Maryland sports handle jumps by 21.3% in March to $536.7m

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Maryland has reported a 21.3% increase in sports betting handle for March, reaching $536.7m (£427.7m/€499.6m) for the month.

Sports betting handle for Maryland in March was also up 39% year-on-year from the $386m in bets taken in the same month last year.

Sports betting: the numbers

Maryland handle for February was 18.8% behind January’s total of $545m despite the Super Bowl early in the month. However, that drop could also be attributed to the shorter month of February and the NBA All-Star break that ran between 16-21 February.

Mobile accounted for $522.1m in handle, 97.3% of the monthly total. Retail was responsible for $14.6m of the figure.

March’s handle total took Maryland to $4.07bn for the fiscal year to date. This was up 104.8% on the same period last year’s figure of $1.99bn.

It was a good month for bettors in Maryland, with a hold of just 8.4% for operators. This was down from 12.3% in the same month last year. However, contributions to the state went up 16.7% month-on-month to $4.9m from $4.2m in February.

Maryland’s sports betting operators paid $491.6m in prizes, up over $150m on February’s figure of $338.4m.

Maryland casino up month-on-month with BetMGM leading the way

Maryland’s casinos generated revenue of $178.1m during March, an 11.9% increase on February’s total of $159.2m, and also up 0.9% from the same month last year.

BetMGM’s MGM National Harbor led the way with $75.1m in revenue, boasting a clear lead over second-placed Live! Casino & Hotel and FanDuel, which recorded $64.8m in revenue.

Horseshoe Casino lagged behind in third with $17.3m, while Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs Casino generated revenues of $8.5m and $7.5m respectively.

Casinos contributed $76.5m to the state in March, an increase of 2.6% year-on-year and ahead of February’s total of $67.8m.

No online casino in Maryland for 2024

On 26 March, a Maryland online casino bill debuted in a senate committee after passing the house, Unfortunately, a litany of unresolved issues came with the introduction.

The bill passed the house by a 92-43 majority on 14 March. However, its senate introduction sparked debate about potential blockers such as fears of brick-and-mortar cannibalisation and an increase in gambling addiction.

HB 1319 would allow for statewide online casino in a state that has a mature retail casino market and which introduced digital sports betting in November 2022.

If online wagering is any indication, online casino has the potential to be highly successful. Maryland is already ranked among the top states for sports betting handle despite being the 14th biggest state by population to launch wagering and set a record for its first five days.

Time however, ran out for the bill. After the bill it passed the house on 14 March and reached the senate two days later, the general assembly adjourned on 8 April with no action on gambling.

The loss, as the gambling industry will see it, is the second key one this session. Ten days earlier, the Georgia general assembly ended its term without legalising digital sports betting. That meant the two states projected to have the best chance at a gambling expansion in 2024 will now see no movement.

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