Michigan Sportsbooks Set New Records In March

Published: 22nd April 2021
Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 29th December 2022

In March, Michigan online sportsbooks set new records for handle and sales, with nearly $400 million in online and retail bets and more than $30 million in online revenue, while online casino revenue topped $100 million.

According to PlayMichigan, the state’s online and retail sportsbooks have handled nearly $1 billion in lifetime handle, marking another landmark in the state’s rewrite of the US legal gambling record book.

In March, the NCAA Tournament was the big draw, helping Michigan’s sportsbooks hit $359.5 million in online handle, up 19.1 percent from $301.9 million in February. Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks took in $383.7 million in bets when combined with the state’s $24.2 million retail handle, which was released last week. The number is up 17.8 percent from the $325.6 million wagered in February.

Unprecedented gaming expansion

Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayMichigan.com said: “With nearly $1bn in lifetime bets now, it’s hard to understate just how unprecedented Michigan’s gaming expansion has been so far. The growth in online casino gaming has been off-the-charts. No other state has enjoyed a launch of online casino gaming and sports betting quite like this.”

Only New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois have raked in more money in a single month, and none have done so quickly since launching online sports betting. After legalisation, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks have taken in a total of $990.9 million in wagers, including $860 million in the first three months of 2021.

The record’s handle also resulted in a record amount of sales. The overall gross sports betting receipts for March were $32.3 million, up from $9.4 million in February. Despite the strong marketing surrounding the NCAA Tournament, taxable income increased to a new high of $19 million, up from a loss of $10.8 million in February.

State taxes

State taxes on online sportsbooks totaled $535,930, but advertising credits continue to reduce the state’s revenue. On $3 million in taxable income, the state has raised $819,866 so far this year. The only three online operators with positive taxable income in the first three months are MGM Grand/BetMGM, Greektown/Barstool, and Grand Traverse/William Hill.

Matt Schoch, analyst for PlayMichigan.com said: “As successful as the launch has been, those promotional credits are starting to stack up, which could take some time to work through.

“The summer months will likely end up being more fruitful for the state, even as betting predictably slows with a lighter sports calendar. If tax revenue remains lacklustre, however, it could grow into a larger issue that may need to be fixed going forward.”

FanDuel, which has a partnership with MotorCity Casino in Michigan, was the operator responsible for 93.7 percent of the state’s total handle. With $107.2 million in online handle, the nation’s largest sportsbook operator expanded its Michigan-leading streak to three months, up from $87.2 million in February.

Those wagers brought in $7.8 million in gross sports betting receipts, up from a loss of $78,889 in February, and $5 million in taxable income, up from a $5.4 million loss in February.

With a $92.6 million handle, BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit came in second, up from $75.7 million in February. BetMGM topped gross receipts once more, this time with $8.7 million, up from $5.3 million the previous year. These receipts brought in a market-leading $6.4 million in taxable income. With a $76.5 million handle, DraftKings/Bay Mills Indian Community came in third, up from $72.9 million in February. This resulted in gross receipts of $6 million.

Competitive online sports betting market

Schoch added: “Michigan is the most competitive online sports betting market in the country right now, and that has shown in the heavy promotional spend by most operators. The top three have separated themselves from the pack, but BetMGM has differentiated itself in generating heavy action while preserving its win with less in promotions.”

As successful as the introduction of online sports betting was, the launch of online casinos and poker has been even more successful and profitable for Michigan. With $95.1 million in revenue in March, Michigan became just the third state to produce more than $90 million in online casino and poker revenue in a single month, up from $79.7 million in February.

Third-largest online casino market

Following New Jersey ($113.7 million) and Pennsylvania ($97.7 million), Michigan is now the third-largest online casino market in the nation.

For the 31 days of March, Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms combined to win $3.1 million per day, up from $2.8 million per day for the 28 days of February. This totaled $88.7 million in adjusted gross receipts, $17.2 million in state tax revenue, and $4.9 million in local taxes.

With $30.8 million in gross receipts and $6 million in state taxes, BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit once again led the industry.

“Michigan’s online casinos have been nothing short of a huge success,” Gouker said. “The state’s online casinos launched with more robust game libraries than in Pennsylvania, so residents had no reason to hold out and wait for games such as blackjack. Also, with the pandemic surging in Michigan, online casinos have been an appealing alternative for many.”

joe profile pic

About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.