Maryland sports betting debuts with $16.6m staked in December

| By Robin Harrison
Following the launch of legal sports betting in Maryland, players staked $16.6m in December with the FanDuel sportsbook at the Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino the early frontrunner.
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The first bets were placed on 9 December, limited to in-person sportsbooks, with the MGM National Harbor the first property to go live. 

It was joined in the market by Caesars’ Horseshoe Casino and Live! Casino on 10 December; Churchill Downs’ Ocean Downs on 17 December, then Penn National’s Hollywood Casino on 23 December.

Over the remaining 22 days of the month, customers wagered $16.6m, of which $7.1m was staked via FanDuel at the Live! venue in Anne Arundel County. MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill – just south of Washington, DC followed with $6.0m staked. 

Caesars’ Horseshoe, in Baltimore, followed on $2.6m, with $554,218 wagered at Ocean Downs and $319,001 at Hollywood Casino. 

In total players won back $13.4m across all five sportsbooks, for a 19.2% hold. After deductions of $41,341 – comprising federal excise taxes on handle and losses carried forward – operators were left with $3.1m in taxable revenue. 

Again, FanDuel and Live! Casino were the clear frontrunners on $1.4m, followed by MGM National Harbor on $975,203. Horseshoe Casino came third on $535,356, with Ocean Downs’ revenue coming to $167,936, and Hollywood Casino’s to $94,796. 

From the state’s 15% tax, $469,297 was generated for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programmes in the state. 

“We are truly excited that sports wagering is available, and we’re eager to do our part to keep the market growing,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming director John Martin.

Further operators are expected to roll out retail betting in the coming weeks, with Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission in the process of developing the process and criteria for mobile licensing. 

Legislation was signed into law by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in May 2021, after the state’s citizens backed legal betting in a 2020 referendum.