FanDuel continues to be a mobile sports wagering juggernaut in Virginia, extending its streak of double-digit holds to 12 months after posting a 12.3% win rate for June.
The Virginia Lottery fulfilled a Freedom of Information Act request to provide handle and revenue figures by operator to Sports Handle, showing a more detailed sports wagering picture in the top 10 national market. Beyond FanDuel’s dominance, the other big takeaways were bet365 incrementally decreasing promotional spend while trying to lessen its negative adjusted gross revenue (AGR), while Barstool Sportsbook and Caesars Sportsbook again failed to have a standout month against the public.
Overall, Virginia’s sportsbooks have enjoyed a collective hold of 10% or higher for four consecutive months after narrowly clearing the benchmark for June with $32.7 million in gross revenue from $325.4 million handle. And in keeping with national trends over the past 12 months, the house showed solid year-over-year gains.
FanDuel rolling right along
June #SportsBetting special: #Virginia numbers 🧵with Han/GGR/WR by operator@FDSportsbook $124.7M/$15.33M/12.29%@DKSportsbook $93.54M/$8.43M/9.01%@BetMGM $43.33M/$4.1M/9.47%@BetRivers $4.32M/$295.1K/6.83%
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) August 7, 2023
The market leader in mobile wagering has lived up to that billing in the Old Dominion, maintaining its status quo in June. FanDuel claimed more than $15.3 million in gross revenue from $124.7 million handle, posting at least a 12% hold for the fourth straight month and 10th time in the last 12 months.
Furthermore, the sportsbook surpassed $1 billion in accepted wagers in the calendar year and $4 billion since launch with June’s figures. FanDuel’s success has also been a benefit for Virginia state tax coffers since the added budget amendment at the start of fiscal year 2023 preventing operators in the state longer than 12 months from deducting promotional play.
The state was eligible to tax 93.2% of FanDuel’s $135.6 million in gross revenue in the first six months of 2023, compared to 69.6% from the opening half of 2022, when the sportsbook was allowed to claim close to $22.2 million in promotional credits against the $98.4 million accrued in gross revenue. FanDuel has paid nearly $19 million in state taxes this year, nearly $8.7 million above the same period last year.
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Relatively big promo spend for bet365
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) August 7, 2023
The willingness of bet365 to aggressively offer promotional play has helped propel it into the top five for handle in Virginia. It accepted $17.4 million worth of wagers in June, putting the European-based operator on the cusp of $100 million handle since launching in late January.
Bet365 has also fared quite well for itself in terms of performance. Its 12.5% hold for June is actually its second-lowest in the five full months of conducting wagering, and it has cleared $2 million in gross revenue every month since February.
June also marked the third straight month in which bet365’s gross revenue exceeded its promotional spend, which dropped to slightly less than $1.3 million. That was down 26.1% from May, as the spread between GGR and promo spend exceeded $900,000. Other deductions knocked down bet365’s adjusted gross revenue to slightly less than $220,000, which dropped its overall AGR below minus-$4 million.
Bettors faring well versus Barstool, Caesars
Barstool Sportsbook’s hold of just under 3% in June was the lowest of any operator with a minimum $5 million handle. The PENN Entertainment sportsbook’s win rate dropped 6.5 percentage points from May, which was the only occasion in the last seven months it surpassed the industry standard of 7%.
Barstool’s year-to-date hold is 5.6%, having claimed $3.9 million in gross revenue from $69 million handle. Its win rate is down more than half a percentage point from the first six months of 2022, with gross revenue dipping 13.7% and handle down 5.4%.
Caesars actually has a lower hold than Barstool at 5.4% for the year and was held under 6% for the third month in a row in June. It had a 10-month streak with at least $20 million handle end by a narrow margin — less than $630,000 — but it did avoid failing to reach $1 million in gross revenue in back-to-back months.
Its year-to-date declines in online gross revenue and handle from the opening half of 2022 have been pronounced, with the former down 16.5% and the latter 23.2%.
Unibet completed its lengthy road to positive AGR, paying taxes in June for the first time dating back to at least October 2021. Its negative AGR in that 21-month span peaked at minus-$383,000 in December of that year before being gradually whittled down. Unibet finished with nearly $55,000 in AGR for June, resulting in a tax payment of more than $8,200.
A retail snapshot
Caesars’ recent opening of its Danville casino gives the Old Dominion three retail sportsbooks that have opened in the past 10-plus months. Overall handle at the trio of locations since Hard Rock opened its doors in Bristol last August is nearly $26.2 million, with a hold of 11.3% and nearing $3 million in gross revenue.
Caesars has bolted out of the block with a 24.1% win rate in its first month-plus of operations, claiming nearly $414,000 in revenue. Rivers Casino in Portsmouth took its first monthly loss since its January launch as bettors came out almost $70,000 ahead on $1.5 million worth of bets in June. While Hard Rock’s Bristol venue failed to generate $1 million handle for the first time since last September, the 15.8% hold resulted in just over $124,000 in revenue.
The house keeps winning
It will surprise no one that Virginia’s gross revenue has soared in the 12-month period starting in July 2022 compared to the previous 12-month span. Its hold over the past year of wagering has topped 9% every month and peaked at 13.1% in September.
Sportsbooks totaled almost $546.9 million in gross revenue, up 42.5% from the 12-month period running from July 2021 through June 2022. Handle was also up 19.6% to more than $5.1 billion in that period, while the overall win rate was 10.7% — an increase of more than 1.7 percentage points.
The budget amendment restricting promotional deductions, coupled with improved operator performance, has had a profound impact on AGR and state tax collections. The 12-month AGR totaled nearly $472.7 million — an increase of 158% from the comparable period spanning July 2021 through June 2022. The drastically improved AGR led to substantially higher tax receipts, as the $71 million-plus collected by the state the last 12 months was an increase of more than $43.3 million from the comparable 2021-22 span.