Virginia has been one of the biggest success stories in the US as more jurisdictions open their markets to regulated sports betting, and Gina Smith, Deputy Director of Gaming Compliance at the Virginia Lottery, believes that nationwide wide growth is only set to continue.

Prior to making her appearance on the ‘How lotteries are shaping the future of sports betting’ panel session on the second day of the SBC Summit North America, Smith shared some of her views and insights with SBC.

“It’s been pretty crazy,” she said when quizzed by SBC’s Senior Media Executive, Erin Gallagher, on the performance of Virginia’s sports betting market over the past year.

“We launched last January and we’ve been very successful. We’re one of the first jurisdictions to hit a $1 billion handle, and last month (October) we had a record with over $400 million in handle. We see it growing and everything is going smoothly.

“It’s going to continue to grow and continue to grow at a fast pace, and as regulators we are going to have to keep up with everything.”

The handle referred to by Smith saw the Southeastern state break its sales record for October with a total handle of $427 million to be exact, a substantial increase on the previous record of $304.1 million in March.

Central to the state’s success was the commencement of the National Football League (NFL) – perhaps the most popular sports betting market among American consumers – as well as the beginning of the National Basketball Association (NBA) season and Major League Baseball (MLB) post-season.

In addition to commenting on Virginia’s sports betting progress and the nationwide rollout of the space, Smith also pointed out the benefits for operators, regulators and other stakeholders of attending events such as the SBC Summit North America

“It’s the first sports betting conference that I’ve had the opportunity to go to, so its perfect timing to learn what the industry is doing,” she remarked.

Gina Smith of Virginia Lottery predicts ‘fast pace’ growth for US sports betting in 2022