Maryland Sportsbooks Post Lowest Full-Month Handle Since Start of Legalized Sports Betting

Summer may be here, but sportsbooks in Maryland have been cooling off as of late. In the month of June, Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported the lowest monthly handle ($19.1 million) for its five retail sportsbooks since December.

Maryland Retail Sports Betting Revenue Drop-Off

Maryland sports betting was legalized last December, and the five retail betting facilities scattered their launch dates between Dec. 9 and Dec. 23. The various launches resulted in a truncated month of betting that saw a handle of $16.6 million.

Fast forward a few months, and June 2022 was the first full month of wagering in which the handle didn’t break the $23 million mark. To make matters worse for the books, they paid out around $17.8 million in prizes, resulting in just a 6.9% hold on the month.

When the dust settled, and after a 15% tax rate on sports wagering, the state saw $189,323 go to its Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund. The total was less than half of last month’s take and the second lowest to date.

The June drop-off isn’t a huge surprise. Sports betting options become sparse this time of year with the NBA and NHL wrapping up, and the NFL and college football seasons still a couple of months away.

Also read: Maryland Sports Betting Law Missing Key Advertising Provisions

How the Five Retail Locations Fared in June

Live! Casino led the way in June with $8.4 million in handle, and a solid win rate of 9%. MGM National Harbor was second in terms of handle with $5.3 million, but barely broke even with a dismal 0.4% hold.

Horseshoe Casino and Hollywood Casino brought in $3.2 million and $1.2 million in handle, respectively, with holds of 11.9% and 4.1%. Ocean Downs Casino brought up the rear with a handle of just $934,312, but had a decent win rate of 10.1%.

Through June, the five retail sportsbooks in Maryland have accounted for $174.8 million in handle, and have contributed $2.9 million to the state (thanks to the 15% tax rate on sports wagering).

The chart below shows Maryland sports wagering totals by month.

MonthHandlePrizes PaidHoldTax Revenue

Also read: Maryland SWARC Responds to Sports Betting Demands From Governor

When Will Maryland See Online Betting?

While Maryland sports fans can only place their bets in person right now, the state seems to be inching closer to mobile sports betting becoming a reality.

The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission (SWARC) approved draft regulations and mobile/retail licensing applications on July 13, and they will now be sent to the Maryland Legislature Joint Committee Administrative Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) for emergency approval. Once approved, a 30-day public comment period will open up to give stakeholders a chance to provide input.

SWARC will hold its next public meeting on Aug. 17 and has said it still hopes to begin accepting applications for mobile sports betting licenses by the end of summer.

Gov. Larry Hogan had pressured SWARC to have mobile wagering ready for the start of the NFL season, but at this point, the reality of that seems to be fading.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

About the Author

Ryan Hagen

Ryan Hagen is a freelance writer for Maryland Sharp. He’s spent most of his career writing in roles that have ranged from copywriter at a boutique ad agency to corporate communications at a large oil firm. His true passion is sports, and he’s now been writing in the sports gaming industry for the last couple of years. He enjoys sports betting and usually bets a little too much when he loses and not quite enough when he wins.