Virginia’s nine sportsbooks sales data for September revealed a significant increase in wagers, coinciding with the beginning of the 2021 NFL season.
Following a summer of underwhelming performance, Virginia’s online sportsbooks accepted $293.9m in bets in September, the second-most ever behind the $304.1m reached in March.
According to data revealed by the Virginia Lottery, the GGR of the state’s online sportsbooks jumped 72.1% to $30.9m from $18m in August, breaking the record $26.6m in revenue collected in March. Meanwhile, the taxable income minus promotional expenses generated $1.6m for the state, including almost $40,000 for responsible gambling support.
“Virginia has from the very beginning reached the higher end of expectations,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia.com.
“What’s remarkable is that the state keeps reaching these milestones in record time, and until September the state’s sportsbooks had yet to enjoy a full month of football betting.”
The surge in sales for September is almost solely attributable to the beginning of the NFL season and a full month of college football. Analysts suggest that October’s sales will only increase as the NFL season continues, with football attracting bettors like no other sport in the US.
“Virginia’s bettors responded to their first opportunity to bet on regular-season football in exactly the way that was expected,” noted Dann Stupp, lead analyst for PlayVirginia.com.
“The next three months should bring a plethora of records, which will be a fitting close to a wildly successful first year for the state’s sportsbooks.”
Turning to operators, FanDuel were the biggest winners of September, handling over 45% of sports bets placed in Virginia. Nine operators were awarded licenses back in January and FanDuel’s closest competitors, DraftKings, controlled 26.1% of state takings, with the third-placed being BetMGM with 17.9%.
“FanDuel was first to the market and it used its partnership with the Washington Football Team to really propel it so far,” Stupp added.
“The marketing might of FanDuel and DraftKings is a competitive advantage for both companies in every market. But Virginia is still young when it comes to legal sports betting, and it will continue to evolve.”