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Usual Suspects Dominate During Maryland Sports Betting Opening Weekend

The home stretch of the year has been worth the wait for Maryland sportsbooks and sportsbook customers.

The Old Line State’s sports betting scene created more than $180 million in wagering handle after its Nov. 23 launch day.

In total, the seven online sportsbooks that launched in Maryland the day before Thanksgiving had $186 million in handle between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30.

For John Martin, who serves as the Maryland Lottery and Gaming’s director, the strong showing by the state demonstrated the level of interest in wagering in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic.  

“There was tremendous pent-up demand, and a lot of people are utilizing promotional offers from multiple operators simultaneously,” Martin said in a press release. “But as many of the operators have acknowledged, this level of promotional play is not sustainable, and based on our regulations, it will be curtailed over time.”

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Maryland Sports Betting Reaping Benefits

The solid opening weekend for Maryland sports betting was extra sweet for New York-based FanDuel Sportsbook Maryland, which finished November as the No. 1 operator in the state, by handle.

In total, FanDuel Sportsbook raked in $89.945 million in wagers during November, well ahead of runner-up, DraftKings Sportsbook, which took in $69.598 million during the month.

Karol Corcoran, who serves as FanDuel’s general manager of online sportsbook play, said in an emailed statement to BetMaryland.com the operator couldn’t be happier with how the state’s opening week played out.

“Early returns are showing that the great sports fans of Maryland love crab cakes, football and FanDuel,” Corcoran said. “As of now this has been our most successful launch to date.”

Fanatics Betting & Gaming VP of Government Affairs Brandt Iden shared Corcoran’s sentiments, saying the upstart mobile betting operator is excited to see what 2023 has in store for the Mid-Atlantic market.

“Maryland’s online launch took place the week of Thanksgiving, which provided a plethora of options for sports bettors and resulted in terrific revenues for the state,” Iden said. “I think 2023 is only going to get better, as only seven apps are currently live in the state and another 15 have applied or working their way through the approval process.”

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A Maryland Sports Betting Success Story 

The promising launch of Maryland’s sports betting took many by surprise, including industry stalwarts like Brendan Bussmann.

Bussmann, who serves as managing partner for gaming consulting firm B Global, told BetMaryland.com regulators smashed the ball out of the park with the returns on their opening stretch of sports betting.

Bussmann believes Maryland’s success shouldn’t be an aberration, given the strong connection to sports (both professional and college) in the market and the relative lack of options across the line in D.C.

“Maryland’s number far exceeded initial expectations for the market that took way too long to get out of the gate,” Bussmann said. “Considering you are on the backside of the busiest times of the year for sports betting, you wonder how much has been left on the table.”

The longtime industry figure added Maryland’s launch process showed a myriad of highs and lows, between the state’s marathon rollout process and the eventual success that came once they opened up shop in late November.  

“Maryland can show other states that are looking at how to do sports betting how recapturing dollars can be done once a market is open but provide examples how to and not to set up a new market,” Bussmann said.

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