Virginia Sports Betting Handle Declined In April, Still On Record Pace

  • Virginia’s sports betting handle dropped 22% from March to April.
  • This is despite Unibet entering the market during April.
  • Virginia could reach over $1 billion in total handle by May, making it the fastest state to do so.

RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia’s sports betting industry saw a significant drop in handle from March to April, a drop totaling 22%.

The total betting handle in March was $304 million, while in April, it fell to $236 million - a notable decrease. Virginia’s sports betting industry has not been in place for long, so fluctuations in betting volume are expected. After all, sports betting only opened in the state in January.

In addition, the decline could be attributed to March Madness - bettors had more options to wager on during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in March.

Many states saw similar decreases, and 22% is far from the worst drop from March to April as the sports betting industry suffers the yearly March Madness hangover.

It’s worth noting, however, that VA saw this decrease even as another online sports betting option was added to the market in the form of Unibet.

Unibet partnered with the Pala Band of Mission Indians in order to enter the state in late April - too late to have a meaningful effect on the month’s numbers.

With more options entering the market, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see an uptick in handle from April to May, especially after the decrease from March to April.

This news isn’t all doom and gloom for Virginia’s online sportsbooks, as the state could be the fastest state to reach $1 billion in handle. Currently, that record is held by Tennessee, which reached $1 billion in handle six months after sportsbooks opened. Virginia could shave a month off of that time - it’s well within the realm of plausibility that the state passed $1 billion in handle during May.

When those numbers come out, we’ll be able to see if Virginia was able to take the crown as the fastest state to $1 billion in handle.