Federal taxes are due by Monday for most of the country, and PlayMaryland felt it appropriate to provide readers with a breakdown of what Maryland does with its gambling revenue. Don’t worry: Maryland’s deadline for taxes is July 15.

When the recent sports betting law passed, Maryland made sure to link sportsbook taxes with education funding. But for casinos and the lottery, the revenue goes to a diverse set of programs and accounts.

Let’s get into it.

Sportsbooks

Fifteen percent of sportsbook revenue is set aside for Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Fund, which is dedicated to early childhood education and public schools.

One of the objectives of the fund is to remove “gaps between students from different family incomes, races, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, and other defining characteristics.” Pre-K is expanded, teachers are able to seek mentorships, and SATs are easier to access, among other things.

Maryland has added $1.8 million to this fund since sports wagering became legal in December 2021.

Casinos

Maryland casinos pay different tax rates based on the type of game. Casinos keep around half of their slot earnings, but only pay 20% for table game revenue.

Maryland casinos, like sportsbooks, send tax money to education initiatives. Unlike the sports betting businesses, though, not all of that money is dedicated to education. The vast majority does go to the Education Trust Fund, followed by Local Aid.

The state’s horse racing industry also gets a decent cut of the profits, and this subsidizes the sport as Maryland casinos continue to increase revenue. Specifically, the taxed money goes to two pools — the Racetrack Facility Renewal account and the Horse Racing Purse Dedication Fund.

Both Pimlico and Laurel Park were improved via this money. Money from the latter fund increases the prize amount and can cover the losses for certain tracks.

Next, a small percentage then goes to Maryland’s Small, Minority and Women-owned Business Fund. Specifically, Maryland created the Video Lottery Terminal Fund and gets money from casino slot machine earnings. This fund allocates half of its revenue to businesses near the state’s six casinos. The other half goes to all qualifying businesses throughout Maryland. 

The smallest slice of the revenue goes to Responsible Gaming programs, but that still added up to over $4 million in 2021.

In 2021, casinos made $1.75 billion in revenue. Of that, the state took around $750 million (42%).

  • Education Trust Fund — $531 million
  • Local Aid — $92 million
  • Horse Racing Funds — $79 million
  • Small, Minority and Women Fund — $17 million
  • Responsible Gaming — $4 million

Maryland Lottery

Profits from the Maryland Lottery go to the state’s general fund, which also brings in money from income and corporate taxes. The general fund stretches to many facets of Maryland programs, including public health and safety services, among several others.

If 2022 is anything like 2021, gamblers will contribute a lot of money to these state programs. Casino revenue contributed $723.5 million in 2021, and Maryland Lottery tickets weren’t far behind at $667.4 million.

With sports wagering licenses being awarded over time via a somewhat lengthy application process, it may be a while before those numbers join them. The state can award up to 60 licenses under the current legal framework.


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