The amount of tax revenue generated in Virginia from sports betting is suddenly a lot higher than it used to be, according to the latest figures from the Virginia Lottery.
Between June and July, tax revenue from sports betting jumped more than 60%, rising from $1.87 million to $3.06 million.
The increase is due in part to a change in tax policy that was recently approved by state lawmakers.
When sports betting was initially legalized in Virginia, the law allowed betting apps to write off money they spent on promoting free bets in order to attract new customers.
“In other words, the more free bets the companies were offering to grow their business, the less they would have to pay to the state in taxes,” Virginia Mercury reported.
Some lawmakers were not happy with the system, noting that certain betting apps were generating little to no tax revenue.
The Virginia General Assembly ended the “free bet” exemption as part of the new state budget that took effect in July.
According to Virginia Mercury, sports betting companies deducted about $8 million from their June revenues for free-bet promos, but that fell significantly in July to less than half a million.
The sports betting industry argued against the policy change, saying that it could create confusion and limit growth in Virginia.
Maryland raised a record $1.5 billion for the state from gambling revenue in the last fiscal year.
The new all-time Maryland record includes money raised by the lottery, the state’s six casinos, sports betting and fantasy sports wagering. The revenue for the last fiscal year beat the amount raised in the previous one by $120 million. Maryland’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.
The lottery and casinos contributed more than ever before to Maryland. Lottery profits totaled $673.7 million. Casinos contributed $832.3 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.