Maryland Lottery and Gaming recorded just US$19.1m sports betting handle for the state in June, the lowest on record since the launch of legal sports betting last December. It comes as additional pressure is put on regulators to consider online sports betting.
Although the downturn in handle was somewhat expected due to the North American sports calendar entering the off-season and the volume of bets placed on the MLB, NBA and NFL compared to other sports (especially in a retail environment).
Handle of US$19.12m was down 17% from May which saw US$23.09m taken in Maryland with Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) down a remarkable 57% from May to June, owing to weak margins and overall strong performance from sports betting punters.
This is the third consecutive month of decreases for Maryland sports betting, with handle falling 17%, 14% and 16% in the last three months accordingly. Revenue has also decreased overwhelmingly, although due to difference in margins and hold it hasn’t fluctuated as wildly as amount staked.
Gov. Larry Hogan continues his push for mobile wagering
Elsewhere, Maryland policymakers continue to consider the introduction of online sports wagering, something being pushed for across the state. The Sports Wagering Application Review Commission posted draft applications and regulations on Monday, and the commission will meet tomorrow to discuss and vote on the sports betting drafts.
The rollout of sportsbetting from a retail perspective has remained slow; only 5 of the 17 licensees named legal are open across the state. Gov. Larry Hogan has pleaded with the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to allow mobile sports wagering by the launch of the NFL, on 8th September. Hogan also outlined in a letter that he the 17 establishments provided a retail licence should be provided priority for a mobile licence.
The Commission are set to meet on Wed 13th July, and the chair of the Commission Thomas Brandt has previously suggested applications can start coming in by late summer. The concern remains that should the legislators leave it too late, Maryland mobile wagering might miss the start of the NFL season, one of the American sports calendar’s largest weekends by both handle and revenue.