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In November 2020, a majority of Marylanders voted in favor of legalizing sports betting in the state. This marked a historic moment for Maryland, as it was one of the first states to take advantage of the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to end the federal ban on sports betting.
The decision has been met with widespread praise and excitement throughout the state, as it has opened the door for businesses and residents alike to benefit from this new form of entertainment.
How Sports Betting Has Impacted Maryland
The legalization of sports betting in Maryland has given rise to a new form of entertainment that many people find enjoyable. It has also created jobs and generated revenue for both businesses and the state. A significant beneficiary has been the local economy; due to legalized sports betting, local businesses have seen an increase in customers who are looking for places to wager on their favorite teams or players. This influx of new customers has resulted in an increase in revenue for these establishments, which could ultimately lead to more job opportunities.
Since going live in November 2022 online and a month later in person, sportsbooks across the Old Line State have managed to generate impressive sums of money in their first legal month. According to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Board, it has been reported that a sports wagering handle of $497.1 million had been achieved.
In addition to helping local businesses thrive, legalized sports betting has also provided a much-needed boost to the state’s coffers. A total of $6.1 million was generated in tax for the year. With more money coming into the state, there is now more money available for public services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects. This will not only benefit citizens directly but also help create a more robust economy overall by increasing spending power within the state.
With its first live month having been a considerable success, online sports wagering appears to have had a significant impact on the state. However, with figures to still be reported for in-person betting, revenues may continue to rocket.
Legalized gambling has benefited States all over the US
Many will argue Maryland’s achievement is something that could be predicted, as there are other states nationwide that have shown just how successful legalizing gambling activities can be for the region.
New Jersey is perhaps a prime example of this, as the Garden State continues to produce strong performances. NJ is a little different compared to many areas throughout the country, as it is one of just three states that has fully regulated online casinos, too. Nonetheless, there have been numerous benefits in doing so.
According to data reported, over $22 billion has been generated since sports betting was launched in the Garden State. A further $3 billion had been raised in taxes. Furthermore, a total of $5.2 billion – of which almost $5 billion was generated via casino games – has been generated across online gambling, showing that New Jersey online casinos pioneered the industry, leading led to big profits that operators are currently enjoying.
However, it is not just NJ that has been able to benefit from the legalization of sports betting and casino gaming. Pennsylvania and Michigan are two other states that have fully regulated both activities and have had tremendous success.
Maryland is already competing with established markets.
In order to further understand the success that Maryland had in its first month, it is worth taking a look at how it performed in comparison to other markets nationwide. According to figures, the Old Line State was second in December in regard to its sports betting handle. The $497.1 million generated was only eclipsed by New York, as the Big Apple handled $1.63 billion in the final month of 2022.
Runnning Top 10 #SportsBetting handles by state for December:
1 New York $1.63B
2 Maryland $497.1M
3 Iowa $229.9M
4 West Virginia ~$66M
5 Delaware $8.2M
6 Montana $7.2M
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) January 10, 2023
Indeed, while only six states had reported their earnings, it was an impressive debut by the region and one that will have filled it with confidence that it will be a success. However, could the state also compete with those that have already implemented regulations for online casinos?
Given that there appears to be an appetite for such activities, it could well prove to be an avenue that Maryland will explore in the future. With other states having had huge successes with such offerings, there is no reason why the Old Line State should not follow suit and enjoy success similar to those mentioned above.
Of course, only time will tell as to whether this will happen in the future. At the moment, there does not appear to be any movement regarding the new laws of Maryland in 2023. However, with neighboring states Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia – with which borders are shared – having all allowed the activity, then it would not be a surprise if we were to see Maryland follow suit.
A Step Forward But Greater Steps Possible for Maryland
Overall, Maryland’s decision to legalize sports betting was a step forward for both its citizens and its economy. Not only did it create new jobs and generate additional revenue for local businesses, but it also allowed those same businesses to take advantage of increased spending power within their communities as well as money coming into the state government through taxes paid by bettors and operators alike. While there are still some areas where further progress needs to be made – such as giving residents access to online casino gaming – the future looks bright for Maryland thanks primarily to its decision on sports betting legislation last year!
Nonetheless, with states around them already having introduced iGaming in some form, perhaps there are more incredible strides that the Old Line State can still make in regard to its online gambling industry in the future, especially if they can take a leaf out of the books of NJ, PA, and MI.