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Michigan online casinos set revenue record in March

18 Apr 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- March Madness fueled more than $475 million in online and retail wagers, the largest statewide handle ever for a month without NFL games. Meanwhile, online casino revenue soared past $130 million for the first time, fresh evidence that the segment is still growing rapidly, according to PlayMichigan, which tracks gaming developments in the state.

“The popularity of the NCAA Tournament makes March the most important non-football month of the year for sportsbooks,” said Paul Costanzo, lead analyst for “March Madness didn’t produce nearly enough momentum to push sportsbooks to a fresh record, but it is more evidence that bettors remain highly engaged during major events.”

Michigan’s online sportsbooks attracted $451.6 million in online bets in March, which was up 13.4% from the $398.4 million in bets that were accepted in February, according to official data released Monday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. With $26.4 million in retail wagering at Detroit-area casinos, released last week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks combined to take in $478.0 million in wagering for the month. That was up 12.8% from $423.8 million in February. The record in a month was set in January with $532.7 million in wagers.

Online sportsbooks won $30.5 million in gross revenue from March’s bets. That is up 35.4% from $22.5 million in February but down 5.6% from $32.3 million in March 2021. Combined with $2.0 million in retail revenue, Michigan’s sportsbooks won $32.4 million for the month. After promotional credits, retail and online sportsbooks generated $16.6 million in taxable revenue, yielding $967,314 in taxes.

The industry’s year-over-year growth has been torrid, even as bettors won more than a year ago. March’s wagers were up 24.6% from $383.7 million in March 2021. Online sportsbooks fared the best, with a 25.6% gain in wagers from $359.5 million in March 2021.

“The seasonal dip in sports betting really begins after the first full weekend of March Madness, and that slowdown should extend until football begins in September,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the Network, which includes “If sportsbooks can keep posting year-over-year growth of around 25% or more as the NBA and NHL playoffs, baseball, and golf’s major championships take center stage over the next few months, the industry should be in a fantastic position heading into the fall.”

FanDuel led the online market with $140.1 million, up from $122.4 million in February. Combined with its retail sportsbooks, FanDuel won $14.0 million in gross revenue from March’s bets. BetMGM took the second spot in the state with $108.1 million in online wagers, up from $86.7 million in February. Combined with its retail sportsbooks, BetMGM won $9.8 million in gross revenue.

DraftKings followed with $102.9 million in online bets, up from $94.7 million in February. DraftKings won $3.3 million in gross revenue from its online and retail bets.

“The race for market share has solidified, and it would take something significant to knock the top players off their perch,” Ramsey said. “FanDuel’s dominance, in particular, appears to be baked in. But the race for No. 2 remains intriguing with BetMGM’s continued growth.”

Online casinos and poker

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms continue to surge, reaching $131.7 million in March revenue, shattering the record of $122.8 million set in February. That marks the third time in four months that online casino revenue has reached a new high.

Online casinos generated $4.2 million in revenue per day in March, down slightly from the record $4.4 million per day that online casinos generated in February. March’s revenue yielded $33.1million in state taxes and fees, and online casinos have generated $368.9 million in taxes and fees since launching in 2021.

“Online casinos aren’t affected by the same seasonal ebbs and flows as sports betting, so they should continue to generate huge amounts of revenue over the summer,” Costanzo said. “Michigan has been so successful in wringing tax revenue from online casino gaming, that it is a wonder why more states haven’t followed suit in legalizing and regulating it.”

Other highlights from February:
- BetMGM led all online casino and poker operators with $47.9 million in gross gaming revenue, which yielded $12.6 million in state and local taxes.
- FanDuel took second with $22.5 million in gross receipts, producing $5.9 million in state and local taxes.
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