October Sees Sports Betting Handle in Virginia Surge, Generating Revenue Above $50 Million

An 11.2% hold brought in $8.5 million in taxes.

Dec 2, 2023 • 08:25 ET • 4 min read
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The $500 million in wagers placed in September was just a glimpse of what Virginia's sports betting industry is experiencing as football season continues to dominate headlines. In October, there was a notable surge in interest among bettors, with an even greater uptick in sports betting activity.

The Virginia Lottery has reported that their mobile and physical sportsbooks combined for $571.3 million in bets, marking a 10% spike from September’s $520.3 million. The Old Dominion also witnessed an 8% increase in handle compared to the same period last year.

Online sportsbooks still dominated in the commonwealth, seeing $565.5 million in action versus the $5.7 million from the brick-and-mortar locations. Meanwhile, mobile operators experienced a monthly surge of approximately 10%, whereas retail locations saw a more modest increase of just 1.7%.

After paying out winners, all operators kept $56.3 million in adjusted revenue, which amounts to an 11.2% hold (nearly a point higher than September’s 10.4%).

More sportsbooks were also profitable in October as nine companies contributed to the commonwealth’s $8.5 million tax bill. September saw just seven operators in the black, while August had 11.

Unibet leaving Virginia

In late November, Kindred Group PLC, the operator of the Unibet sportsbook, announced their intention to leave North American markets by Q3 2024.

Although not as widespread across the country as their competing sportsbooks, Kindred Group PLC operates in Virginia. Similar to their presence in other states, their activity in the Commonwealth is relatively limited. In the period from January to September this year, their market share stood at 0.14%, surpassing Betr (0.01%) and slightly edging out SI Sportsbook (0.13%).

Their decision to exit aligns with the timing of their license renewal, as the license is set to expire in April 2024. The other sportsbooks with expiring licenses in the first half of 2024 are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, Ballys, and ESPN Bet (all of which are expected to file for a renewal).

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