Virginia Sees Sports Betting Handle Fall 15% in February

Only nine operators posted a profit due to the absence of NFL action.

Last Updated: Apr 1, 2023 9:12 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Reece Beekman Virginia Cavaliers NCAAB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

As football season ends, so too did the recent uptick in legal sports betting for the state of Virginia.

The Virginia Lottery announced that their sportsbooks took in $433.8 million worth of bets in February, marking a 15.5% monthly decline from January. From that 433.8 million, operators made $39.8 million in gross revenue, $2.3 million less than the prior month.

Despite the dip, this past February was still better than its 2022 numbers. Last month’s handle was 7.9% higher year-over-year and revenue was 31% greater as well.

Operators' hold percentage fell from 9.7% to 9.1%, but retail bettors were the luckiest group, keeping casinos to just a 2.3% hold. On top of that, promo deductions increased from $7.5 million in January to $7.8 million last month.

But when the bettors win, state coffers fall. Tax revenue dropped 25% to $4.7 million for sports betting in Virginia. With a smaller handle, only nine operators posted a profit in February.

Super Bowl impact

The big game made up 7.4% of February's action, coming in with a $32.3 million handle. In comparison, 2022 saw Virginia rake in $33.1 million from the Super Bowl

As Virginia’s market matures, online sports betting sites are less inclined to offer as many promos for the Super Bowl, not to mention the fact that the Old Dominion does not allow sportsbooks to deduct their promos a year after launch.

In February 2022, Virginia saw $15.8 million in promotional deductions, double what Virginians saw this year.

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