Shrinking sports betting handle for Maryland in June
Maryland is a major sports betting market. However, sportsbooks are likely to report reduced June numbers due to the sports calendar being heavily reliant on daily baseball since the NBA and NHL ended their playoffs.
This is evidenced in the most recent MD sports betting data. The handle at Maryland’s five retail sportsbooks fell by 17.2% in June compared to May, and sports betting income fell by 58.2%.
Approximately $19.1 million in wagers were placed at the five casinos in Maryland in June as opposed to $23 million in May. This comes as regulators are under increased pressure to take into account internet sports betting. Moreover, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Commission announced that sportsbooks paid out close to $18 million in rewards to bettors.
As a result, the five bookmakers earned a total of $1.3 million from bets made last month alone. This came to more than $1.2 million, minus payouts and other sums, and was subject to a state tax of 15%.
The Pendulum Swings Back
The calendar of North American sports is now in the off-season. We place more bets on the MLB, NFL, and NBA than on other sports — particularly in a retail setting. This made the decline in handle relatively predictable.
Further, the handle for sports betting in Maryland has decreased for the third month in a row, at rates of 17%, 14%, and 16% over the past three months. Although it hasn’t swung as wildly as the number staked, revenue has drastically fallen as well. This is due to differences in margins and hold percentages.
In terms of income (taxable win), the total revenue in June was $1.26 million as opposed to the $3 million in May. Nearly $200,000 ($189,323) of the revenue went towards the Maryland’s Future Fund, which was down 58.2 percent from May ($452,897).
It is important to note that betting in Maryland is significantly higher throughout the NFL and College football seasons. June’s hold percentage was 6.9%. The hold percentage for calculated bets has been 9.98% since retail sports betting was legalized in Maryland back in December.
Live! Leads Again
The following casinos had the highest sports betting handles in June:
- Live! Casino (Hanover) ($8,441,775),
- MGM National Harbor that handled $5,313,145, and paid out nearly $47 million.
- The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore handled $3,234,771, with $23 million paid out.
- The Hollywood Casino Perryville ($1,197,329), paying out $8.6 million.
- Finally, the Ocean Downs Casino handled $934,312, and paid out $6.3 million.
Although four smaller companies have received retail sports gambling licenses, they have not yet accepted bets, as they are still in the final stages of launching their sportsbooks in Maryland.
Of note, the sportsbooks have processed about $175 million, paying out $155 million since sports betting commenced in Maryland. That nets to nearly $2.9 million for Maryland’s Future Fund Blueprint.
Questions Around Maryland’s Online Sports Betting Market
MD is still working to establish an approval procedure for online mobile sports betting apps in Maryland to place bets on sporting events. The legislators are still debating the issue. Draft petitions and regulations for sports betting were published by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission. Nonetheless, the commission is yet to meet to examine and vote on the drafts.
Gov. Larry Hogan keeps pushing for mobile betting
In his statement, Gov. Larry Hogan has clarified he wants to see that football betting in Maryland is the introduction of online sports betting, which is by the start of the football season in September. However, it is more possible that this won’t happen until the end of the year or perhaps until some time in 2023.
Only 5 of the 17 license holders designated as lawful are currently operating throughout the state. This indicates that the retail rollout of sports betting in Maryland has continued to be slow.
By the start of the NFL on September 8th, Gov. Larry Hogan has appealed to the Review Commission to permit mobile sports betting. Hogan also stated that he believed the 17 businesses that had received retail licenses should be given preference when applying for a mobile sports betting license.
Thomas Brandt, the chair of the Commission, previously hinted that applications might start to come in by the end of the summer. There is still a risk that if the lawmakers wait too long, the state could miss the opening of the NFL betting season in Maryland, which is one of the biggest weekends in American sports in terms of handle and income.
Although it doesn’t seem that the path to more widespread sports betting in the state is now clear, the acceptance of the draft regulations, the draft requests for online sports betting, and some “Class B” permits for retail sports gambling facilities could be the first step in that direction.
We hope that the Review Commission will permit on-the-go wagering before the NFL season kicks off. These are possible sportsbooks that we might see in Maryland when time comes: