Virginia to emerge as 'next major sports betting market'
Sports betting in Virginia could bring in up to $412m in revenue per year, yielding approximately $61.8m in tax revenue for the state, according to projections from VirginiaCasinos.com.
The projection forecasts 90 per cent of revenue coming from online wagering, with mobile sports betting apps bringing in $375m annually when the market reaches full maturity.
The region legalised the activity in July 2020 and will tax sports betting at 15 per cent of revenue, with the first legal sportsbook anticipated to launch during the early stages of next year.
The Virginia Lottery regulates the state’s sports wagering industry and will license up to 12 different online sportsbook brands, four of which are earmarked for online-only operators, which can conduct mobile wagering without a land-based casino partnership.
Recent moves within Virginia saw voters approve the construction of four casino venues during November referendums, with a fifth in the state capital of Richmond a possibility. These facilities are eligible to enter the application process.
The Virginian cities of Norfolk, Danville, Bristol and Portsmouth gave the green-light to casino establishments, with operating partners selected on each of the developments being the Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock International and Rush Street Gaming, respectively.
“Mobile wagering will dominate the Virginia market,” said Geoff Fisk, analyst for VirginiaCasinos.com. “We’ve seen online sports betting account for around 90 per cent of revenue in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
“The ability to offer remote wagering from any location in the state expands the potential of sports betting far beyond the scope of retail casinos.”
It was recently detailed that as many as 25 different operators had applied for licenses thus far, with BetRivers and William Hill boasting tie-ins with retail casinos under construction in Virginia, and US leaders DraftKings and FanDuel expected to both debut in the region.
“Virginia should emerge as the next major sports betting market in the US,” Fisk added. “The proximity to several different pro sports franchises makes it a natural hub for sports betting. The big players in the industry will definitely want their share of that market.”