The Virginia Lottery is a little slow in releasing the figures for gaming activity, but it has finally come through. The results for June were just published last Friday and show positive movement after having stalled for two months. With the NFL season starting this month through preseason games, the rest of the year should be very strong.
Virginia’s June Sports Betting Handle Improves
According to the Virginia Lottery, the sports betting handle for June was just under $235 million. This is 3.5% better than it was a month earlier and follows two months of stagnant performances. Those two months, April and May, are typically slow, as there aren’t major sports contests on the schedule. The improvement bucks a trend, though, as most other states saw declines in June.
The results are positive for Virginia, which has now seen over $1.3 billion in its sports betting handle since flipping the switch on legalized sports gambling in late January. Gross gaming revenue from the activity now stands at slightly more than $100 million, with operators having to settle for a slight decline in their win. In May, they took in over $23.2 million, but this dropped to about $22 million in June. The state continues to reap the rewards, with $2.3 million in state taxes coming from sports betting two months ago. Since the activity went live on January 21, the state has collected $7.83 million in taxes.
FanDuel led the pack in June, partially because it was the first to gain access to the new market. It has reportedly controlled 49.5% of the bets since January, with DraftKings taking a distant second place with 25.4%. Next in line is BetMGM, with 16.4%. There are currently seven sportsbooks operating in the state, but Barstool Sports, Golden Nugget and Bally Bet will be launching in the near future.
More Wagers Coming to Virginia, Other States
The Super Bowl and March Madness are always hot targets with sports bettors, but they’re not the only ones. In the absence of the two major events, bettors find other games and competitions for their pastimes, including MLB, the PGA Tour, UFC contests and more. This year, they can also target the Summer Olympics, the first time the games have been held since sports betting began to appear across the US. When July’s figures are finally in for Virginia, it’s likely that another uptick in the handle will be reported.
That increase could stay throughout the rest of the year. The NFL regular season starts on September 9, but there will be preseason games for bettors to enjoy this month. In addition, there is college football (although Virginia currently prohibits most wagers on state NCAA teams) and the next NBA season. Training camps for the NBA begin on September 28, with the regular season games starting on October 19. NCAA basketball starts almost a month later, on November 9.