Maryland Sportsbooks Could Take in More Than $3 Billion in Bets Annually

Maryland’s sports betting market will be capable of attracting more than $200 million in gaming revenue on more than $3 billion in bets annually, which could then generate as much as $35 million in tax revenue for the state once the market matures, according to estimates of PlayMaryland.

When Gov. Larry Hogan signs the bill to officially legalize sports betting in Maryland, which is expected, the state will join 26 other U.S. states and Washington D.C., that have regulated sports betting in some form. Twenty-two of those jurisdictions have launched.

At maturity, which could come as soon as the market’s third year, Maryland operators could take in as much $3.1 billion in bets annually, which would then produce between $125 million and $225 million in taxable revenue each year, according to PlayMaryland projections. With Maryland’s tax structure, which is 15% of an operator’s taxable revenue, that could mean as much as $35 million in state taxes.

As a market, Maryland does have some advantages. The most notable is that only Washington D.C. has a higher median income among legal sports betting jurisdictions. And the fan bases of the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles, plus nine Division I athletic programs, including Maryland and Navy, will help drive interest.

But it also has some disadvantages relative to other markets its size. By population, Maryland (6 million) most closely compares among established sports betting markets with Colorado (5.8 million), currently the eighth largest sports betting market in the U.S. Since launching in May, Colorado has taken in $1.8 billion in bets — including $611.5 million through the first two months of 2021 — which has produced $109.4 million in gross gaming revenue.

Maryland is unique though. For one, it will be the first market to launch while being completely surrounded by jurisdictions that have already legalized sports betting in some form. And Maryland is without a significant sports tourism industry. Those two factors will make the market almost entirely locally dependent.