient and user-friendly apps and websites for sports betting. Online platforms also offer more options and incentives for bettors, such as live betting, promotions, and bonuses.
The market maturity: Virginia sports betting has been growing steadily since its launch in January 2021, reaching $3.6 billion in cumulative handle and $323.4 million in cumulative revenue. The market has also become more competitive and diverse as new operators, such as WynnBET, Unibet, and Golden Nugget, have entered the scene. Also, the market maturity has led to more awareness and trust among bettors, as well as more innovation and quality among operators.
The Implications for the Future
The record-breaking performance of Virginia sports betting in October has positive implications for the future of the industry in the state. Some of the possible outcomes are:
More tax revenue: The state collected $6.9 million in taxes from the operators’ adjusted gross revenue, which totalled $45.5 million after deductions. The tax rate is 15%, with 2.5% going to the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund and the rest to the general fund. Since January 2021, Virginia has generated $57.3 million in tax revenue from sports betting. As the market grows, the state can expect to receive more funds for its public services and programs.
More sports offerings: Virginia bettors had a wide range of sports to choose from in October, including the NFL, college football, MLB playoffs, NBA, NHL, and soccer. The most popular sport was football, followed by baseball and basketball. However, some other sports and events could attract more interest and bets in the future, such as the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup, the NCAA March Madness, golf, tennis, and MMA. The operators can also offer more niche and exotic markets, such as esports, politics, and entertainment.
More customer satisfaction: The record-breaking performance of Virginia sports betting in October also indicates that the bettors are satisfied with the products and services offered by the operators. The operators can continue to improve their customer satisfaction by offering more features and benefits, such as loyalty programs, rewards, cashouts, and customer support. The operators can also use data and analytics to understand the preferences and behaviors of their customers and tailor their offerings accordingly.