Bettors win, tax coffers lose in Virginia sportsbooks’ debut

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Sportsbooks actually lost money in Virginia in their January debut taking wagers on athletic events thanks to the aggressive promotions offered to court customers.

As a result, the state collected a paltry $40,000 in taxes.

The Virginia Lottery on Monday released revenue and tax figures for sports gambling from its Jan. 23 launch through the end of the month.

The lottery says $58.9 million was wagered, with $55.3 million in winnings. But an additional $6.3 million in bonuses and promotions was also paid out.

As a result, the sportsbooks lost more than $3 million and the state collected less than $40,000 in taxes.

Lottery officials say they expect the figures to improve significantly in upcoming months as the promotions for new customers fade away.

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