Virginia’s Online Betting Handle Remains Robust Even As Pandemic Restrictions Loosen

Online betting handle on horse racing continues to be robust in Virginia even as pandemic-related restrictions continue to loosen. Simulcast centers inside Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums and at VA-Horseplay OTBs are back to full capacity. Colonial Downs will not encounter capacity limits either at its upcoming thoroughbred racing season in New Kent which begins July 19.

Through the first five months of 2021, total advance deposit wagering (ADW) handle is up almost 28% over the same period in 2020 — $59,050,412 versus $46,179,244. To put the current gains in an even more impressive context, five-month handle in 2019 was $38,133,766.

Colonial Downs will have no attendance or capacity restrictions when the summer race season opens July 19.

For the month of May itself, when both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness were held, total handle generated by TVG, Twinspires, Xpressbet and NYRABets — Virginia’s four ADW partner companies — was $16,699,860, best of any month this year by over $5 million.

TVG led the way again with a May handle of $8,796,557 while the others fell in line per normal. Twinspires processed $5,273,958 in bets followed by Xpressbet with $1,923,463 and NYRABets — newest of the four — with $705,881.

For the five-month period of January through May, TVG is up 26% over 2020 figures while others trend similarly — Twinspires at a 33% gain, Xpressbet at 17% and NYRABets at 36%.

Of the eight brick and mortar simulcast sites in the state, the VA-Horseplay OTB at Buckets Bar & Grill in Chesapeake was tops in May with a $922,472 handle. Breakers Sports Grille in Henrico was next with $685,016 followed by the Rosie’s Hampton location with $511,357. For the year so far,  Buckets has handled $3,532,307.

Bets are accepted on live horse races at Buckets Bar & Grill in Chesapeake.

When adding Historical Horse Racing (HHR) handle at five Rosie’s locations to the mix, wagering numbers exceed the $1.8 billion mark. The Rosie’s site in Richmond led the way with $385,647,892 followed by Hampton ($342,966,301), Colonial Downs in New Kent ($197,127,426), Vinton ($111,264,094) and Dumfries ($70,807,403).

Looking forward, the popular Saratoga and Del Mar meets are on the horizon in addition to the Colonial Downs season, so wagering numbers have a great chance to remain strong. Mark your calendars for stakes like the Belmont Derby Invitational Day (Gr. I) July 10, the Haskell Invitational (Gr. I) at Monmouth July 17, the Coaching Club American Oaks (Gr. I) at Saratoga July 24 and the Alfred Vanderbilt Stakes (Gr. I) & Jim Dandy Stakes (Gr. 2) at Saratoga July 31.