Citing a “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 it launched 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 was tremendous pent up demand,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a statement. “And a lot of people are utilizing promotional offers from multiple operators simultaneously. 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 handle between both online and retail sports betting. The state has seven mobile sportsbooks online and nine retail sportsbooks.
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Online Sports Betting Dwarfs Retail Figures in Maryland
Of the more than $219 million in total handle from Maryland sports betting in November, 84.9% was generated via mobile sports betting apps. The remainder was recorded via the retail sports betting locations in the state, according to data from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission.
November 2023 Total Handle from Sports Betting
- Mobile: $186,084,496
- Retail: $32,986,878
The more than $186 million in sports bets accepted via online sports betting apps includes $63,835,319 from promotional wagers. That total stems from either free bets or deposit matches awarded by sportsbooks to new Maryland customers.
In the first full fiscal year of sports betting in Maryland, there is no limit on how much promotional play the operators can hand out to entice new customers. But after that, state law limits promotional play to 20% of a sportsbook’s taxable win from the prior year.
Total Handle by Sportsbook, November 2022
- 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 U.S., where 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting, FanDuel and DraftKings are the leading sportsbooks by total handle in most jurisdictions.
In the near future two more online operators are expected to join the market. On Dec. 1, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Commission announced that Bally’s and WynnBet had qualified to become mobile sports betting operators. The next step is for licenses to be granted, which could come this month.
Sports Betting Taxes Contribute 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 the end of November 2022, and since December 2021 when retail sports betting was 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 has been paid into Maryland’s Problem Gambling Fund. That budget is used for resources to assist 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 wager on the college bowl 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 large events are sure to keep sports betting rolling in Maryland. In early January, the College Football Playoff will hold its national championship. The NFL Playoffs begin on Jan. 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-bet sports event in North America, as it always is. Only a few weeks later, in March, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, another massively popular sports betting event in the United States, will commence.
Now that Maryland is entering a second month with online sports betting, the next state slated to join the market is Ohio, which will launch both online and retail on Jan. 1, 2023.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)