Successful opening month for retail sports betting in Maryland

Updated June 30, 2022
Updated June 30, 2022By Dean Etheridge
Maryland Legal News

The first month of retail sports betting in the state of Maryland looks to have been a success judging by the latest figures released by the Maryland State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.   

Nearly $16.5 million in sports wagers was taken by Maryland casinos in less than a month. With the first bet placed on December 9th, 2021.  

As a result, the state looks set to collect just under $470,000 in taxes, with the much-needed funds going towards public education. 

A lot of the initial interest in sports betting could be put down to the holiday period, as well as the novelty factor. But it could be argued that when sports betting becomes more widely established and well known, it will attract even more players.

Either way, it will take a few months’ worth of figures to get a more realistic analysis of how sports betting in Maryland is developing. 

Below is the breakdown from Maryland’s casinos taking sports betting wagers.

Please check out our Maryland Sports Betting Sites for more details about betting in the Old Line State. 

Live! Casino and Hotel

Live was the casino with the highest turnover for the month. In total their handle was $7,102.945. Of that, they paid out $5,729.816 in winnings. They had a hold (kept) of 19.3%.

After deductions, Live was left with a taxable win of $1,355.369. Of which, they paid out $203,305 in taxes.

MGM National Harbor

Next came MGM, who took a nice tidy $5,988.942 in wagers. Of that, they returned $4,988.942 in payouts. This left them with a hold of 16.5%, the lowest percentage of the main players.

In total, MGM was left with a taxable win of $975,203. This saw them pay out $146,280 in taxes. 

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore

The casino with the third-highest handle was the Horseshoe at Baltimore. A total of $2,587.324 was taken in December. 

Of that, $2,045.838 was paid out on winning wagers, with a hold of 20.9%.

After deductions, the Horseshoe had a taxable win of $535,356. This resulted in a tax payout of $80,303 to the state.

Ocean Downs

The Ocean Downs Casino in Berlin near Ocean City took in $554,218 of sports wagers. They paid out $384,906 in prizes, with a large-looking hold of 30.5%.

Their taxable win was $167,936, leaving the state receiving $25,190.

Hollywood Casino Perryville

The final casino on our list is the Hollywood Casino in Perryville. This gaming complex had a handle of $319,001, paying out $223,407 in prizes, with a hold of 30%.

Although not quite as high hold percentage as Ocean Downs, it’s still one of the highest. 

The Hollywood Casino finished up with a taxable win of $94,796. They paid out $14,219 to the state.

Maryland State Sports Betting Totals for December 2021

The five casinos listed above took a combined total of $16,552.430. They then paid out a total of $13,382430 in prizes, with a combined hold of 19.2%.

The total taxable win for all casinos combined after deductions was a huge $3,128.660, with the state benefitting to the tune of $469.297.

Are these figures sustainable?

Although January is traditionally a quiet month as Christmas credit card bills are paid down, it is still a popular month in the betting world

There is the end of the regular NFL season, along with the playoffs. And there is also plenty of NHL and NBA action throughout the month.

All this means there should be little let up or fall off in the figures for January 2022. All-in-all, it will be interesting to see how things go over the next few months. 

If they continue to grow, it’s inevitable that the best sports betting sites will be looking to get a foothold in Maryland, in anticipation of a change in the law.

Will Retail Betting success lead to Online Sports Betting in Maryland?

So, if in-person sports betting continues to be popular and grows, does it improve the chances of Maryland finally legalizing online sports betting? 

It will certainly strengthen the hand of proponents of online sports betting. 

If the casinos are raising much-needed taxes for the state, it will hand a massive boost to activists representing top US betting sites attempting to get an amendment on the ballot paper.  

A positive campaign, led by the boost given to state education by the taxes raised in the casinos will make a persuasive argument. 

Opponents will no doubt point to the increase in the profits of these casinos, and claim they will cause more social problems than the taxes will cure.

They will point to problem gamblers. And will no doubt use the argument that an increase in gambling can’t be justified to help with children’s education!

Both sides will no doubt have a strong platform. And it will be up to the proponents to ensure it is a sensible amendment that gets put forward for the ballot paper. 

A sensible amendment will meet less opposition than a multi-layered bill driven by greed. A bill that has too many layers for the average voter to understand, or be remotely interested in. 

Such amendments just make their opponents’ jobs far easier. Watch this space for the next developments.

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About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Dean Etheridge has over ten years of writing experience in the world of sports betting. Starting out as a hobby on his own soccer betting website, Dean has now seen his picks published across various affiliate sites along with The Sun and TalkSPORT where he writes regular Premier League and Champions League betting tips. Combining his extensive knowledge and experience with his British humor and wit, Dean has developed into a trusted voice within the sports betting industry. Although Dean's preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport. Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.

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