Sports bettors in Virginia have taken advantage of the first opportunity to legally bet on regular season NFL, by ensuring that the region nears the record for the becoming the quickest state in US history to reach $2bn in lifetime wagers.
September also almost saw the state surpass its record of £304.1m bets that was reached in March, after online sportsbooks accepted $239.9m according to Virginia Lottery data.
Betting per day surged to $9.8m over the 30 days of September from $5.9m over the 31 days of August, when $182.4m in bets were made.
Gross gaming revenue rose 72.1 per cent to $30.9m from $18m in August, breaking the record of $26.6m in revenue that was collected in March. Promotions whittled taxable revenue down to $10.3m for the month, which yielded $1.6m in state taxes, including $38,937 for problem gambling support.
Since launching in January 2021, Virginia has produced $1.97bn in wagers and $175.9m in gross gaming revenue. New Jersey, now the nation’s largest market, was the quickest to reach $2bn in lifetime revenue, doing it in 10 months. Having launched in late-January, Virginia’s market will top that record in October.
“Virginia has from the very beginning reached the higher end of expectations,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA network.
“What’s remarkable is that the state keeps reaching these milestones in record time, and until September the state’s sportsbooks had yet to enjoy a full month of football betting.”
Of the nine sports betting operators that currently live in the commonwealth, FanDuel is lauded by analysts as being the biggest driver of Virginia’s expansion having handled 45.4 per cent of the wagers made through the market’s first eight months.
FanDuel’s chief rival DraftKings has accounted for 26.1 per cent of the state’s total handle, with BetMGM third in the market share standing with 17.9 per cent.
“FanDuel was first to the market and it used its partnership with the Washington Football Team to really propel it so far,” noted Dann Stupp, lead analyst for PlayVirginia.
“The marketing might of FanDuel and DraftKings is a competitive advantage for both companies in every market. But Virginia is still young when it comes to legal sports betting, and it will continue to evolve.”