Maryland bettors wagered $219 million in November, by far the highest monthly handle total for the state since sports betting launched in December 2021. Mobile sports betting launched without restrictions in Maryland on Nov. 23, and mobile betting accounted for $186 million worth of wagers in November.
Sports bettors in the state had access to seven mobile sportsbooks toward the end of the month. Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet all went live in Maryland last month.
Operators had a 13.9% hold on mobile wagers.
Inbox: In nine days of operations in November, Maryland mobile sports bettors wagered $186 million. Nearly $64 million of that was free promotional play.
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) December 12, 2022
FanDuel, DraftKings lead the way
FanDuel was tops in the state with a mobile handle of $89.9 million in November. DraftKings was fairly close behind, reporting a mobile sports betting handle of $69.6 million.
No other operator had a monthly handle higher than $20 million. BetMGM was the next closest with $15.1 million. Barstool Sportsbook’s mobile handle was $5.7 million, and Caesars Sportsbook checked in at $3.5 million. PointsBet attracted $1.7 million in bets, and BetRivers’ handle was $631,176.
FanDuel reported $29.4 million worth of promotional play, while DraftKings was close behind with $26.6 million.
Plenty of promotional play
Sportsbooks generated revenue of $704,728 for the state in November, with free promotional play significantly hampering potential tax revenue. The seven mobile operators offered a wide range of sign-up bonuses and promotions to attract customers.
“We expect mobile sportsbook operators to continue to offer a lot of promotional wagers in the coming months as they venture into a new market and work to attract customers,” Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin said in a press release.
Of the $186 million wagered online, $63.8 million came via free promotional play, according to the state lottery. Promotional play is deducted from an operator’s taxable win, with the state taxing remaining revenue at 15%.
“There was tremendous pent-up demand, and a lot of people are utilizing promotional offers from multiple operators simultaneously,” Martin said. “But as many of the operators have acknowledged, this level of promotional play is not sustainable, and based on our regulations, it will be curtailed over time.”
Not going to belabor this but it's still possible for every 21+ person in Maryland to net $400 (more w a little effort) with no risk just by signing up & then laying off free promo bets vs each other on different apps. Our house has cashed out over $1100 with $125 or so to come https://t.co/ZZMwBrKDSU
— Meatpacking Plant Accountant (@FoxForceFlacco) December 7, 2022
Maryland regulations limit promotional play. After a full fiscal year, a sportsbook operator’s promotional play can’t exceed 20% of its taxable win from the previous year.
As a result of promotional play in November, mobile betting only generated $4,262 worth of tax revenue for Maryland. Retail sports wagering in the state, which had a much smaller handle in November, generated $700,466 worth of tax revenue. Retail sports betting accounted for 99.4% of the state’s sports betting tax revenue in November.
“Deducting promotional play obviously has an impact on the bottom line, and that’s why we have a cap that takes effect after each operator’s first full fiscal year,” Martin said in the press release. “It protects the state’s interests and ensures that sports wagering will generate revenue for education, as intended. By awarding large amounts of promotional play in their first fiscal year, the sportsbooks’ promo play amounts will be limited in their second year.”
More mobile operators coming
Betfred, betPARX, and Fanatics are among the mobile sportsbook operators expected to enter the Maryland mobile sports betting market in 2023. Bally Bet and WynnBET are each working through the process of receiving mobile licenses in the state as well.
By the end of 2023, it’s possible that as many as 20 mobile sportsbooks will be operational in Maryland. There are up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses available in the state.
While promotional play limited tax revenue generation last month, Maryland should see a steady stream of tax revenue from sports betting as the market matures and promotions are reduced. Gov. Larry Hogan said he projects up to $100 million annually in 2027.