Maryland Sports Betting Holds Dip Below 10% in August

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Fans watch the Baltimore Ravens training camp at Under Armour Performance Center Baltimore Ravens in Owings Mills, Maryland. Scott Taetsch/Getty Images/AFP.

The sports betting operators in Maryland have routinely taken their customers to the cleaners, consistently posting double-digit holds or win rates, but August told a different tale as the bettors scraped back some of their losses.

First Single Digit Hold Since Launch

Retail sports betting began in December 2021 but it wasn’t until November 2022 that mobile betting came to the Old Line State. And since that digital launch, the mobile sportsbooks have been crushing their customers as evidenced by their double-digit holds month after month.

However, that streak was finally broken after 10 consecutive months when Maryland Lottery and Gaming announced August’s hold was 9.4%. It was the first time the win rate had dropped below 10% with the second-lowest hold occurring in June when it slumped to 10.6%.

Nevertheless, the books still hauled in $24.6 million in gross gaming revenue on a $263.7 million handle. After the the approximately $8.1 million in promotional deductions the combined taxable profit was $17 million in adjusted gross revenue which reaped $2.6 million for the state. Maryland has collected over $27.4 million in taxes this year with four of the busiest months of the year remaining.

FanDuel Remains State’s Top Book

Although the average hold fell to 9.4%, FanDuel’s win rate was a robust 12.1% in August after accepting $104.2 million in wagers during August. That was good for a 12.6 million gross revenue but FanDuel also took the most promotional deductions of any sportsbook in the state with $2.6 million.

Boston-based bookmaker, DraftKings, came second with a $92 million handle but had a much more moderate hold of 7.7% which rendered $7 million in gross revenue. Speaking of DK’s handle, it became the only sportsbook other than FanDuel to break the $1 billion handle barrier since launching in the state.

BetMGM took its standard place behind the two industry leaders with a handle of $20.2 million on hold of 10.4% for gross revenue of $2.1 million. The Vegas-based bookmaker also cleared $10 million in revenue for the calendar year in Maryland.

No. 1 Retail Book Takes a Hit

MGM National Harbor was far and away the most popular retail sportsbook in August, taking 44% of all the action. Yet, the bettors got the best of them and put the Forest Heights book in the red for the month. With a handle of $5.9 million in August the MGM National Harbor casino sportsbook lost $169,000 for the month.

That was a massive swing from the previous month in which the MGM went from a stellar 19.6% hold in July to a woeful -2.9% in August. But in the misery loves company department, the Horseshoe Casino also lost money but it wasn’t much.

The Baltimore-based brick-and-mortar sportsbook took in $1.3 million in wagers and lost $26,000 to their customers for the month. It was the second time in three months that the Caesars-owned sportsbook lost money after a winning streak that spanned 18 months before the recent run of bad luck.