NFL Start Rockets Maryland Sports Betting Handle To $442.5 Million

Written By T.J. McBride on October 11, 2023
Graphic of rocket, logo of Maryland and sports revenue on a story about September sports betting revenue in Maryland.

The Maryland sports betting market has been more robust over the typically slow summer months than most states. That growth has continued through September.

With the potential high for a successful 2023 season for the Baltimore Ravens, Maryland sports betting rocketed up to $442.5 million of total handle in September.

It was an increase of $178 million over August.

September MD sports betting handle jumps over 68%

The year-over-year growth of the Maryland sports betting market has been significant. In September 2022, there was still no mobile sports wagering and just seven retail operators. Now, there are 13 retail sports operators and 12 mobile sportsbooks active in the state, which led to $21.5 million in adjusted revenue for sports betting operators in September.

Maryland sports betting in September was a massive 68% increase from the $264 million of handle in August. The biggest reason is the start of the NFL season, leading more bettors to place wagers on the Ravens, Commanders and other teams. And the second-biggest reason would be the boatloads of Maryland sportsbook promos operators offered as part of NFL kickoff.

Just under $76 million was bet on the NFL in September, which led all individual sports. It was nearly doubled, however, by the $150.3 million of parlay bets in September, which likely included a lot of NFL legs. The parlay total jumped up more than 50% month over month compared to the $74.7 million wagered in August. In total, 51.2% of all sports bets in September came from parlay bets and NFL wagers.

Another slight boost came from the addition of two new retail sports betting operators entering the marketplace. Canton Gaming and its operating partner, Parx Interactive, opened its doors on Sept. 1. Whitman Gaming and its partner, FanDuel, opened a day later.

Now, there is a second Canton Gaming retail location in Towson.

While neither operator put together massive numbers for the first month of operation, more operators usually leads to more wagers. Canton Gaming’s two new establishments saw a total of slightly under $670,000 of handle, while Whitman had $477,000 total handle in September.

Live! Casino leads September online sports betting

As usual, mobile sports betting vastly outpaced retail options. Just under $421 million was wagered online, while $21.5 million was bet in person.

Leading the way on the mobile side of the Maryland sports betting market was Live! Casino with $175 million in wagers placed. Of that amount, players won over $155 million, which left Live! with $11 million in taxable revenue and a hold percentage of 11.4%.

In second place was DraftKings Maryland, which took in over $154 million in wagers. Its players won more than $139.2 million, which left nearly $5.7 million in taxable wins for the sportsbook. That equated to a hold percentage of 9.7%.

Rounding out the top three is BetMGM Maryland, which took in nearly $37 million of wagers, which led to nearly $33 million of winnings for its players. That meant BetMGM had a hold percentage of 10.9% and a total taxable win of over $983,000.

Live!, DraftKings and BetMGM combined to take in more than $366 million in wagers, which represented a hair under 87% of all bets placed in September.

MGM National Harbor No. 1 with retail bets

On the retail side, MGM National Harbor led the way with $6.9 million of wagers taken, which led to over $6.2 million in winnings paid out to its players. That led to a hold percentage of 9.4% and a total taxable win of nearly $445,000.

Live! Casino was on the heels of MGM National Harbor in September with $5.9 million of bets taken and $5.1 million of winnings paid out. That equated to a hold percentage of 13.7% and over $765,000 in taxable wins.

The bronze medal for retail sportsbooks went to Horseshoe Casino, which took in $2.5 million and paid out $2.1 million in winnings. That hold percentage of 15.6% was second highest of retail sportsbooks that took at least $1 million in wagers. That led to nearly $362,000 in taxable win.

Maryland reaps over $3.2 million in tax dollars

Maryland charges a 15% sports wagering tax. That 15% is taken from what is called the taxable win, which is how much money is left over after winnings are paid out and promotions have been accounted for.

In September, the total taxable win was over $21.5 million; 15% of that amount equates to over $3.2 million. Mobile sports wagering added nearly $2.9 million of tax contributions, while retail sportsbooks added about $343,000.

Live! Casino led the way in tax dollars paid in both retail and mobile categories, with nearly $115,000 coming from its retail offerings and $1.7 million coming from online wagers.

Tax money from sports betting in Maryland goes to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. That fund then uses the money to help public education programs around the state.

Photo by Shutterstock / Illustration by PlayMaryland
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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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