Maryland Sports Betting Handle Dips To $23.1 Million In May

Posted on June 10, 2022

For the first time in 2022, Maryland sportsbooks failed to eclipse $25 million in sports betting handle in the month of May. In fact, at just north of $23 million, May was the lowest full-month handle brought in since retail sports betting launched in December 2021.

Of the $23,095,542 wagered, $20,018,511 was returned to Maryland bettors in prizes, resulting in a nearly $3.1 million (13.3%) hold for the state’s sportsbooks.

Nearly all of that almost $3.1 million was taxable, and as such, 15% of that total ($452,897) was contributed to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. This fund supports public education programs across the state.

How the numbers fare

Five of Maryland’s six casinos have sports betting facilities on-site. While May’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.

MonthHandlePrizes PaidRevenueHoldState Contribution (Tax)
May 2022$23,095,542$20,018,511$3,077,03113.3%$452,897
April 2022$26,908,845$24,070,344$2,838,50110.5%$415,801
March 2022$31,025,892$27,098,319$3,927,57312.7%$577,019
February 2022$25,526,148$24,570,771$955,3773.7%$134,628
January 2022$32,530,831$28,155,515$4,375,31613.4%$644,098
December 2021$16,552,430$13,382,430$3,170,00019.2%$469,297

Of these six 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.

May’s 13.3% hold fell just shy of January’s full-month record, but still resulted in $3,077,031 in pre-tax revenue for the state’s books. That makes it the fourth-highest revenue mark to date, but considering the low handle brought in, May was a good month for the operators.

December 2021 was the best month on the books percentage-wise, as a 19.2% hold generated $3.17 million in revenue despite a handle of just $16.5 million.

In Maryland’s six-month sports betting history, the fiscal year-to-date handle totals $155.6 million. $137.3 million of that has been returned in prizes, resulting in $17.9 million in taxable winnings. Of that, $2,693,742 has been contributed to the state’s education fund.

Live! leads the way, Ocean Downs highest hold

Live! Casino & Hotel was once again the busiest sportsbook by a decent bit. Its $10.9 million handle accounted for nearly half of the action in the entire state and was nearly double its next-closest competitor in MGM National Harbor ($6.2 million).

Live! also experienced a whopping 15.1% hold. This generated $1.6 million of the state’s total $3 million in taxable winnings for the month. Meanwhile, after a dip to 6.9% last month, MGM’s hold finished May at 11.4%, resulting in taxable winnings of $698,764.

However, Live! didn’t boast the highest hold of the month. That title belongs to Ocean Downs Casino, which held on to 16.2% of its just over $1 million handle. Horseshoe Baltimore held the third-highest amount of wagers at 11.9%, while Hollywood Casino was the only establishment to finish below 10% at 9.2% hold.

CasinoHandle Prizes PaidHold %Taxable WinningsState Contributions
Live! Casino & Hotel$10,933,789.25 $9,280,751.60 15.1%$1,625,706.18 $243,855.93
MGM National Harbor$6,285,183.25 $5,570,705.75 11.4%$698,764.54 $104,814.68
Horseshoe Baltimore$3,607,565.14 $3,179,270.50 11.9%$419,275.73 $62,891.36
Hollywood Casino$1,232,268.13 $1,118,663.48 9.2%$110,540.50 $16,581.07
Ocean Downs Casino$1,036,736.11 $869,119.82 16.2%$165,024.45 $24,753.67

Live! has a six-month total handle of $40.4 million, roughly 45% of the state’s $155.6 million lifetime handle. Its 11.8% hold in that time has accounted for $8.2 million in taxable winnings, with $1.2 million in state contributions.

MGM National Harbor follows with a nearly $47 million lifetime handle and almost $5 million in taxable winnings. That’s good for $744,059 in state contributions. Horseshoe Baltimore is third with a $23.4 million handle, $3 million in winnings, and $453,194 in state contributions.

Maryland mobile sports betting delayed?

Maryland legalized sports betting in December 2021, but sportsbooks could only accept wagers at retail locations. Of course, with the majority of sports wagers placed via a device, mobile sports betting in Maryland can only hope to follow as soon as possible.

Ultimately, past discussions had centered around a launch date of September 2022, before the beginning of the NFL season.

But more recently, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg stated he was skeptical that Maryland would get mobile sports betting off the ground anytime in 2022. Caesars is already operational within the market through Horseshoe Baltimore.

On the other hand, Penn National is more optimistic and believes mobile betting will launch sometime in 2022.

More to come

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) is next scheduled to meet on June 16. 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.

However, that was also the case during the SWARC’s last two meetings, and there was no such update.

For the latest on mobile sports betting in the Old Line State, be sure to check out PlayMaryland‘s Live Updates page.

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Griffin Adams

Griffin Adams is the managing editor for PlayMaryland, where he oversees news coverage on the site. His previous work has appeared in publications such as The Athletic, USA Today, Sports Illustrated and MLB.com, among others. Outside of work, Adams can be found on the golf course, playing pick-up basketball or trusting the process as a loyal Philadelphia 76ers fan.

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