Virginia sports betters wager over $293.6 million in one month

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Lottery has announced that there was a 10.4% increase in sports wagering for July 2023 compared to July 2022.

According to the company, there was over $293.6 million wagered in Virginia between July 1 and July 31 this year — with betters winning a total of $261.1 million.

  Mobile Operators Casino Retail Activity Total July 2023
Gross sports gaming revenues $290,999,143 $2,612,646 $293,611,789
Gross winnings ($259,125,799) ($2,014,594) ($261,140,393)
Allowable Bonuses and Promotions ($827,332) $0 ($827,332)
Other deductions ($3,414,163) ($18,975) ($3,433,137)
AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) $27,631,850 $579,077 $28,210,927
Sports betting data for July 2023 (Courtesy of the Virginia Lottery)

With the Virginia Lottery making a total adjusted gross revenue of $28.2 million, a total of $4.1 million was paid in taxes — with 97.5% going toward Virginia’s general fund and 2.5% going toward problem gambling treatment and support.

  Monthly Taxes
Total Tax $4,115,217.97
General Fund Allocation $4,012,337.52
Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund Allocation $102,880.45
Sports betting tax revenue data for July 2023 (Courtesy of the Virginia Lottery)

Virginia legalized sports betting in 2020 with supporters intending to turn back-room gambling into a major tax revenue source. The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission previously projected sports betting would generate up to $55 million annually — averaging $4.58 million monthly — in tax revenue.

However, Virginia legislators said the tax revenue had fallen short of expectations in 2022 — with June 2022 taxes only reaching $1.8 million. Lawmakers claimed the issue was largely owed to a loophole in the legislation in which sports betting operators were able to offer generous incentives to attract new bettors without paying taxes on those promotions.

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“In the original legislation, we made a mistake by saying they could deduct,” said Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax) in 2022. “I believe it’s a totally inappropriate role of government to be encouraging people to gamble.”

In July 2022, the loophole was reportedly closed as part of a budget agreement.

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