Legal sports betting has come to Maryland. In-person wagering is now available at select locations. State gaming regulation agencies hope to introduce online sports betting at some point in 2022. The current timeframe is later in the second half of the year.
Maryland bettors can look forward to an unprecedented selection of mobile sports betting options. The state’s sports betting bill (HB 940) allows for up to 60 online sportsbooks, more than any other US state.
The abundance of online brands could create the nation’s most competitive sports betting market. That business model, along with the state’s 6.2 million population and rabid sports fan bases, should prove a successful recipe for sports betting in Maryland.
Maryland Sharp projects that online sports betting could produce as much as $217 million in annual revenue. The state will tax sports betting revenue at 15%. That 15% rate applied to $217 million in mobile sportsbook earnings would yield $32.55 million in annual tax revenue for the state.
In total, Maryland Sharp projects that mobile and retail sports betting could produce $255 million in yearly revenue. Until both activities open up, the state will be limited in its revenue from in-person sports wagering.
Mobile Sports Betting Will Drive The Maryland Market
The $255 million estimate predicts that 85% of sports betting revenue will come from mobile sportsbook apps. That metric has held true in several of the top US markets in 2021, including New Jersey (90% revenue from mobile), Pennsylvania (85%), and Illinois (96%). In many states, mobile betting accounts for every 9 out of 10 wagers placed.
Maryland’s first month of retail sports betting figures are an encouraging start. Revenue came out at about $3.1 million, generating just under $470,000 in tax revenue in December 2021. If retail sports betting comprises 15% of Maryland’s sports betting revenue, then Maryland’s retail sports betting market is opening at about 10% of what it could grow into.
Maryland presents a sports betting landscape like none other in the US. The 60 online sportsbook licenses up for grabs are divided into four separate tiers, based on the size of the company applying for the permit.
State casinos, along with sports betting giants like BetMGM and FanDuel, are already available in-person and will launch online sports betting in Maryland. The tiered approach and number of available licenses, however, puts the state’s small businesses in the mix to apply for mobile sportsbook licensure.
Established brands like DraftKings, Caesars, Barstool Sportsbook, BetRivers, and TwinSpires will enter the Maryland market as extensions of existing land-based casinos in the state. Nearly every other notable name on the US sports betting landscape will get the chance to launch in Maryland as well, based on the number of available licenses.
The big brands of sports betting will compete with sports betting startups, creating a market unlike anything else in the US. The competition-based sports betting model boasts thriving markets in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.
Surveying The Maryland Sports Betting Scene
Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC collectively form one of the most robust areas for professional and college sports in the US. Pro teams like the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and MLB’s Baltimore Orioles only represent part of the overall sports fan loyalties in the region.
Washington DC hosts franchises in all four major sports, with the fan bases for each spilling over into Maryland. The Washington Commanders play their home games at FedExField in Landover, a Maryland venue that can apply for a land-based sports betting license.
The Maryland sports betting bill permits betting on college sports, and that could include in-state programs when the final regulations are set. That would open the door for wagering on the Maryland Terrapins, in addition to other local powerhouses like the Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Georgetown Hoyas.
Both Virginia and Washington DC already offer legal online sports betting. Washington DC opted for a single-operator model, and that business plan has produced disappointing revenues so far. Virginia, on the other hand, has embraced the competitive model for online sports betting. Around 18 mobile sportsbooks could eventually launch in the state. Since launching in January 2021, Virginia’s sports betting industry is off to a promising start.
Maryland is taking sportsbook competition into uncharted territory. The pieces are in place for the Old Line State to emerge as a thriving sports wagering market. Hundreds of millions in revenue is expected in a state with numerous betting options, both in terms of sportsbook platforms and local team support.