According to PlayVirginia, Virginia sportsbooks took in more than $265 million in wagers during February, the Commonwealth’s first full month of legal sports betting, extending one of the largest volume debuts in US history.
Virginia sportsbooks brought in $265.8 million in wagers in February, up from $58.9 million in January, due to $19.6 million in Super Bowl bets, which exceeded PlayUSA.com predictions for the county. From $5.4 million per day in January to $9.5 million per day in February, the per-day handle almost doubled to $9.5 million per day, easily the highest month-over-month per-day gain in the US for the month.
Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayVirginia.com said: “Virginia’s debut has been overshadowed some by Michigan, but together the two states show just how far the US has come.
Fewer growing pains
“The nation’s major operators have the resources to engage bettors in new markets in ways that were impossible in the early days of legalisation, which benefits later-comers like Virginia. Ultimately, that will mean a market that goes through fewer growing pains than some of the earlier adopters.”
Virginia and Michigan, which opened on consecutive days in January, have now drawn in a record of $741.7 million in online wagers. With $301.9 million in offshore bets in February, Michigan and New Jersey rank first and second, respectively, on the list of the highest-volume first full months of regulated online sports betting in US history.
The sportsbooks in Virginia earned $12.2 million in February, up from $3.6 million in January. Promotional credits took away a substantial part of the win, resulting in a $3.2 million loss in adjusted gross sales. The state earned $300,593 in revenue as a result of the joint triumph.
More specifically, new operators are entering national heavyweights FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and BetRivers, who all launched in January. This includes William Hill, which debuted shortly before the Super Bowl in February, and WynnBet, which debuted just in time for March Madness, offering Virginians a broader variety of choices.
According to Jessica Welman, a PlayVirignia.com analyst: “The enthusiasm from bettors will eventually settle down, and sportsbooks will pull back a bit from this heavy promotional period. Ultimately, the goal in these early days for sportsbooks is to engage sports bettors, introduce them to their product, and begin building relationships that will act as the foundation. So far Virginia’s operators are doing just that.”
In March, which includes the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Virginia’s rise is predicted to have continued. However, Virginia may not be in as fine a place to profit from March Madness as other states.
Five Commonwealth colleges make it to the NCAA Tournament, but a state ban on betting on in-state college teams and in-game betting on college games in general could stifle the effects of what is historically the country’s single-largest sports betting holiday.
“The NCAA tournament will bring significant interest in Virginia, but the restrictions will prevent a huge leap forward,” Welman said. “Removing those restrictions would really help get the most out of what still should be a big month next month. Regardless of what happens in March, Virginia is off to a great start by most any measure.”