Big opening week for Maryland online sports betting
Maryland mobile sports betting came out hotter than a blue crab from a seafood boil.
In just one week of full operation, the Old Line State reported $186.08 million in online sports betting handle, which resulted in just $4,262 in online sports betting taxes for the state (we’ll get to this in a minute), according to a report from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA).
In total, the MLGCA reported $219.07 million in total sports betting handle for the month of November, which resulted $704,728 in taxes for the state.
Fast start for Maryland online sports betting
A tremendous amount of promotional wagers during the first nine days of online sports betting led to the miniscule online sports betting tax total.
According to the MLGCA, state bettors utilized more than $63.8 million in promotional bets, which must be deducted from the state’s overall taxable win. Promo bets are typically provided to customers by sportsbook upon sign up.
Maryland’s sports betting tax rate is set at 15% of the adjusted gross gaming revenue.
“We expect mobile sportsbook operators to continue to offer a lot of promotional wagers in the coming months as they venture into a new market and work to attract customers,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin in a released statement. “There was tremendous pent up demand, and a lot of people are utilizing promotional offers from multiple operators simultaneously. But as many of the operators have acknowledged, this level of promotional play is not sustainable, and based on our regulations, it will be curtailed over time.”
Maryland’s sports betting law does not limit the amount of promotional play offered by sportsbooks, but after the first full fiscal year the regulation requires that sportsbook’s promotional play may not exceed 20% of its taxable win from the previous year.
Deducting promotional play has an impact on the state’s bottom line, Martin said, which is why the cap is such an important part of the sports betting law.
“It protects the state’s interests and ensures that sports wagering will generate revenue for education, as intended. By awarding large amounts of promotional play in their first fiscal year, the sportsbooks’ promo play amounts will be limited in their second year,” he said.
November online operator totals
Ten online sports betting operators were given the go-ahead from the MLGCA to launch on Wednesday, Nov. 23, after more than two years of discussion and planning. While ten operators were given the green light, only seven actually launched on the date. BetFanatics, BetFred, and Parx Interactive were not ready to launch on the date.
Here are the online sports betting handle totals for the seven live operators:
- FanDuel Sportsbook: $89.9 million
- DraftKings Sportsbook: $69.6 million
- BetMGM: $15.07 million
- Barstool Sportsbook: $5.7 million
- Caesars Sportsbook: $3.46 million
- PointsBet: $1.6 million
- Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers): $631,175
The MLGCA also recently found both Bally Bet and WynnBET to be qualified to hold Maryland online sports betting licenses. The online sports betting operators must first have their licenses approved by the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) and undergo regulatory testing before launching in the state. Neither operator currently has any ties to retail sports betting facilities in the state.
By the 2023 NFL season, Maryland Lottery Director John Martin said he expects up to 21 online sports betting operators and between 15 to 20 retail operators to be live in the state.