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Virginia announced that May’s sports betting handle topped the $400 million mark for the ninth straight month. The state has had double-digit growth yearly since legalizing the industry in January 2021. The continued success has been impressive, especially considering that we have now entered a slow season for sports betting. Not many states can claim this same year-round success, making the Old Dominion State one of the top sports betting markets in the country.
The Virginia Lottery shared that the May betting handle was $403.7 million, which was up by more than 14% from last year. While it was slightly down from April, it is still one of the best numbers in the country. They have also had an average hold percentage of over 9% for 11 straight months. The “hold” refers to the amount that operators set aside to pay their taxes to the state, and it has been a significant issue across the country. Many operators claim they do not make enough to meet the hold rate set by states, but the industries' success in Virginia has made it easy for them to meet the requirement.
Virginia’s sports betting success has brought in over $1 billion in gross revenue since the market went live in 2021, a feat only accomplished by New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
Virginia received $6.3 million in tax revenue from their 16 sportsbooks, which pushed their total revenue for the year to over $30 million. The tax revenue is directly linked to the hold rate that operators must meet, which has not been a problem for Virginia so far.
According to Virginia’s sports betting laws, 97.5% of that revenue will go into their “General Fund,” which will be used for education and infrastructure across the state. The last 2.5% goes into a Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund. That fund has become a more significant focus of Virginia legislators as the industry grows, leading to Virginia passing a bill to create a committee focused on decreasing problem gambling in the state.
Virginia passed a bill allowing a special committee to focus on problem gambling. With the market’s continued annual growth in the state, legislators want to prevent problem gambling from growing along with it. The group has nine members and will focus mainly on education.
“As more gaming opportunities are legalized and expanded in Virginia, we must prioritize protecting Virginians from gambling addiction, especially young people,” state Representative Paul Krizek said in a press release. “We know from prevention research that people who begin gambling in their teens are at a higher risk of developing a problem with gambling and that one of the fastest growing groups to have gambling problems are young adults.”
The committee is set to meet for the first time later this month.
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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