Maryland’s sports betting industry sees strong growth in March, driven by March Madness excitement
By TOI Staff April 20, 2023 Update on : April 20, 2023
Although there are major sporting events throughout the year in North America, some events draw more fans than others do. There’s a reason why the states that have legalized sports betting have often tried to get sportsbooks up and running during the winter months each year: so that they can capitalize off the betting rush that is part and parcel of major events like the Super Bowl.
Mobile sports betting went live in Maryland, for instance, on November 22, 2022, roughly three months ahead of the Super Bowl, giving the bookies time to get up and running ahead of the year’s biggest sporting spectacle.
In an article by Josh Rosenthal of Fox 5 Washington D.C., John Martin, director of the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency (MLGCA) mentioned that despite the record pace to open the year, he expects the returns from sports betting to slow down significantly over the summer. It doesn’t help that local teams aren’t expected to do much this season. BetMGM Sportsbook lists the Baltimore Orioles as having the longest odds (+3500) of winning the AL East this season. The Ravens have a better outlook, listed at +2500 to win the Super Bowl, but that hinges on whether the team can salvage their relationship with 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.
Be sure to use a BetMGM Maryland bonus code if you want to bet on the Orioles, the Ravens, or any other team this spring to ensure that you’ll have the best chance at winning big.
While the Super Bowl is the busiest day of the year by far for those in the sports industry, Maryland’s betting returns for the instant classic of a showdown between the Chiefs and Eagles paled in comparison to the frenzy of wagers placed on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. March truly was Madness for sports bettors in the Free State, with more than $385 million in bets placed, an early record for the state’s fledgling betting industry.
It didn’t hurt that the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team made it to the Round of 32 (or that the women’s basketball team made it to the Elite Eight), drawing a flurry of bets from fans eager to watch championship basketball.
The magical run came to an end for both teams when they faced a buzzsaw of a No. 1 seed, both in the bracket seeding and in the AP Poll heading into the Big Dance. For the men, it was the Alabama Crimson Tide; for the women it was the South Carolina Gamecocks.
March’s big handle contains a number of benefits for the state of Maryland: it isn’t just the casino operators and winning bettors who reap the rewards of a record month at the books.
Acting on behalf of the state, the MLGCA levies taxes on winning bets based on a sliding scale that ranges from 2 percent to 5.75 percent. As such, the MLGCA reported more than $5.3 million in tax revenue brought in during the month of March. The MLGCA looks to pay those funds forward, earmarking them for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund (BMFF).
Per the BMFF’s official website, the mission of the fund is to “increase education funding [incrementally, with a final goal of] $3.8 billion each year [within] the next 10 years.” That money will be spent to “enrich student experiences and accelerate student outcomes, as well as improve the quality of education for all children in Maryland, especially those who have been historically underserved.” For the nearly 900,000 students in Maryland public schools, that equates to an average increase in spending of $4,311 per student, per year by the time the program concludes.