Sportsbooks in Virginia have rebounded in August after reporting a small increase following July’s low, but the state is still lagging behind the year’s highs.
Analysts believe the gains were made in part because Virginians were given their first chance to bet on early-season football, which they say is only a small sample of what is expected to be a record-breaking season.
In August, bettors placed $182.4 million in wagers at Virginia sportsbooks, up 12.7 percent from $161.9 million in July. Over the last 31 days, betting volume increased to $5.9 million per day, up from $5.2 million a month ago, which was the lowest daily volume in any month this year.
Monthly gross gaming income declined 10 percent to $18 million from $20 million, generating $8.7 million in adjusted gross revenue and $1.4 million in state taxes, including $34,463 for problem gambling support.
Busiest stretch ahead
PlayVirginia’s lead analyst, Dann Stupp, stated: “Baseball did much of the heavy lifting in August, but NFL futures betting, preseason football, and a small sampling of college games make a significant difference for sportsbooks.
“Seeing any gain is a breath of fresh air after what was the typical slow period for the industry. But August’s gains are just a foreshadow for what will certainly be the busiest stretch since Virginia launched sports betting in January.”
The operator roster in Virginia is still changing, which is to be expected throughout football season. Barstool Sports started in August, and Golden Nugget is almost ready to open as well. Meanwhile, BlueBet Holdings has given up on obtaining a licence.
“College football and the NFL will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in bets at Virginia’s sportsbooks, which is important on its own,” Stupp added.
“With increased engagement comes a chance for sportsbooks to grow their customer base. A good promotional strategy set over the summer should start to pay off in September.”