Maryland sports betting rallied in March with the state’s five retail sportsbooks recording a little more than $31 million in handle. That was an increase of 21.5% from February ($25.5 million).
Online sports wagering also has been legalized in Maryland but it isn’t expected to launch until at least the 2022 NFL season.
While there was a healthy increase in Maryland’s retail sports betting handle in March, it was in revenue where there was an extraordinary spike.
Revenue in March was close to $3.85 million and that was up 330.4% from February (about $894,000). To put that improvement into context, revenues in sports wagering were down in February for most sportsbook operators in America. But the NCAA Basketball Tournament appears to have driven handle and revenues substantially upward for March.
In Maryland, the jump in revenue resulted in a corresponding increase in tax revenues for March. Tax collections from sports betting were $577,019, up 328.7% from February ($134,628).
Maryland Sports Betting, March vs. February
|Total Handle||Revenue||State tax|
|Change||Up 21.5%||Up 330.4%||Up 328.7%|
Note: Maryland retail sports betting launched Dec. 9, 2021. January was the first full month. Mobile sports betting has not yet launched in Maryland.
Live! Leads the Way
So far, Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover has had the top sportsbook in terms of handle, and led Maryland again with $13.6 million in bets for March. The others were: MGM National Harbor (Oxon Hill), $9.3 million; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, $4.7 million; Hollywood Casino Perryville, $2.15 million, and Ocean Downs Casino (Berlin), $1.26 million.
Four more retail outlets have been awarded licenses but haven’t completed the final steps to start taking bets — The Riverboat on the Potomac (moored at Colonial Beach, Virginia, but floating in Maryland waters); Long Shot’s in Frederick; Greenmount OTB in Hampstead; and Bingo World in Anne Arundel County.
Maryland retail sports betting launched Dec. 9, 2021.
Casinos Still Rule in Maryland
The state’s six casinos had $170.6 million in March gaming revenue, up 4.7% from February (nearly $163 million). The state record of $180.1 million in casino revenue for a single month was set in July 2021.
Those figures, which came out last week, are all in-person as Maryland has not legalized real money online casinos.
Five of the casinos in Maryland have retail sports betting — Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County does not offer sports betting yet.