Maryland Sports Betting Revenue Up Sharply in January As Handle Dips

Maryland Sports Betting Revenue Up Sharply in January As Handle Dips
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

In the second full month of Maryland online sports betting , the mobile sportsbooks reined in their free-bet play considerably, and that led to a substantial jump in both taxable revenues and in tax collections.

In January, free promotional wagers at online Maryland sportsbook apps were almost $21.8 million. While that sounds like a lot, it was far below the nearly $71 million in free promotional wagers operators gave to customers in December, the first full opening month for statewide mobile wagers.

Mobile sports wagering launched in Maryland on Nov. 23.

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Maryland Sports Betting, January vs. December

Total HandleMobile handle Revenue
January$441.482M$422.658M$14.097M
December$497.122M $478.270M$2.934M
Change Down 11.1% Down 11.6% Up 380.5%

Note: Maryland mobile sports betting began Nov. 23, 2022. Retail sports betting launched Dec. 9, 2021.


How Free Play Deductions Work

Since operators deduct the free play amounts from their taxable win to arrive at the actual tax owed, the decrease in free promotional wagers meant a higher taxable win and, as a result, more money to the state. The tax rate is 15% of the taxable win.

The Maryland sports betting total sports betting handle in January was about $441.48 million, which was down 11.1% from December ($497.12 million).

By itself, the mobile sports betting handle was about $422.66 million (which included the $21.8 million in promotional free bets). That meant that online wagers accounted for almost 96% of all the sports betting in Maryland for the month. The rest of the handle, about $18.8 million, came from retail betting at the state’s casinos and other in-person sportsbooks. Retail handle was flat compared to the December Maryland betting revenue report.

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Maryland Taxable Win Amount Skyrockets

With less money going toward promotional free play in the online wagering, the January total taxable win (mobile and retail combined) was about $14 million compared to December’s $2.9 million. And the sports betting tax collections in January were $2.11 million compared to just $440,043 in December, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission.

To be fair, online sportsbook operators opening up in states around country have typically introduced themselves with generous promotions and bonuses.

Like with Maryland sportsbook promotions, these offers have been designed to jumpstart operations for sports betting companies and attract new customers.

Online MD Sportsbook Breakdown January

The January Maryland mobile sports betting handle by operator: Live! Casino Mobile (in partnership with FanDuel Maryland Sportsbook) $208,878,840; DraftKings/Crown MD, $131,928,610; BetMGM, $40,718,831; Caesars, $19,959,874; Hollywood Casino Mobile, $12,588,040; Riverboat on the Potomac Mobile, $5,798,554, and BingoWorld/Arundel Amusements, $2,785,204. 

An eighth mobile operator Betfred, aligned with Long Shot’s in Frederick, has now launched.

The BetFred Maryland Sportsbook license was granted on Thursday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission.

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Retail Sports Betting Analysis

January’s Maryland retail sports betting handle by casino: MGM National Harbor, $7,310,729; Live! Casino (Hanover), $6,055,422; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, $2,120,476; Ocean Downs Casino (Berlin), $1,219,824, and Hollywood Casino Perryville, $944,477.

Retail handle at other facilities: BingoWorld, $519,201, Long Shot’s $202,743, Greenmount OTB, $185,353, Riverboat on the Potomac, $124,993.

Looking at individual online operators, two of them – Live!, aligned with FanDuel, and DraftKings Maryland Sportsbook – accounted for about 80% of the all the money wagered online in Maryland in January.

The hold at the state’s retail sportsbooks was 8.3% and at the mobile sportsbooks it was 13.7%, for a blended hold statewide of 13.5%.

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Author

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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