Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported Wednesday that April brought operators more than $35.6 million in gross sports wagering revenue, with the bulk of it coming from FanDuel‘s mobile book.
The U.S. industry leader claimed over $21.2 million in gross revenue, making it 5-for-5 surpassing $20 million in full months of mobile wagering in the Old Line State. FanDuel had a strong 14.1% hold on $150.8 million handle and has posted a win rate of 12% or better every month since the first online wagers were taken last November.
FanDuel’s typically robust performance contributed to a statewide hold of just under 10.9%, though Maryland‘s 10 retail books were kept in check by the betting public. Brick-and-mortar venues collected just $883,787 in winnings from nearly $15 million in accepted wagers, resulting in a 5.9% win rate.
Total promotional play slipped to a shade over $9 million in April, the first time it was not an eight-digit figure since the mobile launch. When coupled with other allowable deductions, the state was able to levy its 15% tax on $25.8 million in adjusted gross revenue, providing an inflow of $3.9 million into state coffers. April’s contributions sent the all-time tax revenue total to $20.6 million.
Total handle was $328.5 million, a 14.9% decline from March, but an expected slide given the mid-month conclusions of the NBA and NHL regular seasons.
FanDuel spending big to win big
2023 YTD Running Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state (April in CAPS):
1 NEW YORK $6.61B
2 New Jersey $2.96B
3 Ohio $2.49B
4 Nevada $2.43B
5 Pennsylvania ~$2.1B
6 Illinois $1.95B (Feb)
7 MARYLAND $1.5B <-NEW
8 Colorado $1.47B
9 Virginia $1.46B
10 Michigan $1.27B
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) May 10, 2023
Though FanDuel’s promotional spend has declined month-over-month since flooding the market with close to $39.6 million in play last December in Maryland’s first full month of mobile wagering, it still represents a substantial portion of overall mobile promo outlay. With nearly $4.4 million, the online titan accounted for nearly half of April’s total.
It has proven an effective tactic, as FanDuel became the first online sportsbook in Maryland to surpass $1 billion handle. It has accounted for more than 40% of the state’s total wagers, including brick-and-mortar bets, and FanDuel also cleared $100 million in gross revenue with April’s winnings. Though April’s hold actually dragged the overall number down to 14.9% for the year, FanDuel’s $103.3 million in gross revenue represents 56.5% of the total sportsbook gross revenue.
DraftKings narrowly extended its run of $100 million handles to five months, edging $1.4 million above the nine-figure threshold, but its gross revenue fell just short of $9 million. That was its lowest in Maryland since the mobile launch, as its 8.8% hold was also its worst despite being comfortably above the 7% industry standard.
BetMGM remained an unquestioned No. 3 choice among online bettors, but it also had its softest month in terms of revenue. It finished with close to $2.9 million in gross revenue thanks to a 10.2% win rate on just shy of $28.4 million in accepted wagers. BetMGM has posted a double-digit hold in all six months of action.
Caesars Sportsbook, which started with a flourish in Maryland, again was held in check by bettors and finished with a 3.7% hold for April. Its gross revenue of less than $585,000 marked a 65.8% month-over-month decline from March while handle slid 22.5% to $15.9 million.
Barstool Sportsbook had its softest month in Maryland, with a 4% hold generating nearly $343,000 — about $24,000 less than the nearly $367,000 generated in the launch month last November. The PENN Entertainment-powered sportsbook has totaled close to $1.6 million in gross revenue combined the last three months, less than $143,000 above the $1.4 million claimed in January.
Superbook, which accepted its first wagers in April after being approved for a mobile license in February, posted a slight loss in its debut as bettors took home $1,720 more than the $530,379 handle generated. When factoring in promotional play and deductions, its adjusted gross revenue was slightly worse than minus $47,000.
State’s two retail bellcows sputter in April
MGM National Harbor and Live! Casino are Maryland’s two biggest retail sportsbooks, but both failed to get any real traction. The Orioles’ strong close in April may have contributed to that — Baltimore won 12 of its final 14 games — as National Harbor’s revenue plunged 70% compared to March and landed just shy of $240,000. The 4.3% hold was nearly 11 percentage points lower than the previous month and offset a 6.7% bump in handle to nearly $5.6 million.
Live!, which was coming off its first losing month in March, did swing to the positive in April. But the gross revenue of just over $145,000 continued a soft 2023 for the FanDuel-powered brick-and-mortar venue. Live! has totaled barely more than $319,000 in revenue from more than $18.2 million in wagers, and the sub-1.8% hold is more than 11.7 percentage points lower than its full-year 2022 hold that contributed to $17.7 million in gross revenue.