The Ravens being “nevermore” in the playoffs led to plenty more revenue for Maryland sportsbooks in January.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming reported just over $80 million in gross sports wagering revenue for January on Monday as mobile sportsbooks cleaned up thanks to Baltimore’s loss to Kansas City in the AFC title game.

It was the second-highest revenue total in 26 months of betting in the Old Line State, behind only the $85.2 million generated in December 2022, the first full month of online wagering available. The statewide hold was an eye-watering 14.7%, second-best in 15 months of digital betting as operators posted an eight-figure revenue total for parlay wagering and nearly did so in NFL action.

“The calendar is always the driving force in sports wagering, and the football playoffs in January reliably produce strong numbers,” said Maryland Lottery and Gaming Director John Martin as part of the monthly report. “The AFC Championship game didn’t go the way Ravens fans were hoping or expecting, which may have contributed to the results we saw. It’s a reminder that unforeseen outcomes happen, so it’s always best for anyone who wagers to set a budget, have a plan and stick to it, and keep the focus on having fun.”

The state levied taxes on close to $55 million in adjusted gross revenue (AGR), an all-time high that led to more than $8.2 million entering Maryland coffers. It was the second consecutive month of an all-time high for AGR as sportsbooks had $43.2 million in taxable winnings to close out 2023.

Betting handle in January was less than $30,000 shy of $545 million, ranking third overall, as the all-time total surpassed $6 billion. Wagering was up 23.4% from January 2023 despite promotional spend increasing only 2.7% to $22.4 million.

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Parlay action skyrockets but leads to big house win

Maryland Lottery and Gaming has provided eight months of handle and revenue by sport category, and parlay wagering showed double-digit growth every month during the NFL season and January postseason.

The Ravens getting within one win of the Super Bowl was a likely catalyst for January’s record total of $291 million handle on the multi-leg wagers. That was up 14.2% from December’s $254.8 million worth of bets. Baltimore’s 17-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs as slight favorites also likely factored into the whopping $61 million operators collected on those plays, resulting in a hold just below 21%.

January’s parlay handle was nearly double the $150.3 million worth of bets placed in September, again showing the strength of the NFL brand. Parlays accounted for 53.4% of the total handle in January but an outsized 76.2% of gross revenue.

Single-event wagering on NFL games also proved robust as the 16 contests for Week 18 and 12 playoff matchups provided a close to $60.8 million handle. Operators feasted with the Ravens’ elimination, winning more than $9.4 million and attaining a hold of nearly 15.5%.

When subtracting NFL and parlay wagering, the betting public limited operators to a sub-5% hold and $9.6 million on $193.2 million worth of wagers. Maryland bettors also showed savvy riding Michigan to the College Football Playoff title as sportsbooks paid out nearly $817,000 on top of the $9.8 million plus worth of accepted bets and had a minus-8.3% win rate.

FanDuel throttles betting public

Maryland Lottery & Gaming does not break out operator performance by sport category, but it has been established that FanDuel‘s status as first mover in same game parlay wagering has put it ahead of its mobile peers when it comes to revenue. That held true in January with a 17.9% win rate that led to nearly $43.8 million in gross revenue from $244.9 million worth of wagers.

FanDuel came closer to setting an all-time state high for handle than revenue, finishing within $151,000 of its record December handle and $1.4 million off its top monthly winnings in December 2022. FanDuel also gave everyone a reminder of just how deep its pockets reach, leading the 12 mobile books with a whopping $12.7 million in promotional spend — nearly 15 times that of ESPN BET.

DraftKings collected more than $23.5 million in revenue, also its second-best month behind the $26.3 million claimed in December 2022. It had a 15.3% win rate against $154 million-plus worth of wagers, the ninth time it posted a double-digit hold.

BetMGM was a strong third in both revenue and handle, topping $5 million for the first time since last March and edging over $40 million handle for the first time in 12 months. BetMGM had a double-digit win rate for the 12th time in 15 months of mobile betting, landing at 12.7% in January for its best hold since May.

ESPN BET had a mixed set of results to begin 2024. It was a clear-cut fourth in handle with more than $35.9 million, which was down 15.2% from December. It still accounted for 6.8% of the $527.8 million online handle, near its first-year target of 7%, and did so while dramatically cutting its promotional spend.

The PENN-owned sportsbook had an outlay of less than $860,000 in January, down more than 85% from the previous month. As in the case in other states, the betting public brought ESPN BET down a peg in January, holding it to just shy of $1.6 million in revenue and a 4.4% hold.

Caesars Sportsbook’s handle ticked slightly higher from December to $24.5 million, and its 7.5% win rate allowed it to slip past ESPN BET for fourth in revenue with more than $1.8 million. It was Caesars’ best hold since almost reaching 9% in July.

The combined handle from Fanatics Sportsbook and newly acquired property PointsBet edged over $20 million as the duo collected more than $1.6 million in winnings between them. Fanatics’ outlay also tailed off notably in January, down 44.5% to less than $548,000.

SuperBook was the lone mobile operator to start 2024 with a loss as bettors came out $25,712 to the good against close to $426,000 handle. It was the third monthly loss for SuperBook, which began taking action last April.

The dozen digital operators combined for a 14.8% hold, winning almost $78.3 million.

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