Maryland Sportsbooks Handled $18.6M in August, Mobile Launch Still Months Away

August sports wagering handle totaled more than $18.6 million.

Last month, Maryland’s five sports wagering facilities combined to contribute $415,801 to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programs. Each sports wagering licensee contributes 15 percent of its taxable win to the State of Maryland.

Operators reported $3.2 million in gross revenue, an increase of nearly 60 percent from July and the third-best month since launch. The hold was more than four total percentage points higher than the previous month, while the handle soared by 20.4 percent to $18.7 million.

According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming:

The hold percentage for all wagers that were settled during August was 13.41%. Since the inception of the sports wagering program in December 2021, the hold percentage for settled wagers is 10.46%; sports wagering has contributed $3,659,082 to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund; and expired sports wagering prizes have contributed $496,189 to the Problem Gambling Fund.

MGM National Harbor, Live! Casino, Horseshoe Casino, Ocean Downs Casino and Hollywood Casino began their sportsbook operations during December 2021. Bingo World opened on Aug. 1. Riverboat on the Potomac reported revenue during August for its two controlled demonstrations dates and opened to the public on Sept. 8. Additional facilities are expected to open in the near future.

In 2020, Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment to expand commercial gaming by authorizing sports and events wagering to raise revenue for education.

While sports wagering is legal in Maryland, sportsbooks are only available in casinos and other approved venues. Maryland is not on track to launch mobile sports wagering, which handles 70 to 90 percent of wagers in every state with mobile platforms, until closer to 2023.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which can issue up to 60 mobile licenses, opened the application window for mobile sports betting on September 6th. Applications, subject to a 45-day review, are due by October 21st.

Although sports wagering is generally understood to be a low-margin, high-volatility business, proponents in the gaming industry tout the ancillary benefits of retail sportsbooks – specifically, bringing in younger, net new customers to a gaming facility with an aging customer base; increasing table games and slots revenue; and boosting onsite food, beverage, and hospitality business.

Visit the Maryland Lottery and Gaming website for more information.