Maryland sportsbooks combined to bring in just over $19.1 million in total handle in the month of June, Maryland Lottery & Gaming reported Monday.
It was the first time the total handle didn’t eclipse $20 million in a full month since launching retail sports betting in the Old Line State in December 2021. Of the $19,121,331 wagered, $17,811,497 was returned to Maryland bettors in prizes. This resulted in a nearly $1.3 million (6.9%) hold for the state’s sportsbooks.
Nearly all of that was taxable, and as such, 15% of that total ($189,323) was contributed to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. This fund supports public education programs across the state.
With the June numbers added, the Fiscal Year 2022 officially wraps up, despite Maryland only having seven months of sports betting to work with. Since December, the state has seen over $174.7 million in wagers placed, holding on to 11.2% of that. Nearly $3 million has been contributed to the state.
How the numbers fare
Five Maryland casinos have sports betting facilities on-site. While June’s combined handle is the lowest full-month mark in the state’s short history of in-person sports wagering, it shouldn’t be all that surprising as multiple major sports leagues have concluded, or close to it, for the summer.
|Month||Handle||Prizes Paid||Revenue||Hold||State Contribution (Tax)|
Of these seven months, January and March’s totals were aided by the NFL playoffs and March Madness. January and March were also two of the most profitable months for Maryland sportsbooks. January’s 13.4% hold generated more than $4.3 million in pre-tax revenue. March’s 12.7% hold fell just shy of $4 million.
Despite the lower handle, June was a good month for Maryland sports bettors. Sportsbooks held on to 6.9% of all wagers placed last month, the second-lowest mark since in-person sports betting became legal in the state. Only February’s 3.7% hold was lower.
For reference, the combined hold percentage in Fiscal Year 2022 sits at 11.2%. December 2021 was the best month for sportsbooks percentage-wise, as a 19.2% hold generated $3.17 million in revenue despite a handle of just $16.5 million.
Live! stays on top, Horseshoe has highest hold
Live! Casino & Hotel was once again the busiest sportsbook by a decent bit. Its $8.4 million handle accounted for nearly half of the action in the entire state. The next-closest competitor was MGM National Harbor at $5.3 million.
Live! also experienced a 9% hold. This generated $741,116 of the state’s total $1,262,155 in taxable winnings for the month. Meanwhile, after finishing at 11.4% last month, MGM’s hold dropped to nearly zero in June at 0.4%. This resulted in taxable winnings of just over $6,000.
After Ocean Downs Casino boasted the highest hold in May, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore finished with the highest mark in June with an 11.9% hold percentage. With $3.2 million in wagers, Horseshoe generated $376,853 of the state’s total in taxable winnings for the month.
Ocean Downs didn’t fall much, however, holding on to 10.1% of its wagers. That was good enough for the second-highest mark in June. Hollywood Casino rounded out the group with a 4.1% hold percentage.
|Casino||Handle||Prizes Paid||Hold %||Taxable Winnings||State Contributions|
|Live! Casino & Hotel||$8,441,774.75||$7,679,669.01||9%||$741,116.06||$111,167.41|
|MGM National Harbor||$5,313,144.95||$5,293,632.55||0.4%||$6,229.54||$934.43|
|Ocean Downs Casino||$934,312.08||$839,657.59||10.1%||$92,318.71||$13,847.81|
Live! finished FY2022 with a total handle that nearly reached $79 million, roughly 45% of the state’s $174.7 million lifetime handle. Its 11.5% hold in that time has accounted for $8.9 million in taxable winnings, with $1.3 million in state contributions.
MGM National Harbor follows with a $52 million lifetime handle and almost $5 million in taxable winnings. That’s good for $744,994 in state contributions. Horseshoe Baltimore is third with a $26.6 million handle, $3.4 million in winnings, and $509,722 in state contributions.
Mobile betting in Maryland
The initial hope to launch online sports betting in the Old Line State was by the beginning of the upcoming NFL season. However, as time went on, it become increasingly likely that the state wouldn’t hit that mark. Some in the industry were skeptical it would even launch at all in 2022.
The frustration among Maryland bettors is apparent, and that sentiment is shared by the governor. In late June, Larry Hogan publicly pushed SWARC in a letter posted on Twitter. He urged the group to “act immediately” in hopes of hitting that original NFL Week 1 timeline.
“Instead of decisive action to implement the voters’ decision, you have allowed the process to stagnate and become mired in overly bureaucratic procedures that have needlessly delayed the state’s ability to maximize the revenue potential of this emerging industry,” Hogan wrote.
The SWARC met the following day, and despite the governor’s comments, there was no timeline set.
“I understand that many are frustrated that the process relating to the issuance of Maryland’s mobile sports wagering licenses has been time-consuming,” SWARC chairman Thomas Brandt said to start the meeting.
“I also want everyone to know that SWARC and its support team have been operating as diligently and deliberately as we can under the Maryland sports wagering law that we’re tasked to administer.”
More to come
The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is next scheduled to meet on July 13.
The hope is there will be an update regarding the disparity survey that appears to be the last major roadblock to getting mobile sports betting off the ground. This was also the case during the SWARC’s last few meetings, but there was no such update.
However, there is some progress. During SWARC’s June meeting, Jim Nielsen of Maryland Lottery and Gaming (MLGCC) said the draft of the mobile sports betting regulations is “about 95% done.” On Monday morning, that draft, as well as one for online applications, was posted on the SWARC website.
These drafts will be addressed and considered during SWARC’s meeting this week.
For the latest on mobile sports betting in the Old Line State, be sure to check out PlayMaryland‘s Live Updates page.