Big Retail Sportsbook Fuels Maryland Sports Betting Growth

Written By Pat Evans on February 15, 2022
Maryland sports betting

While online Maryland sports betting is likely months from launching, retail sportsbooks are off and running in the state.

Maryland sportsbooks took $32.5 million in bets during January, the first full month of retail sportsbook operations in the state. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency released its January sports betting revenue report last week.

The first sportsbook in the state opened Dec. 9, 2021, with four others opening up throughout the month. Maryland bettors wagered $16.5 million in December 2021.

MD sports betting revenue creeps up

Maryland’s five retail sportsbooks generated nearly $4.4 million in revenue, a 13.4% hold. That revenue figure is a 37.5% increase from December’s $3.2 million, a 19.2% hold.

The state collected $644,098 in taxes from January’s revenue, up 37.2% from December’s $469,297.

Big retail sports betting haul

Two sportsbooks are emerging as retail darlings in Maryland.

Live! Casino and its FanDuel Sportsbook continue to establish themselves as a sports betting destination, taking almost $14.4 million in bets. That handle likely puts it among the top five retail sportsbooks in the country.

MGM National Harbor, the first sportsbook open in Maryland, handled $10.6 million in January bets. The other three sportsbooks in the state combined to take approximately $7.6 million in bets.

SportsbookHandleHoldTaxable Revenue
Live! Casino$14.4 million9.9%$1.4 million
MGM National Harbor$10.6 million15.6%$1.6 million
Horseshoe$4.7 million17.8%$824,167
Ocean Downs Casino$1.4 million17.8%$247,661
Hollywood Casino$1.5 million13.9%$206,340

Unknowns for Maryland mobile sports betting

With 17 retail licenses allocated in MD sports betting legislation, the MLGCA release said, “additional facilities are expected to open in the near future.”

There are also up to 30 additional retail licenses and 60 mobile licenses available. How regulators distribute those licenses, however, is up in the air.

In the past, MLGCA Director John Martin said mobile sports betting will not launch until later this year.

Maryland SWARC meets next week

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission meets Wednesday, so more clarity on the future of mobile could emerge. The SWARC must establish the regulations and standards for how to award the competitive licenses.

The commission could discuss a survey it released last month asking stakeholders to weigh in on the issuance of mobile licenses. The survey is due Friday.

The SWARC could also hear an update on a new disparity study, as Assistant Attorney General David Stamper told commissioners last month he hoped to have a contract finalized for the study.

“We can’t take action until the disparity study is finished. This is a fruitful way to use the time to make our commission more informed,” SWARC Chair Thomas Brandt said of the informational survey release.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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