Maryland’s Retail Wagering Woes Continue In August

Posted on September 20, 2022

Fall may be on its way, but the summer slumps continue for retail wagering in Maryland.

August betting saw an increase compared to July. However, wagering remains below average in the state overall as eager bettors await the launch of mobile Maryland sports betting.

Maryland sportsbooks announce August numbers

Sportsbooks have now logged less than $20 million in total wagers during four of Maryland’s nine months of retail wagering action.

In August, the state’s six sportsbooks reported a total handle of $18.7 million to Maryland Lottery & Gaming.

The month comes as a 20% uptick from July ($15.5 million). However, it remains the third-lowest month in Maryland’s short sports betting history.

Revenue up, despite lower handle

Even with a low handle, August drew the second-highest hold (17.1%) and third-highest revenue total ($3.2 million) in state history.

Only December 2021, the first month with legalized sports betting, had a better hold (19.2%). January and March were the only months with higher revenues, each with $32 million handles fueled by the NFL playoffs and March Madness.

Maryland taxed its sportsbooks on $3.19 million of August’s income at 15%. That brought $477,840 to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund — 60% more than July’s contribution.

In nine months, sports wagering has contributed over $3.6 million to that fund, and another $496,000 has gone to the Problem Gambling Fund from expired, unclaimed sports wagering prizes.

All-time Maryland sports betting revenue

MonthHandlePrizes PaidRevenueHoldState (Tax)
August$18,650,802$15,418,951$3,185,60117.30%$477,840
July$15,492,757$13,466,210$2,026,54713.10%$298,177
June$19,121,331$17,811,497$1,309,8346.90%$189,323
May$23,095,542$20,018,511$3,077,03113.30%$452,897
April$26,908,845$24,070,344$2,838,50110.50%$415,801
March$31,025,892$27,098,319$3,927,57312.70%$577,019
February$25,526,148$24,570,771$955,3773.70%$134,628
January$32,530,831$28,155,515$4,375,31613.40%$644,098
December 2021$16,552,430$13,382,430$3,170,00019.20%$469,297

A quick look at sports betting by casino

Live! Casino & Hotel once again had the highest handle. Its $13.4 million in wagers was the only eight-figure handle, with a 14.9% hold resulting in nearly $2 million in taxable winnings.

These numbers were good for the top spot statewide in August, edging out MGM National Harbor’s $1.8 million in taxable winnings. That came from a $9.6 million handle, where $7.8 million was paid back to bettors (19.2% hold).

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore was a distant third, reporting $736K in taxable winnings. Its handle of $6.8 million was respectable, but the property’s 11% hold was the lowest in the state in August. Still, its winnings were nearly triple July’s $261,000.

Ocean Downs Casino ($1.99 million) and Hollywood Casino ($2.09 million) saw similar amounts wagered. However, Ocean Downs’ 15.9% hold drew $312,000 in taxable winnings, while Hollywood’s 12.8% hold accounted for $262,000.

Lastly, Bingo World became the new kid on the block on Aug. 1, when the BetRivers Sportsbook opened. It took in just $174,000 in bets but had a 38.5% hold, resulting in $67,000 in taxable winnings.

Come September, PointsBet will add to these totals. Its retail sportsbook at the Riverboat on the Potomac opened on Sept. 9. A limited amount of sports bets were included in August’s report from the casino.

Maryland sports betting revenue by casino

LicenseeHandlePrizes PaidHoldTaxable WinState (Tax)
Live! Casino and Hotel$13,437,016.30$11,431,965.7914.9%$1,971,809.02$295,771.35
MGM National Harbor$9,602,057.67$7,755,330.3019.2%$1,822,722.23$273,408.33
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore$6,847,310.00$6,094,308.0711.0%$735,883.66$110,382.55
Ocean Downs Casino$1,991,344.35$1,674,255.7315.9%$312,155.26$46,823.29
Hollywood Casino Perryville$2,089,780.44$1,821,799.5612.8%$262,769.94$39,415.49
Bingo World$174,911.47$107,500.9138.5%$66,973.28$10,045.99
Riverboat on the Potomac$1,139.00$0.00100%$1,136.15$170.42

Casino revenue nears $170 million in August

While July was the worst sports betting month in Maryland history, casinos logged a record July with $181.5 million in total revenue.

August’s numbers dipped to $169.4 million, still good for the seventh-best month in Maryland’s 10-year casino gaming history.

It was also a 0.5% year-over-year increase and resulted in a $70.9 million contribution to the state, which goes to the state’s Education Trust Fund, horse racing industry, local aid and small-, minority- and women-owned businesses.

As for the largest contributors, MGM topped Live!, unlike in sports betting. From there, the order resembled sports betting figures as Horseshoe was well behind the top two yet far ahead of Ocean Downs, Hollywood and Rocky Gap.

Bring on football season (and mobile betting!)

Maryland’s summer sports betting slump should be a thing of the past with football season now here. Retail wagering went live only last December, so the state remains in uncharted territory.

Nevertheless, online sports betting can’t come quickly enough for Maryland. All signs currently suggest a 2022 launch, but an exact date has not been announced.

Mobile betting will surely be here before the Super Bowl. Once it is, sports betting popularity will rise, creating more opportunities for bettors, sportsbooks and the state.

In the meantime, we look forward to the upcoming sports seasons and the increased betting action each promise to generate.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of legal, safe, and responsible gambling. He feels fortunate to be able to contribute to the growing betting industry through his writing, primarily using his background in poker, sports, and psychology to do so.

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