Virginia sees sports betting management drop 15% in February

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

Last Updated: April 1, 2023 9:12 a.m. ET Reading time: 4 min

As the football season winds down, the recent surge in legal sports betting for the state of Virginia has also increased.

The Virginia Lottery reported that its sports bets totaled $433.8 million in wagers in February, marking a monthly decline of 15.5% from January. Of those 433.8 million, operators made $39.8 million in gross revenue, down $2.3 million from the previous month.

Despite the decline, last February was still better than its 2022 numbers. Last month’s handle was 7.9% higher year-over-year and revenue was also 31% higher.

Operators’ holding percentage fell from 9.7% to 9.1%, but retail bettors were the luckiest group, keeping casinos at just 2.3%. On top of that, promotional deductions went from $7.5 million in January to $7.8 million last month.

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

Super Bowl impact

The big game accounted for 7.4% of the February action, with a handful of $32.3 million. By comparison, 2022 saw Virginia rake in $33.1 million from the Super Bowl.

As the Virginia market matures, online sports betting sites are less likely to offer so many Super Bowl promos, not to mention 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 have seen this year.

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