Virginia Lottery releases first sports wagering report, says bettors wagered more than $58 million in first 11 days

Virginia News

(WFXR) — On Monday, the Virginia Lottery released its first report on sports wagering activity submitted by four licensed sportsbook operators for the month of January.

This comes after legal sports betting launched in Virginia on Jan. 21.

According to the statement released by the Virginia Lottery on Monday, March 1, Virginians wagered $58,896,564 (“handle”) and won $55,310,487, reaching a combined 6.08% win percentage (“hold”) between Jan. 21 and Jan. 31.

Lottery officials say Virginia law places a 15 percent tax on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR), which is defined as their total winnings and other authorized expenses subtracted from their total wagers.

Meanwhile, of the 15 percent tax on sports betting AGR, the statute reportedly specifies 97.5 percent should be deposited in the state’s General Fund while 2.5 percent should be deposited into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health.  

Virginia’s statute also allows operators to deduct their customer acquisition costs from AGR. According to the Virginia Lottery, operators reported $6.3 million in bonuses and incentives in January in order to inform interested players about the launch of legal online sports betting in the Commonwealth.

Here are the numbers reported by the Virginia Lottery on Monday for the period between Jan. 21 and Jan. 31:

  • Gross sports gaming revenues: $58,896,564
  • Gross winnings: $55,310,487
  • Bonuses and promotions: $6,343,077
  • Other deductions: $478,612
  • AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue): $3,235,612

These initial promotional expenses — combined with the limited number of operators and the limited number of days in the initial reporting period — led to a negative AGR for three out of the four operators in January, officials say:

  • Total tax: $39,710.31
  • General fund: $38,717.55     
  • Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund: $992.76

In light of the successful launch of Virginia’s sports betting program, the Virginia Lottery expects bonuses and promotional expenses tied to customer acquisition will decrease significantly, thus increasing AGR and tax revenues to a more sustainable level.

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