Through just nine days of November wagering, online and mobile sports betting in Maryland is off to a strong start. From the official launch date of legal and regulated sports betting in the state on November 21 through the end of the month, Maryland’s combined mobile and retail sports wagering handle totaled $219,071,374
Sportsbooks generated $704,728 for the state. Each sports wagering licensee contributes 15% of its taxable win to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which supports public education programs.
Maryland’s first seven mobile sportsbooks held eight hours of controlled demonstration wagering on November 21, and launched at 9 a.m. on November 23. In nine days of operations during November, mobile sports wagering handle was $186,084,496. That amount included $63,835,319 in free promotional play, which is provided to customers by sportsbooks and is deducted from the taxable win. As a result, mobile wagering accounted for $4,262 in contributions to the state in its first nine days.
“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 statement. “There was tremendous pent-up demand, and a lot of people are utilizing promotional offers from multiple operators simultaneously. 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.”
Maryland’s sports wagering regulations do not limit the amount of a sportsbook’s promotional play in its first full fiscal year of operation. However, after the first full fiscal year, regulations require that a sportsbook’s promotional play amount may not exceed 20% of its taxable win from the prior year.
“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. “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.”
Maryland had nine retail sportsbook facilities and seven mobile sportsbooks operating during November of 2022. The ninth retail location, Long Shot’s in Frederick, opened on November 18.
Photo by Brandon Mowinkel on Unsplash.