In its second-full month, Virginia sports betting topped $300 million in March handle after its online-only sports betting launched on January 21. The March Madness swelled the number, making up more than 25% of the total handle in March.
According to the figures released Friday from the Virginia Lottery, the March sports betting handle totaled $304 million, representing a 14.4% increase over February’s $265.8 million. Old Dominion had posted $58.9 million in its first 11 days of launch in January. Retail sports betting will follow once casinos open in Virginia, hopefully in 2022.
Virginia becomes the eighth state to top a monthly handle of $300 million, and also the quickest to reach the milestone.
Of the $304.1 million wagered last month, Virginia bettors won $277.5 million. Virginia sportsbooks posted an 8.74% hold rate while lavishing $10.34 million in promotions and bonuses.
After all deductions, the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) was $13.5 million. It was the first month of positive AGR after a combined total of almost -$6.5 million in the last two months.
The state generated $1.18 million in taxes, including $30,000 to problem gambling initiatives.
March Madness Contributed A Lot Despite Restrictions
This was the first year, Virginia bettors could legally wager on the March Madness event, one of the most popular events of the year.
Despite the ban on in-state colleges and universities betting, almost $83.6 million was wagered on NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Even though the state bettors could not bet on the five Virginia schools, including the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, March Madness accounted for nearly 27.5% of the total handle in March.
FanDuel Leads Virginia Market
Virginia sports betting went live in January with FanDuel, and by the start of March, there were five sportsbooks-DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and William Hill. WynnBET launched on March 4, in time for taking March Madness bets.
As of now, there are seven online sportsbooks with the recent arrival of Kindred Group’s Unibet online sportsbook. It launched on April 28.
Though the Lottery doesn’t break down its numbers by the operator, a recent Virginia Lottery Board presentation revealed some details. The officials said FanDuel had taken 53% of total bets through March. DraftKings’ market share was 25%. WynnBET, however, failed to claim even 1% of the total bets, according to the Lottery.
Virginia, 6th Largest Market
Virginia’s March handle makes it the sixth-largest sports betting market, topping Colorado which had posted $301 million in handle for the same period. However, the number could change once Illinois reports its monthly figures.
In any case, Old Dominion would become the seventh-largest market after New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois (which became the third-largest market in February).
Increase sports betting activity is expected in Virginia in the coming months as more sportsbooks are coming to the state soon. Recently, the state legislature passed a law and signed by Gov. Ralph Northam that will extend more operators in the state to 18 from the previous limit of 12. The amended law has also allowed betting on the Olympics. The law will go into effect on July 1.