August usually represents the yearly bottoming out for sportsbooks across America, and even the best sports betting apps. But participating sports betting jurisdictions have actually reported a slight increase in betting activity during 2023.
Overall, 12 Maryland sports betting apps and 12 retail providers experienced a rare late-summer increase in sports betting action in August. But revenues dipped because of the worst hold rate this year for the state's sportsbooks.
Still, with August's month-over-month sports betting increases, optimism for the legal scene in Maryland is certainly high for September. Maryland bettors were able to place a mobile wager during Week 1 of the NFL season for the first time, prompting tremendous interest in just how the state’s industry reacts to the start of the bread-and-butter pigskin season kickoff.
Handle up 6% month-over-month
The Maryland Lottery and Gaming August revenue report identified a total August sports betting handle of $263.7 million. While far off the record $497,121,656 handle from December 2022, it's a 6% improvement from the $247.4 million in July.
Maryland’s mobile betting sites only went live in November, so there are no year-over-year handle comparisons to draw from.
Maryland sports betting apps made up 95% of the state's overall August handle.
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Gross gaming revenues for the Maryland legal sports betting scene came in at $24.9 million in August. That represents a 12% decline from the $28.1 million reported in July. Just like the overall handle, a year-over-year comparison is not applicable as the more all-encompassing mobile platform wasn't available in July and August 2022.
The reason for the revenue decline is a drop in win rate for Maryland's best sportsbooks. August was the first of the 10 months of mobile sports betting legalization that the hold for Maryland providers slipped under 10%. August also snapped a streak of 13 straight months of double-digit holds.
August's hold rate came in at 9.4%, down from 11.4% in July. The previous low since Maryland welcomed mobile sports betting sites was 10.6%, which came in June.
Thanks to Maryland's 15% tax rate, $2.6 million was collected from the Old Line State's sportsbooks for the Blueprint for Maryland Future Fund. That's down from $3.3 million in July.
FanDuel comes out on top
The battle for Maryland's top performing sportsbook was once again came down to two.
Baseball a loser for Maryland sportsbooks
Baseball betting is back in Maryland, but the success of the Baltimore Orioles isn't translating to success for the state's sportsbooks.
$74.4 million was bet on baseball in Maryland during August, but the hold rate for baseball bets came in at just 2.7%. Revenue from the most bet on sports in Maryland during August was just $2 million.
$14.2 million was placed on football futures in Maryland during August, while parlays also contributed to the state’s overall handle.