There is finally a bit of detailed information available on Virginia sportsbooks, thanks to a VA Lottery presentation Wednesday morning.
FanDuel Sportsbook leads the state’s six online sportsbooks in handle share, according to preliminary data from launch on Jan. 21 through March. FanDuel had the advantage of launching first in Virginia and has taken 53% of the $628.7 million wagered through March. That is good for about $333 million of handle since launch.
FanDuel’s first-place VA sports betting spot looks pretty safe for now based on the other five operators’ shares:
- DraftKings Sportsbook: 24%
- BetMGM: 14%
- William Hill: 8%
- BetRivers: 1%
- WynnBET: 0%
Based on the preliminary report, Virginia sportsbooks took $304.1 million in bets during March. No revenue information was available. The Lottery will release its official March report around May 1.
More Virginia sportsbooks will be licensed
Up to five new sportsbooks might be licensed through a new application period running May 15 through May 31, Gina Smith, deputy director for expanded gaming, said in her presentation.
Those five licenses are the ones recently added through legislation this session. The enabling legislation passed last year did not exclude mobile betting licenses for casino operators from the cap of 12 mobile-only licenses as intended.
“We’re now in active discussions with several applicants who voluntarily withdrew their applications as we started to bump up against the cap,” said Executive Director Kevin Hall.
There are nine sportsbooks licensed by the Lottery so far. Along with the six live sportsbooks, Bally’s, Barstool Sportsbook and Golden Nugget Online were all approved in March and should launch in the coming months, Smith noted.
Three of those licenses likely will not count against the cap: FanDuel Sportsbook’s agreement is with the Washington Football Team, while BetRivers and William Hill are associated with future casinos in the state. There was a chance Bally’s might not count as well but the company’s proposal for a casino in Richmond was denied Wednesday.
Virginia sportsbooks promotional spending breakdown
Virginia sportsbooks handed out nearly $30 million in promos so far. That spending, unsurprisingly, is mostly similar to market share numbers:
- FanDuel Sportsbook: 43%
- DraftKings Sportsbook: 23%
- William Hill: 20%
- BetMGM: 10%
- BetRivers: 3%
- WynnBET: 1%
One obvious difference is William Hill jumping past BetMGM for third in promo spending. That might be from Caesars spending extra to promote its operations in the state because it will operate a casino in Virginia.
The six sportsbooks have been a bit light on taxes with all that promotional spending. Only BetMGM paid taxes in January and February. DraftKings and FanDuel paid taxes for the first time in March, however. Through March, sportsbooks have paid $1.5 million in taxes.
No surprise: basketball dominates betting
Considering the time of year, there is very little surprise basketball was far and away the top sport bet in Virginia through March.
College basketball was the highest-bet sport with $165.4 million in handle, or 26.3% of total bets. Professional basketball was next with $150.4 million in handle, or 23.9% of bets.
The next few sports in the list are a bit surprising, though:
- Tennis: $47.9 million, 7.6%
- Soccer: $41.8 million, 6.7%
- Hockey: $37.1 million, 5.9%
- Football: $31.3 million, 5.0%
There were not many opportunities to bet on football in Virginia this year, of course. VA sports betting officially launched Jan. 21, meaning just the two conference championship games and the Super Bowl were the only three opportunities to bet on postseason football. The Super Bowl accounted for $19.6 million of that $31.3 million in handle.
Those totals do not include any bets placed through parlays. Parlays accounted for 16.7% of the market with $104.8 million in handle.