Is Maryland the Next Big Mobile Sports Betting Market?

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Virginia is the only mid-Atlantic state outside the northeast that ranks near the top of the US sports betting market. Only New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and powerhouse New York have ranked higher in revenue since Old Dominion launched in 2021.

That could change, now that Maryland mobile sports betting is live. 

Maryland had 16.5 million betting transactions from its seven-operator mobile sportsbook launch from Nov. 23 through Nov. 27, according to geolocation firm GeoComply. That is nearly double the Thanksgiving weekend mobile betting traffic in neighboring Virginia.

Even second-ranked US mobile sports betting market New Jersey is feeling Maryland’s pressure. According to GeoComply, New Jersey had 17.1 million mobile betting transactions over the holiday weekend — only slightly more than the Old Line State. 

No revenue figures from the Thanksgiving weekend launch are yet available from Maryland gaming regulators. But GeoComply’s initial data indicates Maryland could see excellent mobile sports betting revenue numbers in the first quarter of next year.

It also shows the US mobile sports betting market continues to grow, four years after the nation’s first online sportsbooks went live. 

Sports Betting Revenue Still Strong, Growing

Sports betting is now live in more than 30 states, with mobile sports betting live and legal in 22 states and Washington, DC. Maryland is the latest to launch. Massachusetts will launch retail in January and mobile sportsbooks in March. 

But just how much money is being made from sports betting overall? A lot – and most of it from legal mobile sportsbooks.

According to the American Gaming Association, sports betting revenue has hit a record $4.78 billion so far in 2022. Much of that revenue came in the third quarter of 2022, when overall sports betting revenue rose 80.6 percent year-over-year to hit a quarterly record of $1.68 billion. 

Of that revenue, Gaming Today reports about 70 percent comes from mobile sports betting.

At least 90 percent of all sports betting in New York is happening online, according to revenue tracking from Gaming Today. The Empire State ranks first in sports betting revenue nationally after launching mobile in January 2022. According to the AGA, New York is also among 16 states reporting quarterly records in overall commercial gaming revenue last quarter. 

For New York – which has yet to legalize iGaming and is behind both Pennsylvania ($1.3 billion) and New Jersey ($1.4 billion) in overall gaming revenue in the third quarter of 2022– mobile sportsbooks have been a boon.

Overall commercial gaming revenue rose 40.3 percent in New York year-over-year to reach $1.06 billion in the third quarter. Of that $1.06 billion in third-quarter revenue, $316.2 million was generated by mobile sports betting, according to revenue reports from the New York State Gaming Commission.  

What Does It Mean for Maryland?

What does this all mean for Maryland? It’s good news. Growth in commercial gaming overall and in mobile sports betting revenue specifically shows that bettors enjoy the options they have and, in some states, are clamoring for more. 

According to the AGA, Americans bet $15.99 billion on sports in the third quarter of 2022, up 40.9 percent over the third quarter in 2021. That betting was fueled by existing growth in 15 of 20 states, seven new markets, and mobile sports betting in New York (which has had legal retail sports betting since 2019). 

Maryland’s mobile sports betting handle is expected to grow throughout the 2022 NFL regular season as more fans and sportsbooks come online. There are seven sportsbooks live in Maryland now, with three more (Fanatics via its partnership with the Washington Commanders, betParx, and Betfred) to launch soon.

More Maryland sportsbooks are likely to be online before the Super Bowl – the single biggest US sports betting event in any year – on Feb. 12. That means Maryland residents will be able to get in on some of the top Maryland sportsbook bonuses.

All 21 mobile sportsbooks that applied for up to 60 mobile licenses authorized under Maryland’s sports betting law will eventually launch sometime next year, Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said at a Nov. 22 press conference ahead of the state’s Thanksgiving holiday launch.

“We anticipate that in late spring, early summer of 2023, prior to the kick-off of the next football season, the Maryland market will include up to 21 mobile entries and 15 and 20 facility licenses,” he said. 

That should create more opportunities for revenue growth in the mid-Atlantic, and beyond.

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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