Maryland Sports Betting Nearly Doubles in January at Five Retail Sportsbooks

Maryland Sports Betting Nearly Doubles in January at Five Retail Sportsbooks
By Bill Ordine

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan made the first bet in the state at the BetMGM Sportsbook in MGM National Harbor on Dec. 9.

Maryland retail sports betting gained traction in January, the first month when all five sportsbooks that are taking bets enjoyed a full month of operations.

Statewide, the January sports betting handle was a little over $32.5 million, an increase of 96.5% from December (about $16.6 million). Retail sports betting launched in Maryland on Dec. 9, but the five casinos that are now accepting wagers started at different times.

Three casino sportsbooks went live in the same week — MGM National Harbor on Dec. 9, followed by Live! Casino & Hotel (Dec. 10) and Baltimore Horseshoe Casino (Dec. 10). Ocean Downs Casino (Dec. 17); and Hollywood Casino (Dec. 23) opened later in the month.

Online Maryland sports betting is legal but it hasn’t started yet with regulatory and application processes still unfolding.

Maryland Lottery & Gaming Director John Martin told BetMaryland.com that he’s targeting the NFL season for the start of online sports betting in the state.

Maryland Sports Betting, Jan. vs. Dec.

Total HandleRevenue State tax
January$32.531M$4.294M$0.644M
December$16.552M$3.129M$0.469M
Change Up 96.5% Up 37.2% Up 37.2%

Note: Maryland retail sports betting launched Dec. 9, 2021. January was the first full month. Mobile sports betting has not launched in the state.

More January Retail Details

In retail sports betting, the revenue (taxable win) In January was nearly $4.3 million (up 37.2% from December) and that yielded $644,098 in taxes to the state (also up 37.2% from December).

Among the casinos with sportsbooks, Live! Casino & Hotel was the handle leader with about $14.4 million, followed by MGM National Harbor (about $10.6), Horseshoe Casino Baltimore (about $4.7 million), Hollywood Casino (about $1.5 million), and Ocean Downs Casino (about $1.4 million).

Three smaller-business OTBs around the state are licensed for retail sports betting but have yet to take the remaining steps to start accepting wagers. On Dec. 20, Greenmount Station, an OTB in Hampstead, south of the Maryland-Pennsylvania state line in Carroll County, was the latest to receive state approval.

Casinos Still Rake it In

There are no real money online casino options in Maryland. The state has not legalized online casinos.

But the six Maryland bricks-and-mortar casinos in January posted a combined $153.75 million in revenue. That was an increase of 19.4% from January 2021 when casinos still faced COVID-19 capacity restrictions.

Big Betting Opportunities Ahead

Maryland bettors this month will be able to legally bet on the Super Bowl for the first time at the state’s retail sportsbooks. Sunday’s game could see a handle of $1 billion nationally as more states have started taking legal wagers.

Soon following the NFL’s biggest game will be college basketball conference tournaments and March Madness, another huge betting opportunity.

And if Major League Baseball can get its labor situation worked out, spring training games for the Baltimore Orioles are scheduled to begin Feb. 26. The regular-season opener at Camden Yards is March 31 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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