Maryland Retail Sports Betting Drives December’s Gaming Results

The state of Maryland was quick to release its gaming results for the month of December. According to the figures, gaming revenue through six in-state casinos reached $172.9 million. This was the second-highest monthly figure ever posted in the state.

The driving force behind the increase in revenue can be attributed to legal retail Maryland sports betting at five of the six gaming locations. Revenue was 44.9% higher as compared to December of 2020. The highest total for monthly gaming revenue in Maryland was $180.1 million in July of 2021.

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Maryland Casino Gaming Revenue Posts Strong Numbers

The process to legalize sports betting in Maryland goes back to a successful voter referendum in the 2020 November general election. The proper laws were passed last year, but the regulatory process has been met with delays along the way.

In an effort to expedite the process for retail sportsbooks, state regulators took a few shortcuts to move things along. Online sports betting through mobile sportsbook apps was also legalized. State regulators remain confident that mobile operators will be able to launch ahead of this year’s NFL Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 13.

In the meantime, retail sportsbooks remain the only legal option for betting on the games. Leading the way was MGM National Harbor with $75.5 million in total gaming revenue. This reflects a 53.5% increase over December of last year.

Live! Casino & Hotel in Hanover was second on the list with $62.4 million in total revenue. This monthly figure was up 45.6% from the same time frame in 2020.

The third-biggest casino in Maryland is Baltimore’s Horseshoe Casino. This land-based gaming venue posted a 33.8% increase from last December to $17.1 million in December of 2021.

The state’s three smaller casinos posted strong revenue numbers in the month of December as well.

Both Hollywood Casino in Perryville and Ocean Downs on Maryland’s Eastern Shore also offered retail sports betting for part of December. Rocky Gap, in the western portion of the state, does not offer sports betting at this time.

Legal Retail Sports Betting December Impact

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin attributed the strong results to the addition of retail sports betting as part of the overall gaming mix. He also noted that the recent holiday season was a big draw at all six casino locations.

Given the limited amount of time these five retail books were actually open in December, the overall results were rather impressive. The entire retail sports betting handle reached $16.5 million.

The much anticipated launch of legal online sports betting will better highlight Maryland’s potential as a major market in the US.

The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens and Washington Football Team have the strongest fan base in the state. The NBA’s Washington Wizards, MLB’s Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles and the NHL’s Washington Capitals are four more pro franchises that will impact this market.

Along with the expansion of sports betting online, several new retail betting locations will be up and running in 2022. This list includes Riverboat on the Potomac and Long Shot’s as off-track horse betting facilities.

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