Maryland Sports Betting Handle Up 34% In August, But Revenue Takes A Hit

Written By J.R. Duren on September 12, 2023
Jewelry of Baltimore Orioles Catcher Pedro Severino with Maryland sports betting August 2023

Maryland’s 12 retail and 12 online sportsbooks combined for $263.7 million in handle and $17.0 million in revenue in August, according to data from Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

While handle was up more than $16 million in August compared to July, revenue dipped by more than $5 million from $22.1 million to $17.0 million.

As a result, tax contributions from the state’s 24 retail and online sportsbooks fell from $3.3 million in July to $2.6 million in August.

Maryland’s retail sportsbooks see handle rise by more than $3.5 million

August was a fantastic month for Maryland’s retail sportsbook handle (amount gambled). The sum of all bets placed hit $13.4 million which was a 34.3% increase over July’s figures.

However, books took home 57.5% less revenue than they did in July, dropping from $1.5 million to $653,079.

MGM National Harbor generated the most handle, while Live! Casino accounted for a little under half of the total revenue for the month.

Bingo World$814,462.46$69,347.61
Canton Gaming / Canton$1,630.00$1,625.93
Greenmount OTB$60,164.35$10,113.54
Hollywood Casino$937,732.01$46,201.88
Horseshoe Casino$1,290,844.00$0.00
Live! Casino$2,831,935.25$364,413.16
Long Shot's$142,448.71$11,893.77
Maryland Stadium Sub$148,901.25$1,504.49
MGM National Harbor$5,880,892.65$0.00
Ocean Downs Casino$924,813.92$123,830.10
Riverboat on the Potomac$333,385.50$22,056.09
Whitman Gaming$2,105.00$2,092.49
August 2023 Total$13,369,315.10$653,079.04
July 2023 Total$9,886,440.13$1,542,461.54
% Change34.3%-57.5%

Online sports betting handle rises 5.4% but revenue drops

Similar to Maryland retail sportsbooks, online sports betting in Maryland saw an increase in handle but a drop in revenue compared to July’s numbers.

Live! Casino, DraftKings, and BetMGM accounted for all but around $12 million of the more than $250 million in handle and all but around $1 million of the $16.4 million in revenue that online sportsbooks generated.

Bingo World$3,459,541.51$128,986.48
Crab Sports$214,487.27$1,017.96
Hollywood Casino$5,505,287.19$175,944.96
Live! Casino$104,196,439.54$9,667,350.02
Long Shot's$1,164,397.40$0.00
Maryland Stadium Sub$6,680,743.83$0.00
Riverboat on the Potomac$2,207,579.57$148,082.90
August 2023 Total$250,360,244.01$16,384,724.65
July 2023 Total$237,525,907.62$20,541,757.45
% Change5.4%-20.3%

Promotional payouts and low hold on baseball contribute to revenue dip

When looking at Maryland’s August revenue report, the natural question that arises is: How did sports betting revenue drop if the overall handle rose by more than $31 million?

There were two main factors: promotions and baseball betting.

In August, sportsbooks paid out $8.1 million in promotions, which was nearly  34% of the handle. In July, promotions totaled 14.9% of handle. This is a significant difference since promotions are subtracted from the hold (amount of money the sportsbook kept after payouts) and before the revenue calculation.

Additionally, pro baseball bets jumped nearly $5 million in August, but sportsbooks saw their hold on pro baseball bets drop from $4.6 million to just under $2 million.

Photo by Julio Cortez / AP Photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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