November was the most lucrative month in Virginia sportsbooks history with nearly $50m in revenue on more than $400m in wagers producing a tax revenue record for the state, according to PlayVirginia, which tracks the Old Dominion state’s sports betting market.
It has now been three consecutive months in which the state of Virginia has posted record revenue.
Dann Stupp, a lead analyst for PlayVirginia.com, stated: “When football and basketball seasons converge, as they did in November, the inventory of games creates a ripe opportunity for sportsbooks.
“Importantly, it shows that Virginians have more diverse interests than just football, a sign that sportsbooks won’t be giving up the gains made over the past three months once the football season ends.”
According to Virginia Lottery data, $402.6m was wagered in Virginia’s sportsbooks in November, 6% less than October’s $427.3m. Betting volume fell to $13.4m per day (October: $13.8m).
A record $48.3m was generated in revenue by sportsbooks during the month, up 60% from the previous month’s $30.2m, and beating September’s record of $30.9m. After $14.9m in promotional spending, taxable revenue landed at $29.9m, yielding a record $4.2m in state taxes.
Sportsbooks posted a hold – the percentage of all wagers that a sportsbook keeps – of 12% during November, the second-highest ever for the state, some of which was due to bad luck on NFL games and online in-game betting, which generally yields a higher hold than more conventional wagering.
Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayVirginia.com, stated: “A higher hold percentage is additional evidence that the market is maturing. Not only have sportsbooks gained more customers, particularly over the last three months, but bettors are becoming more at ease with less conventional forms of betting.”
Virginia’s sportsbooks have produced $109.4m in revenue on $1.1bn in wagers in the past three months, producing $7.5m in state taxes.
Football betting over the past few months has helped the recent surge in activity, but November only provided four weekends of football, one less than October, and the Washington Football Team played just three games.
However, a full month of NBA action and the opening of the college basketball season has helped sportsbooks make up for the loss of football.
Stupp added: “The popularity of football is the industry’s greatest opportunity to attract new customers and expand the market. But the importance of basketball is often overlooked.
“In most major markets it is the highest-grossing sport, a product of the number of games played compared with football. And November’s results show that Virginia is following a similar pattern.”