The presence of NFL and college football returning to primetime was immediately felt by the sports betting in Maryland, and in many other states, as evidenced by September’s largest handle of the year.
Promos Boost Handle
It was a perfect storm of generous promotions by the mobile sportsbooks combined with the long-anticipated return of football that sparked a deluge of sports betting throughout Maryland. The Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported a handle of $442.5 million, yielding $45.6 million in gross revenue for sports wagering in September. It was a record handle for this year with $24 million in promotional credits lavished upon the betting public during the month.
The bonuses and promos certainly helped enhance sports betting activity but the $24 million the sportsbooks credited during the month was a distant second to December’s $71 million in credits that Maryland’s digital sportsbooks heaped upon customers, the state’s second month of online sports betting.
But of the dozen online books operating in the Old Line State, four of them- DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Fanatics Sportsbook – issued the vast majority of the credits while the remaining eight accounted for just $1.4 million of the $24 million in combined bonuses with DraftKings pacing the field with $8 million.
After the deductions for the bonuses as well as $960,000 in other write-offs, the adjusted gross income was $21.5 million of which the state received $3.2 million, swelling the tax coffers to over $30 million on sports betting receipts alone this year.
One of the more impressive aspects of sports betting in Maryland has been the double-digit hold, or win rate, by the bookmakers. In September, Maryland bookmakers’ average hold was 10.3% which was the 10th time in the 11 months mobile betting has been available that double digits were reached.
Breaking It Down
The mobile sportsbooks reigned yet again, taking in over 95% of the wagers with the state’s 13 retail operators accepting $21.5 million of the over $440 million in wagers for the month.
Below are the analytical breakdowns for the major categories:
|Handle||Prizes||Hold||Taxable Win||Sports Wagering Tax|
|Mobile||$420,957,789 (including $23,953,299 in free promotional wagers)||$337,945,774||$43,012,015 (10.2%)||$19,257,119||$2,888,568|
|Retail||$21,492,877 (including $29,190 in free promotional wagers)||$18,928,968||$2,563,908 (11.9%)||$2,285,730||$342,859|
The state’s Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, a financial vehicle to assist underprivileged students and schools in marginalized communities, has been the chief beneficiary of the tax dollars rolling into the state, courtesy of the sports betting proceeds.
Since the inception of retail sports betting in 2021 followed by the November 2022 launch of mobile sports, the fund has swelled by over $37 million while nearly $2.6 million has been earmarked for the state’s Problem Gambling Fund through uncollected and expired prizes.