How has the Virginia online gambling industry performed in 2021?
Back in March of 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed HB 896 and SB 384 to bring legal sports betting to the state. A few weeks later, Gov. Ralph Northam sent amended versions of the bills to lawmakers, and legal sports betting officially went live on January 21, 2021. So, the important question that arises is how has the Virginia online gambling industry performed in 2021?
Since the passage of major gambling expansion legislation, the Virginia gambling landscape changed dramatically. It allowed:
- Mobile sportsbook
- Retail sportsbook
- Five commercial casinos
Undoubtedly, Virginia is still in its early days of legal sports betting, but VA financial reports thus far indicate that the future for the online gambling market in VA is bright.
In January of 2021, Virginia reported gross gaming revenue of $3.586,077 and a betting handle of $58,896,564 in its first eleven days of legal sports betting.
In February of 2021, Virginia reported gross gaming revenue of $12,238,730 and a betting handle of $265,778,36. This makes Virginia the fastest state to reach the $200 million monthly handle mark.
In March of 2021, Virginia reported over $300 million wagered on sports, officially breaking Tennessee’s record for the highest betting handle in the first three months. The gross gaming revenue was $26 million.
In April of 2021, Virginia reported $236,432,523 wagered on sports, which is a decrease of approximately 22 percent from the month before. On the other hand, the state collected over $1 million in taxes. With these stats, Virginia is on its way to handle more than $2,5 billion in wagers.
Can I legally gamble online in Virginia?
When it comes to legal gambling in Virginia, options are very limited. Within the state’s borders, aside from online sports betting, the only types of gambling activities approved in the state are the lottery, pari-mutuel horse race bets, and daily fantasy games.
If you are interested, you can find some of the best Virginia online gambling sites at online gambling.com. Additionally, you can find an in-detailed guide to rules, laws, and regulations about gambling in Virginia.
Ultimately, the safest alternative for playing in a real online casino is playing free online table games and slots at social and sweepstakes casinos.
However, there is no law prohibiting players from gambling on offshore sites. Still, it’s not recommended because they can be very risky and can be unregulated as well as suddenly shut down, causing players to lose access to their funds.
On the bright side, as long as you follow some simple and basic safety measures, the chances of putting yourself in danger are approximately equal to zero.
Safety measurements for gambling on offshore sites
Whether you are on the internet with the purpose of shopping, watching movies, dating, or gambling, one thing stands, you need to ensure that your personal information stays protected from the numerous cybercriminals lurking around.
When you are looking for an offshore site, the first thing you should do is check if they have a license or not. Every legitimate casino site has a license displayed at the bottom of the homepage. So if you notice that a particular casino site doesn’t have that, simply move on to the next one.
Another way you can check if a specific site is good is by googling them and reading all the previous customer’s reviews. It’s always recommended to gamble on well-known sites with years of experience and reputation.
Last but not least, you mustn’t forget about the importance of good customer service. Before hopping online to play your favorite game, make sure to check the customer support of an offshore site. It’s the crucial step to ensure that you will get the help you seek if something goes wrong.
Land-based casinos in Virginia
Unfortunately, at this moment, the state of Virginia doesn’t have land-based casinos. However, several may be on the way. Back in November of 2020, Virginia’s voters decided to open four land-based casinos across the great state.
Additionally, with Virginia casinos’ estimated revenue around $250 million annually, assuming a 25% tax rate, Virginia residents are more than excited to finally enjoy casinos in their own home state.
Four of the five cities have announced preferred casino partners. However, Richmond will vote on a casino measure by the end of 2021. Some of the partnerships are Bristol and Hard Rock, Norfolk with the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, and Danville with Caesars.
Most of the casinos are in the early stages of development. It’s estimated that the first casino will be open somewhere around the spring of 2022.
Story by Phil Vamius