Virginia Lottery shares major March Madness boost to sportsbooks

Virginia Lottery
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The Virginia Lottery has released its sports wagering report for March, attributing the March Madness NCAA men’s college basketball as the catalyst for increased activity in the state.

Between March 1 and March 31, Virginians wagered $469.5m, with 23.2% ($109.5m) brought in alone from the college tournament, despite the betting ban on Virginia college athletics.

The lottery revealed that bettors in the Old Dominion State won a total of $435.8m, thereby earning operators a 7.2% ‘hold’, and seeing a total handle increase of nearly 17% from the previous month.

12 licensed operators were active and accepted mobile sports wagers in March, with Hard Rock Digital becoming the latest.

Under state law, a 15% tax is placed on sports betting activity based on each permit holder’s adjusted gross revenue (AGR). Operators are permitted to deduct certain customer acquisition costs from AGR, and they reported over $14m in bonuses and free-play incentives in March.

The statute specifies 97.5% of the state tax on sports betting AGR is to be deposited in the state’s General Fund, with 2.5% to be deposited into the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund administered by the Virginia Department of Behavioural Health.

Five operators reported net positive AGR for March, leading to $2.1m in tax payments for the month.

The previous month saw a single event – the Super Bowl – make a huge impact as Virginia sportsbooks took an overall handle of $401.9m in February, a 51.2% increase year-on-year.