NFL Drives Maryland Record $5.8M In Taxes From Sports Betting In October

Written By T.J. McBride on November 14, 2023
Photo of Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson on a story how NFL wagering drove Maryland sports betting revenue in October.

October was a record-setting month for Maryland sports betting.

With so many sports active, including the start of football season and the World Series, Maryland’s single month tax contributions from sports wagering record was broken. In total, $5.8 million was paid to Maryland from the sportsbooks operating in the state.

The usual suspects led the way in both mobile and retail sports betting settings as the young sports wagering market in Maryland continues to grow month by month.

Sports betting handle was $483 million in October

The last 12 months of Maryland sports betting tells a tale of massive growth. In October 2022, there were eight retail sportsbooks and no mobile operators taking wagers in the state. Online sports betting did not launch in the Old Line State until Nov. 23. Just under $40 million was wagered in October 2022, which led to $5.2 million in revenue.

Jump ahead to today and those numbers have exploded. There are now 13 retail sportsbooks and another 12 mobile operators in Maryland. The statewide handle, including both retail and mobile wagers, was $483.1 million in October. The total revenue in October was $38.7 million, close to the total sports betting handle a year earlier.

October’s sports betting handle was the second-highest single month total. Only December 2022’s was higher at $497.1 million. October’s handle was 8.5% better compared to the month prior, when $442.5 million was wagered.

Gridiron leads the way in wagering

Professional football led the way for amount wagered on an individual sport. That makes sense considering the success of the 7-3 Baltimore Ravens. Around $91.6 million was bet on the NFL, which was nearly 19% of all sports bets placed.

Football continued its dominance, with the second-most popular bet-on sport being NCAA football. There were $46.5 million in wagers, equating to 9.6% of all sports bets. In third was the NBA with 9% of all sports bets for a total of $43.3 million.

Above all individual sports were parlay bets. They accounted for 37.1% of all sports wagers in Maryland. Nearly $180 million of parlay bets were taken in October. Of course, several legs of those bets likely included wagers on football.

As Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin pointed out, football seems to be the biggest difference-maker in October sports betting success.

“People love to bet on football, and that is certainly reflected in the handle this time of year. The Ravens’ success and college football are contributing factors, and there is a convergence of the seasons in October, with the baseball playoffs and World Series and the start of hockey and basketball. From an overall perspective, the results show that a robust market has taken shape here in Maryland and is making a steady contribution to the state’s education programs.”

Live! Casino takes in most mobile sports wagers in October

As usual, online sports wagering led all betting. Around $463.5 million was wagered online, while just $19.6 million was bet in person. That means nearly 96% of all wagers were placed through a mobile operator.

For perspective, there was nearly as much money in the form of promotional plays on mobile sports wagers ($19.4 million) as the entire handle for retail sportsbooks ($19.6 million).

Leading the way once again was Live! Casino with $210.5 million in wagers taken. That led to its players walking away with $182.2 million in winnings for a hold percentage of 13.4%. After $8.3 million in promotional plays and other deductions, Live! walked away with $19.5 million of revenue in October.

The silver medal for total wagers taken as an online operator in October went to DraftKings Maryland. It took in $157.6 million of sports bets. Its players walked away with $138.2 million of winnings, which means DraftKings had a hold percentage of 12.3%. Draft Kings finished October with $12.2 million of revenue.

BetMGM rounded out the top three with $38.5 million of total handle in October. Its players won $33.8 million which made the hold percentage 12.2%. That meant BetMGM Maryland walked away with $2.7 million of revenue.

The top three mobile sports betting operators combined to take in 88% of all online wagers in Maryland in October with a combined handle of $406.6 million.

MGM National Harbor stands above the rest in retail sports betting

MGM National Harbor squeaked out another top spot for retail sports wagering. In October, the casino resort took in $5.6 million in wagers to retain its title as most popular retail sportsbook. Its players won $4.7 million, which equated to a hold percentage of 16%. That left $885,239 in revenue for MGM National Harbor.

In second was Live! Casino, which took in $5.3 million of retail sports bets. Those bettors walked away with $4.8 million in winnings for a hold percentage of 9.1%. By the end of October, Live! accumulated $454,702 of revenue.

The bronze medal goes to Horseshoe Casino with $1.8 million of total handle. Bettors won $1.7 million for a hold percentage of 10.2%. Horseshoe stacked up $183,129 of revenue in October.

Photo by AP/Terrance Williams
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a writer and reporter based in Denver, Colorado who covers the Denver Nuggets as a beat writer. His byline can be found across many websites such as ESPN, FiveThirtyEight, Bleacher Report, and others.

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