Virginia sports betting handle was down for February. Sportsbook operators in the state took in $401.9 million in wagers which noted a decline of 17.2 percent from January’s $485.5 million.
Virginia Followed the National Trend of Having a Down Month
Virginia followed a national trend as other jurisdictions in the sports betting industry witnessed a decrease in the average betting volume for the month despite the presence of the Super Bowl. Bettors across the state wagered approximately $80 million less in February than the previous month.
According to the Virginia Lottery Board, the daily average betting volume went from $15.5 million per day to just $14.35 million per day. Bets on the Super Bowl brought in a total of $33.15 million.
However, February 2022’s figures were so much better than its year-to-date numbers. February 2021 was the state’s first full month of launch as bookmakers brought in a total of $265.7 million in bets that month.
Dann Stupp, who is an analyst for PlayVirginia.com, stated;
“The more important takeaway from February is that year-over-year growth in wagering was more than 50%, offering our first clear view of the growth Virginia’s sportsbooks have enjoyed over the last year. That kind of expansion should be the norm for the foreseeable future as the market continues to mature.”
February signified that sports betting handles in Virginia exceeded $400 million for the fifth straight month. Since its inception of having a sports betting market, bettors in the Old Dominion have placed over $4.1 billion on numerous sporting events.
Sportsbook Operators in Virginia Look Forward to March
The sports gambling schedule just didn’t favor the industry as a whole due to the lack of major events, and the bettors beat the house as they took home nearly $374.4 million. Bookmakers combined to have a hold of 6.8 percent, which was the lowest rate since February 2021.
The gross gaming revenue for the month was slated at $27.5 million, which showcased the lowest figure since last August. Virginia’s adjusted gross revenue was $7.9 million, which was a decrease of 56.7% from January’s $18.2 million.
Sportsbook operators that conduct business in Virginia look forward to a nice rebound as March Madness is one if not the most anticipated sporting event in the country. Bettors across the state wagered $304 million on the event in the state, and that record stood until October.
Virginia has a law that states that bettors who reside in the state cannot place wagers on in-state collegiate programs. Bettors couldn’t place bets on Norfolk State, Longwood, Richmond, and Virginia Tech for the whole tournament.
Virginia Passes Gambling Education Bill
Schools in Virginia will now be adding gambling addiction to their curriculum thanks to the passage of HB 1108. This will be added to the curriculum that covers drugs and alcohol abuse.
The bill made it through the subcommittee with a unanimous vote before making it through the Committee on Education with a 20-2 vote. Then it passed through the state’s House of Delegates with a 97-3 majority.
The bill went through the Committee on Education and Health with a 15-0 majority and then in the Senate because of a 39-0 vote. Now, HB 1108 heads to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk to be signed into law.
Sports betting may be good for the state as it could generate a lot of revenue, but there are many drawbacks that come with the operation. According to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, up to seven percent of young adults go through a crisis that revolves around gambling addiction compared to one percent of adults.
The data also shows that 14 percent of young people have the potential to develop a gambling problem.