Maryland Sees Rise in Sports Handle in March by 21.3%

Maryland has reported a 21.3% increase in sports betting handle for March, reaching $536.7m (£427.7m/€499.6m) for the month. Overall sports betting handle for Maryland in March was also up 39% year-on-year from the $386m in bets taken in the same month last year.

The total sports betting handle of $536.7 million, which equates to a 21.3% increase on the $442.5 million wagered in February and up 39.1% from the $386 million handle posted in March 2023, represents the fourth-highest handle in the Old Line State since the launch of sports betting in the state.

However, despite strong wagering figures, gross revenue for operators was down 5.1% year-over-year to $45.1 million off the back of an 8.4% hold, down from 12.4% in March 2023. The majority of revenue, $44 million, was generated through online sports betting with retail contributing $1.1 million.

Sports Betting By the Numbers

According to reports, Maryland’s handle for February 2024 was 18.8% behind January’s 2024 total of $545m despite the Super Bowl early in the month. However, that drop could also be due to February having less days as well as the NBA All-Star break that spanned between 16-21 February.

March’s handle total took Maryland to $4.07bn for the fiscal year to date. This was up 104.8% on the figure of $1.99bn from the same period of last year.

Mobile accounted for $522.1m in handle, 97.3% of the monthly total. Retail was responsible for $14.6m of the figure. Maryland’s sports betting operators paid $491.6m in prizes, up over $150m on February’s figure of $338.4m.

Overall, February was a good month for bettors in Maryland. The hold for operators was 8.4%,  which was down from 12.3% in the same month last year. However, contributions to the state went up 16.7% month-on-month to $4.9m from $4.2m in February.

The Status of Online Casinos in Maryland for 2024

While sports betting is seeing some positive developments, the online casino situation in Maryland is still uncertain. The bill passed the house by a 92-43 majority on March 14 and was presented in a senate committee on March 26.

However, a litany of unresolved issues came with the introduction that resulted in the opening of discussions about potential hindrances and issues pertaining to cannibalization of traditional casinos and the increase of gambling addiction in the state.

That said, in the event that the senate approves HB 1319, this would allow for statewide online casinos in a state that has a mature retail casino market and which introduced digital sports betting in November 2022.

Unfortunately, after the bill passed the house on March 14 and reached the senate two days later, the general assembly adjourned on 8 April and no discussions on the bill or gambling came up. 

Many in the gambling industry will see the non-action of the lawmakers on the bill as the second key loss for the possibility of online gambling in the state this session. Ten days earlier, the Georgia general assembly ended its term without legalizing digital sports betting. That meant the two states projected to have the best chance at a gambling expansion in 2024 have halted any development in the foreseeable future.

If online wagering is any indication, online casinos in the state have the potential to be highly successful. Maryland is already ranked among the top states for sports betting handle despite being the 14th biggest state by population to launch wagering and set a record for its first five days.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

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