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Michigan online sportsbooks and online casinos set records in March

21 Apr 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Michigan online sportsbooks set fresh records for handle and revenue, reaching nearly $400 million in online and retail bets in March and surpassing $30 million in online revenue, while online casino revenue approached $100 million. The continued surge in sports betting put Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks near $1 billion in lifetime handle, another milestone in the state’s rewriting of the U.S.’ legal gambling record book, according to PlayMichigan, which analyzes and researches the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.

“With nearly $1 billion in lifetime bets now, it’s hard to understate just how unprecedented Michigan’s gaming expansion has been so far,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for “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.”

The NCAA Tournament was the big draw in March, helping Michigan’s sportsbooks reach $359.5 million in online handle, according to official data released Tuesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. That total was up 19.1% from $301.9 million in February. Combined with the state’s $24.2 million retail handle, which was released last week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $383.7 million in bets. That overall total is up 17.8% from $325.6 million in bets in February.

Only New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Illinois have collected more in a single month, and none has generated so much so quickly after launching online sports betting. Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks have now combined to take in $990.9 million in bets since legalization, including $860 million through the first three months of 2021.

The record handle produced record revenue, too. March’s online bets produced $32.3 million in total gross sports betting receipts, up from $9.4 million in February. But even with heavy promotion around the NCAA Tournament, taxable revenue rose to a record $19 million, which was up from a $10.8 million loss in February.

Online sportsbooks generated $535,930 in state taxes, but promotional credits continue to dampen the state’s take. So far this year, the state has collected $819,866 on $3 million in taxable revenue. MGM Grand/BetMGM, Greektown/Barstool, and Grand Traverse/William Hill are the only three online operators that have posted three months of positive taxable revenue so far.

“As successful as the launch has been, those promotional credits are starting to stack up, which could take some time to work through,” said Matt Schoch, analyst for “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 lackluster, however, it could grow into a larger issue that may need to be fixed going forward.”

Online betting accounted for 93.7% of the state’s overall handle, and no operator was more responsible for that percentage than FanDuel, which partners with MotorCity Casino in Michigan. The nation’s largest sportsbook operator extended its Michigan-leading run to three months with $107.2 million in online handle, up from $87.2 million in February. Those bets gained $7.8 million in gross sports betting receipts, up from a $78,889 loss in February and $5 million in taxable revenue, up from a loss of $5.4 million in February.

BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit Casino was second with a $92.6 million handle, up from $75.7 million in February. BetMGM again topped gross receipts with $8.7 million, up from $5.3 million. Those receipts generated a market-best $6.4 million in taxable revenue. DraftKings/Bay Mills Indian Community was third with a $76.5 million handle, up from $72.9 million in February. That led to $6 million in gross receipts.

The online market leaders were followed by:

- Barstool/Greektown Casino ($39.6 million handle, down from $40.3 million in February; $4.7 million in gross receipts, up from $1.9 million)

- PointsBet/Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians ($14.2 million handle, up from $7 million; $2.2 million in gross receipts, up from $1.1 million)

- William Hill/Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians ($11.0 million handle, up from $5.6 million; $1 million in gross receipts, up from $449,316)

- FOX Bet/Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians ($7.0 million handle, up from $5.8 million; $503,063 in gross receipts, down from $641,864)

- BetRivers/Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians ($4.8 million handle, up from $3.6 million; $537,644 in gross receipts, up from $120,307)

- Twin Spires/Hannahville Indian Community ($3.2 million handle, up from $1.9 million; $209,572 in gross receipts, up from -$277,365)

- Wynn/Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians ($2.2 million handle, up from $1.4 million; $418,529 in gross receipts, up from $128,581)

- Golden Nugget/Keweenaw Bay Indian Community ($789,792 handle, up from $497,693; $70,649 in gross receipts, up from $69,788)

- Four Winds Sportsbook/Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians ($385,009 handle, up from $12,680 handle; $51,196 in gross receipts, up from $3,840)

“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,” Schoch said. “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.”

Online casinos and poker

As strong as the online sports betting launch has been, the start for online casinos and poker has been even stronger — and far more profitable — for Michigan. In March, Michigan became just the third state to generate more than $90 million in online casino and poker revenue in a single month with $95.1 million in revenue, up from $79.7 million February. March’s results left Michigan as the nation’s third-largest online casino market, behind New Jersey ($113.7 million) and Pennsylvania ($97.7 million).

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms combined to win $3.1 million per day for the 31 days of March, up from $2.8 million per day over the 28 days in February. That total yielded adjusted gross receipts of $88.7 million, $17.2 million in tax revenue for the state, and $4.9 million in local taxes. BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit led the market again with $30.8 million in gross receipts, which yielded $6 million in state taxes.

“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.”
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