Virginia sports betting volume drops to lowest ebb in July

The Virginia Lottery has released data showing that the state’s sports betting volume dropped to its lowest level in July 2021 as sales declined to $161.9m.
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The Virginia Lottery has released data showing that the state’s sports betting volume dropped to its lowest level in July 2021 as sales declined to $161.9m.

The slump follows a nationwide trend and represents a seasonal decline given most major sports were in off-season during this period, according to PlayVirginia which tracks the state’s gaming market.

The $161.9m sales figures represent a 31.1% drop from June’s sales which came in at $234.9m. The pace of betting was the slowest ever, too, dropping from $7.8m in wagers per day over the 30 days of June to $5.2m over the 31 days of July.

Despite the disappointing figures, there is cause for optimism amongst operators and the Virginia Lottery given that major sports seasons are set to begin in the autumn, including the NFL and major European football leagues. 

Eric Ramsey, analyst for the network, which includes, commented: “July brings a relatively light sports schedule and summer vacations that typically make it the slowest month in sports betting, and Virginia is not immune from a trend that has affected every major market.

“The momentum should change quickly as football draws nearer and casual bettors return home. The next five months should bring significant growth to Virginia’s fledgling sports betting industry.”

The only major sporting events that took place in July were the NBA finals and the first week of the Olympics. Those NBA final matches only contain six fixtures, therefore did not make too much impact on sales. Meanwhile, the Olympics Games is not an event which bettors typically wager on. 

“The NBA Finals and the Olympics, which featured a stark time difference, didn’t particularly move the needle,” added Dann Stupp, lead analyst for 

“The Olympics should do modestly better in August, when high-profile team sports like basketball reached the medal rounds. But in the end, there just isn’t enough to attract widespread betting, which makes a relatively large win key in helping sportsbooks weather the seasonal slowdown.”

Despite a slow July, Virginia continues to perform well as a sports betting market. Since January 21, the state’s sportsbooks have accepted $1.5bn in wagers, which has resulted in $127m in gross gaming revenue. With the busiest months likely still ahead, the state could bring in more than $3bn in wagers by year’s end.

To that end, Barstool Sports made its debut on August 10, giving Virginia another high-profile brand. And more are planning to launch either before or during the football season.

“Virginia’s sportsbooks remain in an excellent place, and new operators are a good sign that the market is healthy and attractive,” Stupp added. “Increasing competition should help engage new customers and force the largest operators in the state, including FanDuel and DraftKings, to continue to vie for attention. The most important months of the year are still ahead, and competition will help spur the entire market.”