Maryland Online Sports Betting Promos Cut Into Tax Revenue

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on January 12, 2023
Highly promoted Maryland sports betting leads to low tax revenue

After one month, Maryland online sports betting is already off to a good start. 

In December, the industry collected $478.2 million in bets, $70.9 million of which came as free promotional bets.

Tax revenue collected from sports betting on the low end

As for tax revenue, the state collected only $44,791, according to numbers released by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. The low tax revenue amount is primarily a result of promotional bets accounting for 15% of the online handle. Promo bets are also known as “free play” bets.  

Maryland is among a handful of states that allows sports betting operators to deduct free play bets from their taxable income. Due to the state’s low tax haul, other jurisdictions like Virginia and Colorado have changed their gaming laws to eliminate promo deductions. 

As the market begins to mature, operators could decrease the number of free-play bets, thus resulting in better tax revenue for the state. Experts project Maryland to generate around $75 million from its 15% tax on operators in 2023. 

Who is the top sports betting operator in Maryland?

When it comes to the title of the top operator, a familiar face reigns supreme. The FanDuel Sportsbook accounted for nearly half of all bets placed on MD sports betting apps, with $236.2 million for December. 

Maryland is the ninth state where FanDuel owns at least 40% of the market share. 

In a close second was the DraftKings Sportsbook with $157.9 million in handle. As for the state’s other five active sportsbooks, they combined for only 17% of the total handle. 

Maryland online sports betting operators by market share:

  • FanDuel – 49.4% ($236.2 million)
  • DraftKings – 33% ($157.9 million)
  • BetMGM – 8.9% ($42.3 million)
  • Barstool – 3.4% ($16.4 million)
  • Caesars – 3.3% ($15.6 million)
  • PointsBet – 1.4% ($6.7 million)
  • BetRivers – 0.7% ($3.2 million)

State gaming law allows for up to 60 sports betting apps. Although it could take some time for the state to reach the 60 count, operators like Betfred, BetFanatics and betPARX are expected to launch this year. 

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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