Virginia’s January Sports Betting Handle Jumps To Over $500 Million

Written By Adam Hensley on March 1, 2023Last Updated on April 3, 2023

The Virginia Lottery released its sports betting report for the month of January 2023, and statewide handle is up from December.

Virginia residents wagered $513.15 million between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, according to the latest VA sports betting numbers. Compared to December 2022, that’s about a $10 million jump in handle.

In total, Virginia operators boasted a 9.69% hold for the month.

Overall, Virginia enjoyed $42.13 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR) during January. Ten sports betting operators reported positive AGR that month. Here’s a closer look at the latest numbers.

A look at Virginia sports betting taxes in January

When the dust settles, 97.5% of AGR goes toward the Virginia General Fund, according to the lottery. The remaining 2.5% heads to the state’s Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund.

In January, Virginia sports betting resulted in $6.37 million in total taxes. Roughly $6.21 million went toward the general fund allocation. The Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund took a little more than $159,000.

VA sports betting handle ranks sixth nationally

Mobile sports betting is a growing trend nationally, and Virginia proved to be no exception during January. During the month, residents wagered $510.98 million through mobile sports betting. Retail sports betting produced a handle of $2.17 million.

Virginia’s January handle stands as one of the highest totals nationally compared to other states that have reported their numbers for the month.

New York leads the way, clocking in with a handle of $1.8 billion. Ohio and New Jersey follow at more than $1 billion each. Nevada ranks fourth with $935.8 million, and Pennsylvania comes in at fifth with a handle of $772.3 million.

Virginia’s January handle ranks above Michigan, Maryland, Indiana and Tennessee. Those four states each topped $410 million in sports betting handle in January.

Virginia’s year-to-year handle growth a positive sign

As a whole, Virginia’s gambling industry continues to grow. With a second casino in operation and battles over additional locations, the state remains on the come-up.

Sports betting, though, isn’t quite as new as these casinos. While the temporary Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol opened last summer, Virginia boasted its first legalized sports betting apps in January 2021. FanDuel Sportsbook VA was the first sportsbook to call Virginia home. Since then, 14 other sportsbooks joined in on the action.

Virginia’s handle for January of this year stands as nearly a 6% jump from the same month in 2022. It’s a sign that the industry appears to be sustainable and headed in a great direction, now two years after its launch.

Betting numbers down from prime football season

In November 2022, Virginia sports bettors wagered almost $519 million, close to $6 million more than January of this year.

While it represents a decline, November boasted a jam-packed college and professional football slate. It’s worth remembering that football is king when it comes to sports betting.

Football still took place in January, both at the collegiate and professional levels – just in a smaller capacity. It was the tail end of bowl season, with only a handful of New Year’s Day games and the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Meanwhile, the NFL enjoyed its postseason. Even with entertaining games on the professional side, there just weren’t as many games for bettors to wager on compared to November.

Point being, January’s numbers line up with the flow most states see.

Keep an eye out for February’s numbers next month

As mentioned, football remains a key driver for sports betting across the country. In turn, the Super Bowl remains one of the biggest sports betting events nationally.

Markets tend to see a boost when a hometown team makes it to the big game. But regardless, it’ll be worth keeping an eye out next month to see Virginia sports betting figures for February.

Last year, February wagers resulted in a handle of $401.89 million over the 28-day period.

Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr. / AP Photo
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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