The dog days of summer are supposed to be a slow time for the sports betting world.
However, Maryland sports betting is holding steady in its first summer of online availability.
Even without some of the high-profile sports in action, Maryland bettors are still placing wagers.
The last two months have allowed us to finally get a look at just what the state is betting on. It’s been an interesting transition from June to July and let’s us see what sporting events are having a big impact.
What sports did Maryland bettors wager on more in July?
July saw Maryland sports betting revenue drop a little from June, but not as much as we’ve seen in the past across the country. And, thanks to new reporting from the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency which includes betting handle by sport, we can get a glimpse into why.
Every sport has some difference in what was wagered in June and July, but three stand out more than others for the increase Maryland saw.
That’s right, tennis saw the biggest uptick of all sports from June to July in Maryland.
- June: $23.6 million wagered (9.3% of total Maryland handle)
- July: $39.3 million wagered (15.9%)
The month of July saw the majority of Wimbledon, one of tennis’ four grand slam events. While June featured the later stages of the French Open, the general public seems drawn to Wimbledon.
This year’s Wimbledon featured Novak Djokovic falling in the final to Carlos Alcaraz while American Christopher Eubanks appeared in the quarterfinals.
On the women’s side Marketa Vondrousova defeated Ons Jabeur in the final, while Americans Madison Keys and Jessica Pegula reached the quarterfinals.
Not surprisingly, soccer was on the minds of Maryland sports bettors in the month of July.
- June: $10.0 million wagered (3.9%)
- July: $14.9 million wagered (6.0%)
Nearly $5 million more was wagered on soccer in Maryland for July when compared to June.
The 2023 Women’s World Cup kicked off in July from Australia and New Zealand.
Along with the buzz leading in that likely led to some futures bets, the United States women’s soccer team played in the first of their two pool matches at the end of the month. Their third contest was on Aug. 1, still likely drawing some hearty pre-match wagers on July 31.
With the remainder of pool play, as well as the knockout stage taking place in August, you can expect strong soccer betting numbers to continue next month.
July also featured the debut of Lionel Messi with MLS club Inter Miami, which sparked plenty of interest in the sport stateside.
Major League Baseball carried home the most wagers of any sport in July.
- June: $65.3 million (25.6%)
- July: $69.6 million (28.1%)
While not a staggering overall difference, $4 million more is notable.
July features 31 days compared to 30 in June, which helps with MLB being a near daily sport to wager on throughout the summer. But it also features the All-Star break. That means fewer games, but a high profile event.
It doesn’t hurt that Maryland has a lot of buzz in the baseball world as well.
The Baltimore Orioles are the Cinderella story of the 2023 season thus far. As of Sunday night, the Orioles sit atop the AL East standings at 73-45 and have the best record in the entire American League. The O’s are just 10 wins from matching last season’s win total already.
While the Washington Nationals are a disappointment in 2023, the Orioles are providing a little spark for Maryland bettors.
What sports did Maryland bettors wager on less in July?
There were some sports that saw betting decline in July when compared to June, but they are pretty predictable.
It shouldn’t be a real shocker to see pro basketball take a step back in July.
- June: $34.5 million (13.5%)
- July: $27.5 million (11.1%)
The lengthy NBA playoffs conclude on June 12 with the Denver Nuggets winning the NBA Finals.
Then, the 2023 NBA Draft was held on June 22. Draft nights are always good for some wild betting activity.
In July, Maryland sports bettors were left to the WNBA and NBA Summer League as their options, or starting to dive into 2023-24 NBA futures markets.
Either way, it was an understandable decline in July, but still solid numbers given its top organization is on summer break.
The NHL Hockey season also ended in June, leaving little for Maryland bettors to consider in July.
- June: $2.8 million (1.1%)
- July: $20,025 (0.0%)
June 13 saw the Stanley Cup Finals conclude with the Las Vegas Knights beating the Florida Panthers in five games.
The 2023 NHL Draft was also held at the end of June, but provides little betting movement for a draft from a major sports organization.
When it comes to July, not many are ready to place their wagers on futures bets. That leaves the NHL as almost a non-existent entity in the Maryland sports betting world for the month.
It wasn’t a big decline, but still just over $1 million fewer wagers.
- June: $5.6 million (2.2%)
- July: $4.5 million (1.8%)
Both months feature a major championship. June had the US Open, while July included The Open Championship, or British Open (depending on where you are from).
The difficulty for The Open Championship is its location overseas causes difficulty in placing wagers in a timely fashion. With early rounds beginning while the majority of Maryland is asleep, it impacts a number of the markets, especially live betting.
The US Open this year also took place out in California, allowing for the final round to be featured in primetime on Sunday night. That put more eyeballs on the event, as the total audience delivery of 3.4 million TV viewers was the best for the event since 2019.
What Maryland bettors can expect for August
August should start to turn the direction for sports betting toward America’s game – football.
Neither the NFL (0.4%) or NCAA football (0.2%) made much betting impact in Maryland for July. That should all change once the August report is released.
The NFL has been in full swing for the preseason and will be throughout the month, and this will provide the first full season for Maryland online sports bettors to bet on the Baltimore Ravens.
The NCAA season begins with “Week Zero” on Aug. 26, while Week 1 of the season begins on Thursday, Aug. 31.
In the meantime, futures markets are likely to see increased betting as we get closer to the start of each regular season.
Football season is here and it’s the first with legalized online betting in Maryland. It should be interesting to see just how big football wagering will be in this state.