According to Maryland Lottery and Gaming data, the state's nine retail and seven mobile sportsbooks recorded over $497 million in handle in December, the first full month where gamblers could place wagers from their phones. As expected, the vast majority came from wagers placed on bettors' mobile devices.
December marked Maryland's first full month of mobile sports gaming, as the seven mobile sportsbooks currently operating all launched on November 23. That month, the state reported a total of roughly $219 million in total sports bets, as mobile sports betting was only available for nine days at the end of November.
The seven sportsbooks with mobile offerings reported a profit of $298,609 on mobile sports bets in December, compared to a loss of over $38 million in November when DraftKings and FanDuel combined to offer more than $35 million in promotional bets in just nine days, reports Maryland Business Journal.
The mobile handle in December included $70,9 million in free promotional bets provided to customers by sportsbooks, which is deducted from the taxable win. While the total was higher than the $63.8 million of promotional bets in November, that figure accounted for just nine days' worth of betting in November.
The promotional bets continue to cut into the amount of tax revenue Maryland receives from mobile sports gambling, says the cited source. The state receives 15% of the taxable win from sports gambling, so Maryland received $44,791 for public education programs in December, dwarfing the $4,262 received in November.
December was a month dominated by two sportsbooks, accounting for over 80% of all mobile bets placed in Maryland. FanDuel was the largest sportsbook in the state, receiving a total of $236 million in mobile bets. It was followed by DraftKings, with $157 million in mobile bets.
BetMGM came in third, which last month received the largest fine in Maryland Lottery and Gaming history. The brand saw $42 million in bets placed on its mobile sportsbook in December.
DraftKings and FanDuel are the two leading sportsbooks for promotional bets. FanDuel has thus far distributed $68.9 million in free bets, while DraftKings doled out $49.2 million. However, in accordance with Maryland regulations, the number of promotional bets should start to decrease after the first fiscal year, as sportsbooks' promotional play may not exceed 20% of their taxable wins from the prior year.
With the rise of mobile sports betting came a drop in sports bets placed in person at casinos. According to published data, casinos saw $18.8 million in wagers last month, down from $32.9 million placed at casinos in November. The state received $395,252 in tax revenue from in-person betting.
As for slot machines and table games, Maryland’s six casinos generated $165.2 million in revenue in December. That revenue was down $7.7 million from December 2021, a decrease of 4.5%.
Maryland’s highest-earning casino for table games and slot machines was MGM National Harbor in Prince George's County, which had revenues of $69.4 million in December, a drop of nearly 7% from December 2021.
The casino with the second-highest revenue was Live Casino & Hotel in Hanover, which pulled in $59.6 million, a 4.4% drop year-over-year. Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore came in third, with revenue of $16.8 million, a drop of 1.4%.