Big Early Handle for Maryland Mobile Sports Betting
Citing “tremendous pent-up demand,” the state of Maryland announced this week that in the first nine days of legal online sports betting in the state, more than $186 million was wagered.
Since launching on Nov. 23, and including a test phase on Nov. 21, mobile sports betting in Maryland has generated $704,728 in taxes for the state in just the first nine days. Promotional offers are also seen as a reason for this early success.
“There has been tremendous pent-up demand,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a statement. “And many people use promotional offers from several operators at the same time. But as many of the operators have acknowledged, this level of promotional play is not sustainable, and based on our regulations, it will be curtailed over time.”
In November, Maryland reported $219,071,374 in total handling between both online and retail sports betting. The state has seven online mobile sportsbooks and nine retail sportsbooks.
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Online sports betting dwarfs retail figures in Maryland
Of the more than $219 million in total handling of Maryland sports betting in November, 84.9% was generated by mobile sports betting. The rest were scored via the state’s retail sportsbooks, according to data from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
November 2023 Total Handling of Sports Betting
- Mobile: $186,084,496
- Retail: $32,986,878
The more than $186 million in sports bets accepted by online sportsbooks includes $63,835,319 from promotional bets. The total stems from either free bets or deposit matches awarded to new Maryland customers by sportsbooks.
In the first full fiscal year of sports betting in Maryland, there is no limit to how much promotional play the operators can hand out to attract new customers. But after that, state law limits promotional play to 20% of a sportsbook’s taxable winnings from the previous year.
Totals handled by Sportsbook, November 2022
The sportsbooks operating online in Maryland include BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, PointsBet and BetRivers. FanDuel led the way in the first nine days of the Maryland market:
- FanDuel Maryland: $89.9 million
- DraftKings Maryland: $69.9 million
- BetMGM Maryland: $15.0 million
- Barstool Maryland: $5.7 million
- Caesars Maryland: $3.4 million
- PointsBet Maryland: $1.6 million
- BetRivers Maryland: $631,000
Throughout the US, where 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting, FanDuel and DraftKings are the leading sportsbooks in most jurisdictions.
In the near future, two more online operators are expected to join the market. On December 1, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission announced that Bally’s and WynnBet qualified to become mobile sports betting operators. The next step is for licenses to be granted, which could come this month.
Sports betting tax contributes to Future Fund for Education
By law, most of the 15% tax levied on sportsbooks is allocated to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. As of late November 2022, and since December 2021 when retail sports betting opened in the state, $6,129,760 has been contributed to the fund, which is earmarked for Maryland’s early childhood and public schools.
In addition, $1,043,521 was paid into Maryland’s problem gambling fund. That budget is used for resources to help those in the state who may have a gambling addiction, such as a toll-free phone line (1-800-GAMBLER) and self-exclusion list.
Early 2023 promises many popular sporting events for bettors
In December over the final weeks of 2022, sports fans can bet on the college ball season, as well as the NBA, NHL, college basketball, UFC/MMA and other sports. The most popular betting activity is the NFL.
In early 2023, several major events are sure to keep Maryland sports betting going. In early January, the College Football Playoff holds its national championship. The NFL playoffs begin on January 14, 2023 with wild card round games. The NBA and NHL seasons will also be active, as well as increasing interest in NCAA basketball.
In February, Super Bowl 2023 will be the most-betted sporting event in North America, as it always is. Just a few weeks later, in March, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, another extremely popular sports betting event in the United States, will begin.
Now that Maryland is entering a second month of online sports betting, Ohio is the next state slated to join the market, which will launch both online and retail on January 1, 2023.
update: Protecting students high on Ohio gambling regulators’ priority list
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)