January report

Maryland hits $32M handle in first full-month, almost double from December

Live! Casino's FanDuel Sportsbook placed first for the month.
United States
Reading time 1:57 min

Maryland’s five sportsbooks took in about $32.5 million in retail bets in January, their first full month of sports gaming, according to a report by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA). 

The sportsbooks paid out about $28.1 million in prizes, resulting in a hold rate of $13.4% and $4.3 million. The total taxable win for the state was $4.2 million, once winning payouts and promotional plays are reduced.

Additionally, the Old Line State took in more than $640,000 in sports betting taxes last month, earmarked for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programs. Sports betting is taxed at a 15% rate.

Live! Casino placed first for January handle, reporting $14.4 million in bets, followed by MGM National Harbor, at $10.6 million, while Horseshoe Baltimore Casino made it third at $4.7 million. Hollywood Casino Perryville and Ocean Downs Casino rounded up the top five, with $1.5 million and $1.4 million in wagers respectively.

BetMGM Sportsbook & Lounge at MGM National Harbor

Sports betting went live in the Free State in December, a month in which sportsbooks posted $16.6 million in bets, although given they began operations from Dec. 9 onwards the period didn’t count as a full month. Now, in January, with four full weeks of operations, they almost doubled that handle.

The top five list for December was essentially the same as in January, except for Hollywood Casino Perryville and Oceans Downs Casino, which have now traded places. Combined handle for both months finds Live! Casino as the leader ($21.5 million), followed by MGM National Harbor($16.6 million), Horseshoe Baltimore Casino ($7.3 million), Ocean Downs Casino ($2 million) and Hollywood Casino Perryville ($1.8 million).

Total handle between both months is $49.1 million, with $41.5 million in prizes paid out by sportsbooks, leading to a 15.4% hold. More retail sports gaming facilities are yet to launch in the state, while online sportsbooks are also to go live. Last year, MLGCA Director John Martin said this would likely not happen until at least fall 2022.

Maryland approved to allow up to 60 mobile sportsbook licenses under a state law passed nearly nine months ago. These are to be bid under regulations by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC), which are yet to be adopted.

It is unclear so far when SWARC will establish the regulations. The Commission alleges it is actively working on determining a license application process for the mobile permits, which will ensure women and minority-owned businesses will have a stake in the market under requirements from Maryland’s 2021 sports betting law.

In the meantime, Maryland casinos raked in about $153 million in gaming revenue in January, a nearly 20% increase compared to the same period last year, with roughly 40% of those revenues, about $62 million, contributed to the state’s coffers.