Virginia Sports Betting: Sluggish June Breaks Nine-Month Streak of $400 Million Handles

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Georgia Amoore #5 of the Virginia Tech Hokies reacts against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Steph Chambers/Getty Images/AFP.

June has proven to be brutal to sportsbooks and revenue across the nation and Virginia sports betting was just another casualty of the traditionally lackluster month.

Streak Broken

After nine consecutive months of robust handles topping the $400 million mark, the streak came to a not-so-unexpected halt. June is no friend to the sports betting industry as we have witnessed time and time again.

May revealed a handle of $403.7 million but June’s handle declined 19.4% to $325.4 million according to the data released by the Virginia Lottery. And as far as adjusted gross revenue (AGR) is concerned, there was a dramatic decrease in that as well from the previous month with $42.5 million in May dropping to $26.4 million in June.

As for the state’s cut on the revenues, the law requires that sportsbooks pay 15% of their adjusted gross revenue in taxes which meant Virginia’s tax coffers swelled by over $3.9 million in June.

And of the tax revenue generated through sports betting, 97.5% is sent to the General Fund while the rest, 2.5%, is earmarked for the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund which is run by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

  • General Fund Allocation: $3,841,208.48
  • Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation: $98,492.53
  • Total Tax: $3,939,701.01

“Virginia was no exception to the June swoon, with a 19.4% decrease in overall sports betting handle and a 19.5% decrease in mobile handle. This is on par with the national market for the month, which is still suffering from the summer’s bare sports calendar,” Dru James, an analyst for, said in a written statement.

Silver Lining

But the news wasn’t all bad if you consider how the numbers stacked up compared to last June. Virginia bettors wagered 10.2% more than they did last year at the same time or $325.4 million this June versus $295.2 million last June.

Mr. James did also state, “However, it should be noted that the handle is up year-over-year, with a 10.2% increase in overall wagers and a 9.1% increase in mobile wagers from June of last year. During this slow season, continued annual growth is a much stronger indicator of market health.”

We should also note that Virginia is not unusual in experiencing a June slump as virtually every state has shown a substantial decrease from May. It happens every year due to summer vacations and a sports betting slate that is devoid of three of the four primary North American sports, with only Major League Baseball as an option as well as a smattering of other stand-alone events like golf, tennis, MMA, and boxing events.

James also added, “Similarly, revenue and taxes were also down significantly from May. Revenue took a near 38% drop, and taxes were down 37.3% month-over-month. Year-over-year, however, saw substantial growth on both fronts. Revenue was up just over 100%, and taxes rose 110%.”

The dog days of summer will persist in all markets until the end of August but NFL and college football will begin in September which marks the beginning of the most popular sports betting season.