Virginia has welcomed legal online sports wagering with open arms as in just its first 11 days of operation, 21 to 31 January 2021, the state’s sportsbooks took $58.9 million in sports bets. At that rate, over the course of Virginia’s first 30 days, the state could see over $150 million wagered. Remember, a Super Bowl will also be included in Virginia’s first full month’s numbers. If it eventuates in playing out in that direction, it could yet prove to be one of the best first months in sports betting history in the United States, as we continue to see records broken with every new legalized online sports betting state.
That impressive first 11 Day result was generated with only 4 sports in action, however, since then, more online sportsbooks have begun operation in Virginia with a total of 12 to eventually be offered in the first batch the Old Dominion State. Currently offered in Virginia (with more yet to launch) are;
The sportsbooks collected $3.2 million in revenue over those first 11 days and the state government put its first betting proceeds in the bank for future state infrastructure, services and programs with almost $40 000 finding its way into state coffers. However, online sportsbooks providers had to firstly subtract promotional dollars to reach that final $3.2 million, which was why the revenue and tax levels reported in the January was so low. All of the state’s sportsbooks were looking to attract new, first-time customers by offering special promotions for Virginia’s legal sports betting launch.
For example, FanDuel alone paid out more than $1 million in winnings to customers as a part of its “Spread the Love” promotion that permitted users to bet on the Washington Wizards while adding more than 100 points to the Wizards’ score, ensuring that every wager placed on the Wizards would pay out.
In Virginia, as in other states that have already gone through this initial ‘teething’ phase, the opening promotional offers level out eventually and as market maturity sets in, tax income for state government spending for its citizens quickly rises.
As leading sport betting industry analyst, Dustin Gouker puts it;
“Virginia has undergone one of the greatest transformations in history by going from a state with few gambling options to a wide-open state that will allow for online betting and retail casinos. Obviously, Virginia has had the benefit of seeing what has worked in other states. And that has resulted in a regulatory framework that should foster its long-term success.”
Virginia Sports Wagering Industry to Move Forward From Here
The Old Dominion State’s sports betting licensing and regulatory authority, the Virginia Lottery says that the industry should be expected to continue its growth spurt, as more operators begin to accept wagers.
A bill that is seeking to expand the number of operators from 12 to 18 is expected to pass. State Governor Ralph Northam has a pair of sports betting bills to review before he signs them into law. Among the details of those twin bills, includes that bricks-and-mortar casino operators with online sportsbooks would not count against the limit of legal operators which would allow for the rise in numbers.
The upcoming March Madness NCAA basketball tournament is expected to be a hugely popular event for Virginia bettors despite the fact that state law prohibits Virginia state residents and visitors from wagering on any games involving schools from the state. The 2021 General Assembly also stipulates that online sportsbook operators will be permitted to take bets on the Olympics. Olympics betting was originally banned under state law, and Governor Northam’s signature on the new bill is also expected to clarify that matter before wagering on the Tokyo Olympics gets underway in earnest.