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US – Virginia sportsbooks break run of declines with June increase

By - 1 August 2021

Virginia’s sports betting volume grew for the first time in three months, while gross gaming revenue remained strong thanks in part to betting on sports such as golf and tennis. The June jump helped push total gross gaming revenue past $100m since the market launched, another impressive milestone for the Commonwealth.

“Sportsbooks are capitalizing on individual sports like golf, which are predominantly futures bets with significantly lower odds for bettors than more conventional bets on sports like football,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia. “Those bets are particularly important during the summer when volume drops. And it puts sportsbooks in an excellent position as the football season nears.”

Virginia’s sportsbooks accepted $234.9m in wagers in June, up 3.5 per cent from $227m in May, according to data released by The Virginia Lottery. All told, sportsbooks took in $7.8m in wagers per day over the 30 days of June, up from $7.3m per day in May.

June’s wagers produced $22m in gross gaming revenue, down five per cent from $23.2m in May, but still the third-most since the market launched in January. Adjusted gross revenue hit $14.9m, falling short of the $15.7 million highwater mark reached in May. June’s results yielded $2.3m in state taxes, including $56,850 for problem gambling support.

Virginia’s sportsbooks have now produced $107m in gross revenue since launch. But promotional credits have sapped the majority of the win, even as adjusted gross revenue has risen significantly over the last two months. All told, sportsbooks have produced $49.3m in adjusted gross revenue.

“The good news is that revenue is headed in the right direction, which ultimately benefits the state in the form of more tax revenue,” said Dann Stupp, analyst for PlayVirginia.com. “An increase in promotional spending should be expected during football season, though. That could blunt the effects of the rising volume that will come this fall.”

FanDuel Sportsbook, the nation’s largest operator, has so far dominated the Virginia sports betting market, according to an analysis by Legal Sports Report, PlayVirginia’s sister site. FanDuel generated $656.9m in wagering from the market’s launch on Jan. 21 through June, according LSR’s estimates. That is 49.5 per cent of the $1.3bn in wagers made in Virginia over that time. FanDuel’s promotional spending was estimated at $19.6m over that time, by far the most of any operator.

Rival DraftKings was second with $337.1m in wagers, or $25.4 per cent of the state’s total handle. But DraftKings’ promotional spending was $10m over that time, nearly half of FanDuel’s.

The leaders have been followed by BetMGM, William Hill, BetRivers, Unibet and WynnBET.

“A market share of nearly half is an incredibly strong position to be in for FanDuel,” Stupp said. “Amazingly, FanDuel’s overall market share has slipped a bit since March. The question is whether rival operators can continue to erode FanDuel’s position, even if the gap is far too large for any operator to overcome.”

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