The Calm Before the Storm for Maryland Sports Betting

When it comes to sports betting revenue in Maryland, it’s the lull before the storm. Retail sports betting is doing well, but gambling revenue won’t take off until online sports betting finally arrives in Maryland.

It’s not expected before the end of the year. September is a possibility and it would be the perfect time to launch online sports betting. Players would be keen to place bets on the new NFL season. 2022 ends with the participation of the United States in the FIFA World Cup, an event that any player would like to bet on.

It was December of last year that retail sports betting was launched in Maryland. The casinos were waiting for the green light and finally it happened. The hope is that the state will receive $15 million in the first year with revenues of $100 million projected.

Tax revenue is one of the reasons states are so keen on legalizing gambling. They know only too well, however, that revenues will be much higher when companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to run online sports betting sites in Maryland.

Other states are well ahead of Maryland in terms of handful, earned income, and tax/jurisdictional revenue for the state. Maryland passed the $105 million mark for the handle, which generated revenue of $12.2 million and state revenue of $1.82 million.

This is compared to New York where the handle is over $5 billion with revenue of $361 million and state revenue of $167 million and they only launched in January. New Jersey, which legalized sports betting four years ago, saw a handful of more than $26 billion and more than $222 million in state revenue, according to deals.bet

Last month was known in the United States as “March Madness”. It has seen players place legal bets at Maryland’s five retail sportsbooks for more than $31.5 million. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming numbers showed a $6 million increase from February results. This March figure is just below the best result of 2022 of $32.5 million in January.

All of these bets generated gross gaming revenue in March of $3.9 million. That’s way better than February’s $955.00. In terms of tax revenue collected by the state, the month produced $577,019.

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February saw a lack of action in the NFL once the Super Bowl took place, although the NBA was still going strong. Imagine the betting revenue if the Baltimore Ravens had played in the Super Bowl, especially with online betting available. Another reason is of course that February is the shortest month of the year with only 28 game days available.

January had gone well thanks to the NFL play-offs. It was the second month of retail sports betting in the state. December 2021 had recorded revenues of $16.5 million. The first retail sports betting site to open was at MGM National Harbor on December 9, so the number recorded was an impressive opening.

In March, live! Casino had the highest handle with $13.6 million, of which $258,402 went to the state in tax revenue. They held several March Madness events and it proved popular with gamers. Their sportsbook is in partnership with FanDuel which expects further expansion in the state when online sports betting finally becomes legal.

MGM National Harbor produced a handful of $9.3 million. This puts them ahead of other retail sportsbooks at Horseshoe Casino, Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino.

Other licenses have been granted to Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, Long Shot’s, Greenmount Station and Bingo World, but no launch date has been confirmed.

The numbers are going well, but everyone knows they could be higher. The arrival of online sports betting is the answer to the problem. Since the US Supreme Court Justice’s landmark decision in 2018, a growing number of US states have legalized sports betting, although it took Maryland a while to do so.

We live in the age of the internet and much improved mobile phone technology. These have contributed to the success of online sports betting. This was particularly evident this year in New York. Maryland can only look with envy at the betting revenue generated in that state and of course the tax revenue.

Why this delay given the advantages of online sports betting? No rules can be made by the Sports Betting Application Review Board at the time of writing. They will not be able to do that until they receive a new study on the disparities. This examines areas such as the effort needed to include minority and women-owned businesses in the gaming industry.

Category: Local News, NEWS

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