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Virginia Narrowly Misses $400 Million Sports Wagering Handle For April


The Virginia Lottery reported Wednesday that the state’s sports wagering handle for April fell about $530,000 shy of $400 million, narrowly ending a six-month streak of surpassing that benchmark.

April’s handle also left the Old Dominion less than $22 million short of becoming the ninth state to clear $5 billion worth of wagers in the post-PASPA era that began in 2018. Virginia‘s $399.5 million handle for the month currently amounts to the fifth highest nationally, with only Illinois and Arizona yet to report figures.

The start of the spring-summer downward cycle of sports wagering contributed to a 14.9% decline in handle compared to March, but it was also a 69% increase versus April 2021. Gross gaming revenue rose 9% to nearly $36.3 million, as the 9.1% hold for the state’s 12 digital operators was nearly two full percentage points higher compared to March’s 7.2% win rate.

Declines in both promotional credit spend and carryover deductions allowed the state to levy taxes on close to $20.8 million in adjusted revenue, the second-highest total in 16 months of wagering since Virginia went live at the end of January 2021. The state collected just over $3 million in tax receipts, and the $9.4 million flowing into state coffers through the first four months of the year is nearly $6.3 million ahead of last year’s pace.

Five operators finished with positive adjusted revenue eligible for taxation, and April’s receipts trailed only the $4.2 million collected in November. The Virginia Lottery does not disclose handle and revenue information by either specific operator or sport.

A positive swing for tax purposes

Overall, the adjusted revenue eligible for taxation in April accounted for 57.2% of gross revenue, the first time since November the figure was higher than 50%. Promotional credit distribution dipped 20.2% from March to more than $11.2 million, but it is also more than doubled the $5.5 million operators provided in April 2021.

It was also the eighth consecutive month promotional credits surpassed $10 million and 10th time overall since launch. Operators have reported $58 million in promotional credits in 2022, which has left the state able to tax just shy of 45% of the $136.5 million in gross operator revenue reported in the first four months.

That is still much better than the initial months of 2021, when heavy promotional play resulted in adjusted losses for January and February and contributed to only $18.8 million of a potential $61.8 million in revenue eligible to be taxed. The state has levied its 15% tax on $61.2 million in adjusted revenue this year.

Overall deductions outside of promotional credits totaled slightly less than $4.3 million for April, 19.2% lower than March and 68.2% higher than April of last year. Overall, deductions allowed have surpassed $50 million since launch as combined claims among operators have topped $2 million in each of the 15 full months of wagering.

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