Virginia sports betting continues hot pace in November
Virginia recorded $402.6 million in sports wagering activity with licensed operators in the month of November, the second-highest month since the inception of sports betting in Virginia less than a year ago.
Through the end of November, bettors have wagered a combined total of more than $2.7 billion on a wide variety of approved sporting events.
“When football and basketball seasons converge, as they did in November, the inventory of games creates a ripe opportunity for sportsbooks,” said Dann Stupp, lead analyst for PlayVirginia, which tracks Virginia’s sports betting market. “Importantly, it shows that Virginians have more diverse interests than just football, a sign that sportsbooks won’t be giving up the gains made over the past three months once the football season ends.”
The ten licensed operators included in November’s reporting were Betfair Interactive US LLC (FanDuel) in partnership with the Washington Football Team, Crown Virginia Gaming LLC (Draft Kings), BetMGM LLC, Rivers Portsmouth Gaming LLC (Rivers Casino Portsmouth), Caesars Virginia LLC, WSI US, LLC (Wynn), Unibet Interactive, Inc., Penn Sports Interactive LLC, Golden Nugget Online Gaming VA, LLC and Twin River Management (Bally’s Corporation).
A complete list of all approved operators can be found here, under the “approvals” tab.
But sportsbooks won a record $48.3 million, up 60 percent from $30.2 million in revenue generated in October and topping the record $30.9 million set in September. After $14.9 million in promotional spending, taxable revenue landed at $29.9 million, yielding a record $4.2 million in state taxes.
Sportsbooks posted a hold, the percentage of all wagers that a sportsbook keeps, of 12.0 percent for the month. That’s the second highest ever for the state. Some of that is a result of bad luck on NFL games in November. Some is a result of online in-game betting, which typically yields a higher hold than more conventional wagering.
“A higher hold percentage is additional evidence that the market is maturing,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia.com. “Not only have sportsbooks gained more customers, particularly over the last three months, but bettors are becoming more at ease with less conventional forms of betting.”
Over the last three months, Virginia’s sportsbooks have generated $109.4 million in revenue on $1.1 billion in wagers, producing $7.5 million in state taxes.
Football-related wagering has spurred the recent surge in action. But November’s calendar offered just four weekends of football, one fewer than in October, and the Washington Football Team played just three games. Yet sportsbooks made up for the loss of football inventory with a full month of the NBA, as well as the opening of the college basketball season.
“The popularity of football is the industry’s greatest opportunity to attract new customers and expand the market,” Stupp said. “But the importance of basketball is often overlooked. In most major markets it is the highest-grossing sport, a product of the number of games played compared with football. And November’s results show that Virginia is following a similar pattern.”