In November, Maryland’s legal sports betting market saw a significant surge, surpassing its previous record and showcasing a strong demand for such wagering activities. The monthly handle soared to $550.7 million, exceeding the previous high of $497.1 million set in December 2022. This notable increase represented a 14% rise from October’s $483.1 million, which itself was the second-highest handle recorded until that point.
Online Gambling Made Up Majority of Strong Performance in Maryland
In November 2023, Maryland’s legal sports betting market achieved a significant milestone by surpassing its prior record, exhibiting a strong inclination towards this form of wagering. The monthly handle soared to $550.7 million, surpassing the previous high of $497.1 million in December 2022. This surge represented a notable 14% increase from October’s figure of $483.1 million, which stood as the second-highest handle at that time. The convergence of major sporting events such as NFL, college football, NBA, college basketball, and NHL, combined with the operation of 12 mobile and 13 retail sportsbooks for approximately a year since the launch of online sports betting, proved pivotal in achieving this noteworthy milestone.
Despite the significant betting activity, the gross revenue of sportsbooks did not align in the same proportion. Bettors’ successes curtailed sportsbooks, leading to a 4.5-point decrease in the month-over-month hold to 7.6% in November. Operators reported a gross revenue of $41.6 million, with adjusted revenue at $21.3 million, marking a 45% decline from the preceding month. This reduction was partly attributed to sportsbooks distributing over $28.6 million in promotional credits.
In the 12 months post-market launch, the operator count expanded from seven to 12. The entrance of ESPN BET, which launched in multiple states on November 14, notably contributed through its assertive entry into the Old Line State. Online operators substantially dominated the scene, accounting for 98.6% of the total amount wagered, while retail sportsbooks contributed $17.4 million to the overall handle. Additionally, operators fulfilled their tax obligations, contributing $3.2 million to the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which accumulated $46.25 million over the year. This financial contribution reinforces the positive impact of the sports betting industry on the state’s development initiatives.
FanDuel and DraftKings Continue to Excel in Maryland Market
In November 2023, the dominance of FanDuel and DraftKings persisted in Maryland’s sports betting landscape, jointly accounting for over $400 million of the total handle. FanDuel clinched a state record with a monthly handle of $241.7 million, edging past DraftKings, which recorded $165.8 million in wagers during the same period. BetMGM secured the third spot with a wagered amount just shy of $36 million.
The arrival of ESPN BET marked a notable debut, leveraging its renowned brand in collaboration with PENN Entertainment’s fresh platform. Despite handling $33.3 million and securing the fourth-highest position for the month in Maryland, it distributed over $13 million in promotional credits to stimulate interest in its newly introduced sportsbook app. ESPN BET’s impact was significant, contributing to the financial outcome by generating $4.2 million in gross revenue, thereby reflecting a 12.6% hold – the highest recorded in any month since PENN Entertainment entered Maryland’s market.
In contrast, among brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, MGM National Harbor took the lead with a handle of $5.7 million. However, it exhibited a decrease in the win rate from 16% to 7.5%, notably below its fiscal year average of 9%. Following suit, Live! Casino presented a handle of $4.1 million, securing the second-best position among retail shops in November. However, the FanDuel-operated sportsbook reported a lower hold of 3.8% despite its respectable handle. Several other in-person sportsbooks managed seven-figure handles, with none surpassing $2 million, showcasing the diverse landscape of wagering activity in brick-and-mortar establishments alongside the dominance of mobile operators like FanDuel and DraftKings in Maryland’s sports betting scene.
Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) Supported Crab Sports Launch in Maryland in August 2023
Amidst the bustling sports betting scene in Maryland, Crab Sports announced the official launch of its online sports betting platform back in August 2023, made possible through its collaboration with Gaming Innovation Group (GiG). This strategic partnership has facilitated the integration of GiG’s advanced platform and sportsbook services, aimed at elevating the wagering experience for Crab Sports’ clientele. The initial revelation of the Crab Sports-GiG alliance in June 2022 has culminated in the recent rollout of the online sports betting offering, marking the latest addition to the roster of 11 other operators that went live in Maryland since the state legalized online wagering in December 2021.
The entrance of Crab Sports into the online sports betting arena intensifies competition in Maryland’s flourishing sports betting landscape. Among the established players such as BetMGM, Caesars, PointsBet, BetRivers, DraftKings, Barstool, FanDuel, Betfred, Fanatics, and SuperBook, Crab Sports adds another dimension, offering Maryland bettors a diverse range of choices for their sports wagering activities.
Derek Baker, co-founder of Crab Sports, expressed his enthusiasm for the platform’s launch in Maryland. Acknowledging the collaborative efforts leading to this significant milestone, Baker conveyed satisfaction with the outcome of their partnership, highlighting the development of a competitive product poised to challenge the industry’s frontrunners:
“We are incredibly excited to be launching Crab Sports in Maryland. Together, we have accomplished a tremendous amount to reach this milestone. We’re delighted our partnership has delivered a product to help us compete with the best in the market. We are looking forward to demonstrating the power of our localized approach and our shared bright future ahead.”– Derek Baker, Co-Founder, Crab Sports,Press Release
DraftKings Announced Forthcoming Maryland Launch in November 2022
DraftKings, a major player in the expanding landscape of sports betting across the United States, declared its entry into Maryland’s increasingly competitive sports betting market back in November 2022. This move coincided with Betfred’s retail sportsbook launch on November 18th, 2022, while DraftKings plans to unveil its own online mobile sportsbook app on November 23rd.
The successful launches of both operators came after they navigated the requisite early access test period mandated by the Maryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency and paid a substantial application fee of $500,000. Maryland recently concluded its mobile sports wagering licensing process on October 21st, 2022, following its commencement on September 7th. This development positions the state for imminent sports wagering action, albeit just in time before high-profile NFL games scheduled for Thanksgiving, presenting a thrilling prospect for sports betting enthusiasts.
Of particular interest to betting aficionados will be DraftKings’ unique mobile sports wagering app, offering a range of betting options including same-game parlays, player props, special odds, and boost selections. This proprietary platform aims to provide players with an engaging and diverse betting experience within Maryland’s betting landscape.
DraftKings’ co-founder and president of DraftKings North America, Matt Kalish, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the recent launch of the platform in Maryland. During the event, Kalish cited the ongoing sports season as one of the significant factors contributing to the operator’s excitement about this expansion into the Maryland sports betting market:
“With an active sports season currently underway, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to launch our top-rated sportsbook app in Maryland. Our product delivers fans an exciting sports betting experience, and we would like to thank the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, Governor Hogan and the General Assembly for bringing online sports wagering to Maryland.”– Matt Kalish, Co-Founder and President, DraftKings,Press Release
Betfred Also Stepped Into Maryland Market Around the Same Time
Betfred Sports, the sports betting division of Betfred, disclosed in July 2022 its successful market access deal in Maryland. The agreement, inked with Long Shot’s, an off-track betting operator and restaurant based in Frederick County, paved the way for Betfred’s entrance into Maryland’s sports betting landscape.
Although Betfred secured the ability to launch its physical retail sportsbook in Maryland following this agreement, the approval for its online sportsbook remained pending. The operator hinted at its expansive plans in the Old Line State upon the initial announcement. These plans encompass the development of a permanent sportsbook facility, equipped with a video wall, theater-style seating, and dedicated food and beverage amenities. These developments are reportedly underway and slated for an early 2023 opening.
Alyse Cohen, Chief Executive of Long Shot’s, expressed satisfaction with the partnership, affirming Long Shot’s status as one of Maryland’s premier betting complexes. The collaboration with Betfred is poised to bring enhanced sports betting experiences to patrons within the state.
“We were at the forefront of bringing sports betting to Maryland and specifically to Frederick. We are thrilled to open a sportsbook at Long Shot’s in partnership with Betfred Sports. We are proud that Long Shot’s is one of the premier off-track betting locations in the State and we look forward to achieving similar success with sports wagering.”
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