West Virginians didn’t gamble as much on sports in December as they did the previous month, but the state’s industry saw a bump in revenue.
Here’s a look at the latest West Virginia sports betting numbers from the West Virginia Lottery.
West Virginia sports betting revenue grows in December
December’s sports betting numbers show a revenue total of $7,076,348.40, ending a two-month decline.
December’s sports betting revenue total was the highest since September, when it sat at $6.97 million. Since then, it’s been on the decline.
In October, the state saw $5.06 million in revenue before that total fell slightly to $5.02 million in November.
Year-to-year revenue and online handle rises
West Virginia’s sports betting revenue in December 2022 showed a $1.93 million jump from December 2021’s $5.15 million mark — a great sign for the industry. Sports bettors gambled more money in December 2022, as well — $657,655.45, to be exact — compared to the same month in 2021.
December 2022’s overall sports betting handle dropped compared to December 2021, though. Last December, bettors gambled roughly $57.6 million, which equates to $4.28 million more than the same month in 2022.
The retail handle plummeted as well, dropping $4.94 million compared to December 2021’s $11.84 million mark.
West Virginia sports betting handle drops in December
The West Virginia Lottery’s latest report shows that the state’s sports betting handle plummeted month-to-month. In December, West Virginians gambled $53,314,188.68 on sports, including online and retail betting options.
That total represents a $16.53 million decline from November’s handle of $69.85 million. November’s handle showed a positive jump from October’s mark.
West Virginia’s casino industry (both in person and online) fell victim to a similar trend in December.
Why did West Virginia’s sports betting handle fall?
There are several reasons bettors aren’t gambling as much money month-to-month.
A limited number of bonus options could be one reason. Customers who are truly locked into sports betting on multiple sportsbooks typically have already exhausted the sign-on bonuses, which often feature free bets and other incentives.
The market matures over time, and as the main sportsbooks continue to dominate, it limits the playing field, in a sense.
The holiday season could play a role as well, with bettors keeping a closer eye on their bankrolls and limiting their disposable income.
Also, the West Virginia University Mountaineers, the main college football program in the state, failed to make a bowl game. While a December bowl isn’t something that would have completely changed the market, it certainly would have given bettors another close-to-home option to gamble on that month.
Granted, while the drop-off month-to-month was somewhat sizeable, it might not be something to lose that much sleep over. Keep an eye on the coming months, as they are some of the sports betting industry’s best for gambling.
The Super Bowl — one of gambling’s megaevents — kicks off in February. March Madness also is right around the corner in, you guessed it, March.
Sports bettors continue to favor online gambling over retail
It’s a national trend, and West Virginia is no exception: Sports bettors prefer to gamble online rather than at retail outlets.
West Virginia residents gambled $46,417,378.07 on their mobile devices in December. That total is nearly $40 million more than the retail handle, which came out to $6,896,810.61.
And just like the handle overall, both online and retail bet totals fell month-to-month. Online sports betting was down roughly $14.39 million from November. Retail betting showed a $2.14 million decline.