HomeMaryland Sports Betting NewsMaryland Residents Wager Record-Setting $559.8 Million Sports in December

Maryland Residents Wager Record-Setting $559.8 Million Sports in December

Fueled with free wagers from ESPN BET, Maryland residents helped fuel a record-setting $559.8 sports betting handle for December 2023.

Image: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire

Maryland sportsbook operators continue to grow, with the December record-setting handle clearing the previous November high by nearly $9 million. That’s a big jump for the bookmakers and allowed the state of Maryland to collect $6.4 million in taxes from the state’s 13 retail and 12 sportsbook companies.

Is this growth sustainable? Join me as we take a closer look at the Maryland sports betting handle report for December 2023.

FanDuel Tops Mobile Markets

FanDuel MD blew away its 11 other competitors with its $245 million reported handle. That’s a big number for the NYC-based bookmaker, and it was mainly done on the strength of the third-most $5.4 million in promotions and free betting credits. That amounted to a state-best 13.7 hold or win rate, which led to a state-high $27.5 taxable win for December.

DraftKings MD was runner-up to their NYC rival. They handled $167.1 million in wagers during December on, the second-most promotional spending ($5.6 million). Bettors won more at DraftKings as the Boston-based bookie reported a 9.6% win rate and were taxed 15% on their reported $10 million taxable win rate.

ESPN BET Maryland finished its first full month in Maryland with a third-best $42.3 million sports betting handle. That was solely fueled by their state-high $5.8 million in promotional wagers and free bets. They had an 8.8% win rate, but the wins outweighed the bonuses, and as a result, ESPN BET wasn’t responsible for any taxes.

BetMGM ($35.9 million) and Caesars ($24 million) rounded out the top five in betting handle for December 2023.

Aside from ESPN BET, only Betfred, Fanatics, and Superbook failed to generate enough taxable wins to pay December taxes.

Parlays Rule December

The weight behind the bookmakers’ collective $41+ million revenue was parlays. Maryland residents and guests wagered $254 million on parlay cards and assorted gimmicks during December. That amounted to 47% of the total monthly handle on a whopping 19% hold rate which the bookies claimed $48.5 million in taxable winnings.

Pro football, on the strength of the Baltimore Ravens success, accounted for 16.5% on a 2% hold. Pro basketball accounted for 15% of the handle, followed by NCAA basketball (15%), NCAA football (4.9%), and tennis (2.9%), rounding out the top five markets other than parlays.

What Does This Mean for Maryland Bettors?

ESPN BET might have made a splashy entrance, but their handle isn’t sustainable. The only difference between ESPN BET and Barstool Sports is ESPN BET had an entire state to throw their $200 bonus bets at.

Since July 1, PENN and its partner Barstool reported a taxable win of $1.4 million, which leaves what is now called ESPN BET sixth in the state in taxable win, and they weren’t responsible for any taxes this month.

Promotional spending was $19.7 million, which is why these sportsbooks do so well. Maryland sports betting fans won’t download the app without some sort of incentive, and companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, ESPN BET, BetMGM, and Caesars are thriving because of the freebies.

Parlays were far and away the most profitable markets for the bookies, while pro football was the most profitable market for Maryland bettors.