The first Super Bowl with online sports betting in Maryland was one for the record books.
The Old Line state ranked eighth for overall Super Bowl weekend transactions on GeoComply. John Pappas, SVP of Government & Public Affairs at GeoComply, confirmed that from midnight Saturday through the end of Sunday’s game (10:15 p.m. ET), Marylanders accounted for 5,784,840 geolocation checks from 394,421 active player accounts.
Maryland bettors log eighth-highest transaction rate over Super Bowl weekend
While Maryland Super Bowl betting data will not come out before February’s revenue report is published on or around March 10, the sheer activity from Marylanders last weekend could bring about $50 million in handle when official figures are announced.
Football season is now over, leaving basketball and hockey to take the spotlight. With March Madness a month away, will the Super Bowl be enough to break December’s record $497.1 million handle?
Super Bowl numbers exceed expectations
PlayUSA projected Maryland to be tenth in total Super Bowl wagers, slightly behind Colorado with $46 million wagered. Based on logins alone, Maryland’s eighth-place standing suggests it will exceed that projection.
If bettors exceed projections by 9%, total handle will surpass $50 million for the game.
Regardless, $50 million is only an arbitrary mark, and total handle does not need to reach that amount for sportsbooks to deem last weekend a successful one. Early reports from Las Vegas show that sportsbooks like BetMGM and DraftKings had their best Super Bowls ever. Maryland was a major reason for that.
But a $500 million handle may have to wait a month
Maryland sportsbooks reported $186 million in wagers for their first nine days after going live on November 23. The hype continued into December, with a $497.1 million handle.
Then, January’s handle dipped to $441.5 million, despite a full month of NFL playoffs action.
In other markets across the US, history suggests that while Super Bowl betting carries February’s numbers, it’s not enough to match January (football) or March (NCAA basketball). However, January is usually stronger than December nationwide, and Maryland did not match that trend.
So, was December’s handle ahead of its time, or was January’s the outlier? Depending on the answer, February’s handle could range from $400 to $460 million.
Either way, March Madness is right around the corner, bringing the prospects of $500 million in monthly wagers.
Bright skies ahead for Maryland sports betting
The first few months of online sports betting have been a complete success, increasing Maryland monthly handle more than tenfold.
As a result, the state has generated more money for the state’s education fund. But it’s only the tip of the iceberg, as Maryland’s market continues to mature, with at least five more sportsbooks expected to launch this year.
Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said:
“We knew there was tremendous pent-up demand for mobile wagering, and the numbers we’ve seen so far have certainly demonstrated that. Mobile/online wagers accounted for 96% of our handle in December and January, and we saw positive signs last month with more than $2.1 million in contributions to the state.”
By this time next year, bettors will have had an entire NFL season of mobile wagering under their belts. State contributions will exceed $15 million, and all records spoken about now will be a thing of the past.