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The Lull Before the Storm for Maryland Sports Betting

| April 28, 2022, 06:00 PM

When it comes to the revenue earned in Maryland from betting on sport, It’s the lull before the storm. Retail sportsbooks are making good progress, but the gambling revenues won’t take off until online sports betting finally arrives in Maryland.

That isn’t expected until later in the year. September is a possibility and that would be a great time to launch online sports betting. Gamblers would be keen to place bets on the new NFL season. 2022 ends with the USA playing in the soccer World Cup, an event any gambler would love to bet on.

It was in December of last year that retail sports betting was launched in Maryland. Casinos had been waiting for the go-ahead and finally it arrived. The hope is that the state will receive $15 million in the first year with revenue of $100 million anticipated.

The tax revenue is one reason why states are so keen on legalizing gambling. They know only too well though that the revenues will be much higher when companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel are allowed to run online sports betting sites in Maryland.

Other states are well ahead of Maryland in terms of handle, revenue earned and tax/jurisdiction revenue for the state. Maryland has gone through the $105 million mark for handle and that has created revenue of $12.2 million and state earnings of $1.82 million.

That’s compared to New York where the handle is over $5 billion with revenue of $361 million and state earnings of $167 million and they only launched in January. New Jersey who legalized sports betting four years ago has seen a handle of over $26 billion and over $222 million state earnings, according to offers.bet

Last month was known in the USA as ‘March Madness.’ It saw gamblers place legal bets at the five retail sportsbooks in Maryland of over $31.5 million. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming figures showed an increase of $6 million on the February results. That March figure is just below the best 2022 result of $32.5 million in January.

All that wagering led to gross gaming revenue in March of $3.9 million. That’s much better than February’s $955,00. In terms of tax revenue received by the state, the month produced $577,019.

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February saw a lack of NFL action once the Super Bowl had taken place, though the NBA is still going strong.  Imagine the betting revenues if the Baltimore Ravens had been playing in the Super Bowl, especially with online betting available. Another reason of course is February is the shortest month of the year with only 28 gambling days available.

January had gone well because of the NFL play-offs. It was the second month of retail sportsbooks in the state. December 2021 had seen revenue of $16.5 million. The first retail sportsbook to open was at the MGM National Harbor on December 9, so the figure recorded was an impressive opening.

In March, Live! Casino had the highest handle with $13.6 million, $258,402 of which went to the state in tax revenue. They held several March Madness events and this proved popular with gamblers. Their sportsbook is in partnership with FanDuel who will expect further expansion in the state when online sports betting does finally become legal.

MGM National Harbor produced a handle of $9.3 million. That put them ahead of the other retail sportsbooks at the Horseshoe Casino, Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino.

More licenses have been given to Riverboat-on-the-Potomac, Long Shot’s, Greenmount Station, and Bingo World but no launch dates have been confirmed.

The figures are going well but everyone knows they can be higher. The arrival of online sports betting is the answer to the problem. Since the landmark US Supreme Court Judge ruling in 2018, a steadily increasing number of US states have legalized betting on sport though it’s taken Maryland a while to do so.

We live in the age of the internet and much improved mobile phone technology. These have contributed to the success of online sports betting. That’s particularly been seen this year in New York. Maryland can only look on with envy at the betting revenues that are being  produced in that state and of course the tax revenue.

Why the delay considering the benefits of online sports betting?  No rules can be set by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission at the time of writing. They won’t be able to do so until a new disparity study is received by them. This looks at areas such as the effort needed to include businesses owned by minorities and women in the gambling industry.

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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