Sports betting handle in Vermont exceeds $21 million in February

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Sports wagering in Vermont continued its strong start through February.

The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery reported a $21.2 million total sports betting handle through the first full month of sports betting in the state. This means that, combined with the $19.9 million handle reported in January, players have placed $41.1 million worth of bets in the six weeks following the opening of the market on Jan. 11.

Despite handle improving, gross revenue dropped significantly for operators due to a 10% drop in hold. Hold in February was 12% which led to revenue of $2.5 million compared to a 22% hold and $4.2 million revenue in January.

Prior to launch Vermont projected that sports betting would net the state $7 million annually and already through the first two months operators have paid out $1.9 million. Fanatics Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel are all live in the state and in February the trio paid 731,874 in tax from an adjusted gross sports wagering revenue of $2.3 million.

Basketball leads the way

After being edged out by football in January, basketball was the most bet sport in February. Players wagered $9.5 million on professional and college basketball in the month compared to $7.4 million in January.

Given that Vermont launched on the eve of the NFL playoffs it is unsurprising that football led the way in January with a handle of $7.5 million. In February this figure dropped to $1.8 million which made it the fourth-most popular sport to bet in the state.

Vermont also produced a special revenue report for Super Bowl LVIII which revealed that operators paid out $1.8 million in prizes from a handle of $2.1 million. This represents a hold of 14.2% for operators which is significant given the fact that the betting favorites the Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious over the San Francisco 49ers.

The handle for “all other” sports, which includes MMA, motorsport and out-of-season baseball, more than doubled in February to $5.5 million from $2.2 million in January.

Out-of-state players splash the cash

Vermont regulators also provide a breakdown of the gambling habits of players who reside in Vermont compared to those visiting the Magnolia State.

In both January and February out-of-state players wagered twice as much on average per bet compared to in-state players. Visitors placed bets of $35.98 on average through the first six weeks of betting while residents wagered $18.07 on average.

Despite a drop off in active users, 52,431 in January compared to 47,193 in February, over 85,000 more bets were placed in February. In both months the average dollar value of all bets placed was just over $21.