FanDuel dominates handle totals in first full month of Maryland online sports betting

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FanDuel took nearly half of Maryland’s online sports betting handle in the state’s first full month with legal mobile wagering.

FanDuel further cemented itself as the US sports betting leader by securing 49.4% of Maryland’s sports betting handle in December 2022. FanDuel had nearly as much of the state’s total monthly revenue total as the state’s six other legal online sportsbooks combined, according to a revenue report released Tuesday.

The impressive Maryland figures continue a streak in more than a dozen states where FanDuel is the largest operator by handle, typically by similarly lopsided margins.

DraftKings, FanDuel’s daily fantasy sports innovator -turned sportsbook operator rival, was second, with roughly 33% handle market share. BetMGM was third (8.9%) followed by Barstool (3.4%) and Caesars (3.3%). The parent companies of all three operators, MGM, Penn Entertainment and Caesars, respectively, all manage brick-and-mortar casinos as well as retail sportsbooks in the state.

PointsBet secured 1.4% of the state’s December sports betting handle, followed by BetRivers at less than 1%. Both companies also operate retail sportsbooks in the state.

Sports betting figures

Overall, Maryland generated a little over $497m in total sports betting handle in December.

Just over $478m of that figure came from the state’s seven mobile sportsbooks, roughly 96% of the overall total. The state’s nine retail sportsbooks made up less than 4% of the handle.

This handle figure generated just over $440,000 in Maryland state taxes. Sportsbooks are taxed 15% of their gross gaming revenue.

Maryland law allows operators to deduct free bet promotions from their taxable revenues. Combined, the seven mobile sportsbooks offered nearly $71m in such bets in December.

Consequently, the state’s retail books made up significantly more of the state’s tax revenue even though they made up just a tiny fraction of the overall handle. The nine in-person books contributed more than $395,000 in taxes, compared to a little under $45,000 for the seven online books.

Maryland’s mobile sportsbooks don’t have a cap on free play deductions during their first fiscal year of operations, according to a statement from the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. After the first year, such deductions are capped at 20% of the prior year’s taxable win.

All seven operators live now started taking bets in late November.

Maryland details

Maryland’s first full month of legal sports betting comes a year after the first retail books started taking bets, and more than two years after state voters technically legalized wagering.

Voters approved a 2020 state constitutional amendment in that year’s ballot allowing both retail books and statewide mobile wagering. Follow-up regulatory legislation was signed into law in May 2021, but it would take regulators more than 18 months to approve regulations and license the first online sportsbooks, the longest such turnaround in the country.

Maryland’s retail and online sportsbooks were subject to separate licensing requirements, part of the reason why in-person books where able to start taking bets before the mobile offerings.

The 2021 law allows up to 60 mobile sports betting licenses – the highest such cap in the country – but Maryland won’t likely ever come close to approving that many operators; Colorado and New Jersey are the only states with more than 20 live sportsbooks. Regulators are now considering mobile licenses for betPARX, Betfred, Betr, Bally Bet, WynnBet and the coming Fanatics sportsbook, all of which are expected to start taking wagers sometime later this year.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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