The state of Virginia reported online sports betting handle of US$284.67m for August 2022, arresting a four-month slump and rebounding from US$266m in July.
The margin recorded for August was lower, at 87% compared to July’s 90% and is historically the lowest online sports betting margin recorded since the launch in Virginia in 2021.
Promotional spend for the month was US$1.14m, up from US$397,000 in July, showing the bookmakers are starting to ramp up promotions again as the NFL season was set to begin. Year on year comps are not necessarily enlightening given the Covid-19 pandemic led disruption to the sporting calendar last year.
The NFL resumed early September and the NBA just slightly later – adding two of the three US online sports betting staples to the betting mix and analysts expect there to be a significant uptick in handle (but also promotional spend) from September onwards.
Will the FIFA World Cup cannibalize?
The betting mix for the year in total may differ slightly given this financial year will also see a FIFA World Cup, for which the United States of America Men’s National Team has qualified, will take place in December instead of it’s normal June-August slot. Analysis across other states which report handle by individual sports suggest that soccer handle is one of the more popular sports outside of the ‘big three’ and so it’ll be interesting to see if handle volume increases, or if there’s simply cannibalization of existing handle.
The total tax collected from the state’s sports betting activity in August was US%4.5m, of which the majority (US$4.4m) was allocated to the General Fund Allocation and US$111,853 towards the Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation.
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