Whenever advocates for legal, regulated gambling press their case for initiating or expanding gaming in a jurisdiction, the key argument is often the potential money that can be raised to finance public-good activities and lessen taxpayer burdens.
In the case of Maryland, initiating or expanding gambling often has to go through the voters in a referendum. And each time that has happened during the 21st century - first for slots, then for table games and an additional casino, and most recently, for Maryland sports betting - Marylanders have given a thumbs-up.
Financial reports issued by the state illustrate the monetary benefits to the state, and they have been considerable.
For Fiscal Year 2022, which covers July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022, the state has realized $1.511 billion in contributions from a variety of gambling activities.
Where Is the Maryland Money Going?
A fair amount of that money has gone to education, public health and public safety, but it also flows to local jurisdictions, to small, minority- and women-owned businesses, and even to the state’s horse racing industry that not so long ago was in grave jeopardy.
The largest share of the tax money for FY2022 came from the six Maryland casinos Together, they provided $832.3 million to the state, or about 55%, of all the tax money raised by all forms of gambling.
The next largest contributor was the Maryland Lottery, meaning the range of lottery contests from $1 scratch-offs to the high-profile contests such as Mega Millions and Powerball. Altogether, lottery sales generated $673.7 million in profit to the state. Scratch-offs were the largest contributor with $160.2 million.
Sports Betting Proceeds Kick In
During the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the state’s sports wagering industry was just getting some traction and only retail, meaning in-person, sports betting was available, mostly at casinos.
So, in FY2022, sports gambling raised a relatively modest $2.9 million in contributions to the state on handle of $174.76 million. However, sports gambling numbers are expected to increase substantially once the financial impact of mobile sports wagering and Maryland betting apps, which debuted in the state Nov. 23, 2022, is realized. Looking ahead, Maryland Lottery officials expect sports betting tax collections to be in the range of $25 million to $30 million once the online sports wagering market matures.
As an aside regarding sports gambling, expired sports wagering prizes that are not collected by the winners are contributed to the state’s Problem Gambling Fund. In FY2022, sports gambling prizes totaling $132,415 went uncollected by winners.
Still another gaming activity available to state residents is daily fantasy sports contests. In FY2022, those contests contributed $2.56 million in taxes to the state.
Let’s Look at Casinos
Looking more closely at commercial gambling operators, two casinos, MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino and Hotel, led the way.
During FY2022, MGM National Harbor contributed $331.8 million to the state on revenue of $823.1 million. Live! Casino & Hotel contributed $295 million to the state on revenue of $714 million.
Among the other four casinos for FY2022: Horseshoe Baltimore contributed $88.4 million to the state on revenue of $211.2 million; Hollywood Casino Perryville contributed $51 million on revenue of $92.9 million; Ocean Downs Casino contributed $41.5 million on revenue of $95 million, and Rocky Gap Casino contributed $24.6 million on revenue of $65.6 million.
In the aggregate, 30.5% (or $611.6 million) of the casinos’ contribution to the state went to the Education Trust Fund.
For FY2022, both the total casino revenue of $2.002 billion, and the casino contribution to the state of $832.3 million were records for Maryland.
BetMaryland.com will closely monitor the state’s sports betting handle and revenue as well as provide Maryland sportsbook promos.