Maryland Bettors Expected To Wager Hundreds Of Millions This Winter

Maryland Bettors Expected To Wager Hundreds Of Millions This Winter

This article is part of our Betting Promotions series.

Maryland is the next state to launch legal online sports wagering, and it's an interesting one as there is no set date for the sportsbooks to go live. There are expected to be a lot of operators available and tons of sports bettors and fans willing to wager.

In this article, we take a look at what is to come in the state of Maryland as sports wagering is set to launch in the coming weeks. We look at how Maryland compares to other states where legal sports betting has launched, what the betting handle could look like, and our projections for the market in general.

How Maryland Compares To Other Betting States

One of the ways to compare how states will fare in terms of sports wagering and handle is to compare populations. Maryland's population ranked 18th in the 2020 census with just under 6.2 million people.

This ranked behind Indiana by nearly 600,000 people, which is a comparative state, but even closer to Colorado which had just 400,000 less people in the census. We can expect the numbers in Maryland to be somewhere between Colorado and Indiana, but there are some key differences as well.

StatePopulation (2020 Census)

Of course, state populations change, but using the data we have available to us we can safely assume the general population in Maryland is between Indiana and Colorado -- both of which are states where sports wagering is legal and regulated. Kansas is included in the above chart as it is the most recent state that launched sports betting.

What Kind Of Online Betting Handle Could We See In Maryland?

Maryland is expected to launch sports wagering in late November or early December 2022, and the month of December is fully expected to be the first "full" month of Maryland sports betting.

Here is how Colorado and Indiana fared in the first December each had legal sports betting.

StateFirst December Betting Handle
Colorado$280M in 2020
Indiana$161M in 2019

As you can see in the above chart, Colorado's first December (2020) showed $280M in handle online, and $284M total wagered in the state as a whole. Indiana's first December (2019) had $161M in handle. That is a difference of almost $120M in handle, despite the small disparity in population.

This can be explained by the amount of sportsbook operators available in these states during their first Decembers, as nearly half of the handle in Indiana was from Ameristar Casino (DraftKings). In Colorado, there was a far closer split. Once more operators entered Indiana, the handle grew.

In Maryland, we can expect to see larger numbers right away as the top sportsbook operators are in the state, such as DraftKings Maryland and FanDuel Maryland.

Let's look at the recent data, to show how sports wagering grew in similar states to Maryland in terms of population over the first years of operation.

StateDecember 2020 Betting HandleDecember 2021 Betting HandleGrowth

The sports gambling market has matured greatly in the last few years, with more operators, awareness, and certainly more publicity. Hypothetically, based on population, we could assume that Maryland would have generated around $457M in December 2021, had it had legal online sports betting.

Maryland Online Sports Wagering Handle Projections

With Maryland expecting to have the most popular Maryland betting apps available right at launch, numbers can be expected to exceed both Colorado and Indiana's first December numbers -- without a doubt.

For example, operators like BetMGM Maryland and Caesars Sportsbook Maryland will be available on launch day in Maryland where they may not have been available right away in other states. Maryland also has the benefit of sports betting being legal in retail locations already.

Using the aforementioned numbers from last year, if Maryland was a fully matured state in terms of sports betting, the handle could have been expected to top $450M. It will take some time for the handle to reach these heights though, as we saw with the recent Kansas sports wagering launch.

Kansas launched their sports gambling operations in September 2022, and accrued $160M in handle with just six sports betting operators. The number of apps is very close to what Maryland is expected to have live in December 2022, as there are already a handful of operators offering Maryland betting promos for pre-live bonuses. This indicates they will be ready for launch sooner rather than later.

In terms of handle, Kansas is a much smaller state than Maryland, as it only had 2.94M people in the 2020 census, less than half of the Old Line State.

Using Kansas as a benchmark, here is a projection for Maryland's sports wagering handle in December 2022. Kansas launched for the first month of NFL and college football, but Maryland will have the NBA and NHL as well, which contributes to sports wagering handles.

StatePopulationSportsbooks Available At LaunchFirst Month Of Handle
Maryland6.18MSix or more (Projected)$350+ (Projected)

Time will tell, but Maryland could be a key player in the legal online sports betting landscape with a highly anticipated launch and a set of operators looking to acquire customers in the state.

All information is from the Colorado Department of Revenue or Indiana's government website along with

Josh Collacchi
Josh is a manager at Group and has spent over a decade in the fantasy sports, daily fantasy sports, and legal sports betting industry.