Maryland Sports Betting Continues To Trend Up

Maryland was far from a first-mover in the legal sports betting push. They went live on November 23, 2022 — a full four years after the federal ban on sports wagering was lifted. However, all signs are showing that the state, which includes major cities like Baltimore, is fully on-board with legal bets.

In this article, we’ll take a glimpse into the May numbers for Maryland sports betting. Spoiler alert: everything — and we mean everything — is trending up.

Sports Betting Handle Is Up 35 Percent Year Over Year

For those not in the know, the sports betting handle measures the total money bet on sports. You bet $100, you contributed $100 to the state’s handle. This does not mean the sportsbooks or Maryland keep that entire sum, just that $100 was spent. Welp, in the month of May, the “Old Line State” posted a $431.5 million total sports betting handle. That’s up 34.8 percent from May 2023 numbers.

We’re impressed, mostly because May is a “slow” month in sports betting. Sure, the NBA and NHL playoffs happened, but if we’re being honest, both postseasons have been stinkers with uncompetitive games and series. Not only that, but it’s not like the state of Maryland has any local teams. We guess you can count the nearby Washington DC teams as “local” but neither was playing. The NBA Wizards failed to make the postseason, while the NHL Capitals were eliminated in April’s first round.

Anyways, you’re probably wondering how much of that $431.5 million goes to sportsbooks? How much goes to the state? We got hard answers for both in the month of May too.

Maryland operators paid out $380.4 million back to players. Of that remaining money, they had to pay the state 15 percent on taxes. That means the state banked $6.9 million in tax revenue — wildly up from $4.6 million a year ago. All in all, operators had a total hold of 11.8 percent for the month.

Even more interesting, there’s data on what type of bets paid out Maryland operators the best. Get this, the hold on parlay bets was a staggering 24.7 percent — more than double the average for the whole month. As the data reflects, parlays are big business for operators and bad business for bettors. Perhaps think this through the next time you’re thinking of laying a four-leg parlay.

FanDuel Eats Up The Most Market Share

We should mention that all this data is coming from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming — so it’s 100 percent legit. They neatly break down all things related to in-state betting, including how the operators are performing. As the headline hints, FanDuel is taking up the biggest piece of the pie in Maryland.

FanDuel reported a $195 million mobile handle in May. Out of that, they kept $27.2 million — up over 50 percent from $18 million last May. This is in line with the rest of the country where FanDuel is the number-one-used sports betting app in the vast majority of states.

Also on trend is DraftKings in second. In Maryland, DraftKings posted a handle of $137.3 million and another $12.2 million in taxable wins. As you can see, there’s a decent-sized gap between the two operators. FanDuel’s market share is more than 40 percent better than DraftKings.

However, there’s an even bigger gap between second and third place. With just $31 million in mobile handle in May and another $2.9 million in taxable wins, BetMGM is a far third in the sports betting war — not only in Maryland, but most of the nation.

Fourth place belongs to the PENN-owned ESPN Bet. The brand recorded $16.8 million in handle, but impressive profits at $6 million — double that of BetMGM despite a much lower handle. The platform is on a huge growth trajectory compared to 2023. During May of that year, it only profited $1.3 million. Maybe this ESPN rebrand away from Barstool is actually panning out.

New Operator Entering The Fold In Maryland

Joining the fray in Maryland is Betr, a micro-betting platform. They were just approved to operate in the state by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming. They haven’t launched quite yet, but should be sometime this year.

Betr is most famous because it’s owned by Jake Paul, the influencer turned boxer turned entrepreneur. It’s a big year for Paul so it’s in Betr’s best interest to get up and running soon.

First up, Paul is boxing Mike Perry on July 20. Perry is a big name in the world of bare-knuckle fighting so there’s some hype around this bout. That was the original date of the Paul vs. Mike Tyson fight, however, that’s now been moved to Dallas after Tyson, an almost 60-year-old man, had health flare-ups. Fair fight or not, it’s Tyson and you can guarantee that fight will be big business in Maryland betting.

We see no reason why the state of Maryland can’t continue to shine in the sports betting space. As this news shows, the state’s betting interest is only gaining momentum — not losing it.

Eric Uribe

Eric was born and raised in Nevada — the center of gambling in the United States. Throw in his natural interest in sports, and Eric was destined to be a sports bettor. This came to a head once Eric turned 21. Already a working sports journalist while in college, Eric began betting at his local sportsbook. Despite massive losses (at first), Eric continued to chip away at wagering. Eventually, he got half-decent at it. Now Eric is a trusted betting analyst. Not only is he skilled at making picks, but also breaking down the state of the industry — legalization, revenue, and innovation. You can read Eric's writings exclusively on OSB.