3 Takeaways From Michigan Online Sportsbooks’ Strong Showing In March

Written By Drew Ellis on April 20, 2022

March of 2022 marked another strong month of sports betting in the state of Michigan.

Despite being a non-NFL month, bettors put up more than $450 million in wagers at Michigan online sportsbooks.

Combined with retail numbers, Michigan had nearly $478 million in bets last month.

Along with the strong showing, there were some interesting tidbits mixed into the numbers.

BetMGM Michigan tops DraftKings in March, again

When it comes to online sports betting in Michigan, there are three operators always battling for the top spots each month. Those are FanDuel Sportsbook MI, DraftKings Sportsbook MI, and BetMGM Michigan.

FanDuel has a pretty comfortable lead in the all-time online handle race, but DraftKings has been on its heels more than a few times.

BetMGM usually has found itself in a competitive third, but the March 2022 numbers had it leapfrog DraftKings by more than $5 million in online handle and more than $6 million in revenue.

Finishing second in the state, BetMGM racked up $108.1 million in online handle last month. DraftKings placed third with $102.9 million.

Interestingly enough, the last time BetMGM topped DraftKings in the monthly online handle numbers was March 2021.

A year ago, BetMGM drew $92.6 million in online handle for $9.6 million in revenue. DraftKings had $76.5 million in online handle for $6 million in revenue.

Promo dollars were marginally different in 2021, but this past March saw MGM nearly double the promos of DraftKings: $4.7 million to $2.5 million.

It’s hard to speculate on just why BetMGM has jumped DraftKings each March. They declined to comment on the matter. But, I’m sure they’d like to not wait another year to do it again.

Stronger showing for Michigan online sports bettors

March 2021 was not an impressive showing for in-state bettors.

Sportsbooks did pretty well for themselves, finishing with a 9.1% hold a year ago.

A year later, Michigan got its stuff together and bumped that hold down to 6.8%.

The collective revenue for the books wasn’t much different despite an increase of nearly $100 million in wagers year-to-year.

This past NCAA Tournament wasn’t all too predictable either. While one of the top seeds did come away with the title, we still saw a number of big upsets along the way.

A total of five teams that were an 8 seed or higher reached the Sweet 16. North Carolina, an 8 seed, blew a double-digit lead in the national championship in the loss to Kansas.

With expanded NCAA Women’s Tournament betting this year, perhaps Michigan bettors jumped on that market.

Michigan advanced to the Elite 8 in the tournament, which may have benefitted in-state bettors.

The women’s tournament was also largely chalk, with three No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 (the sport’s biggest Blue Blood, UConn) comprising the Final Four.

Nearly 20% jump in wagers at Michigan sportsbooks

Another aspect of March’s report was the massive jump in handle from March 2021.

Wagers were up 19.7% from a year ago, boosting the total from $383.7 million in 2021 to $478 million in 2022.

The first full month of Year 2 of online sports betting came in February and saw a 23.2% increase in wagering from year-to-year.

One caveat to these increases is that both February and March of 2021 had just 12 online operators available. In 2022, 14 were available. There is now a 15th online option available with Eagle Casino & Sports launching last week.

The first month to have 14 operators in service was August of 2021. Therefore, August of 2022 may give us the best indication of just how much growth the sports betting industry has shown year-to-year.

Still, we are seeing continued growth and interest in sports betting in Michigan, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Photo by Jeff Roberson / Associated Press
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis has lived in Michigan his whole life, and has been writing professionally for the last 21 years. Ellis has covered anything from youth baseball in mid-Michigan, a top-25 college football program, and pro sports in the Detroit area. Always keeping busy, Ellis also has over 10 years of experience in covering sports betting, handling all major sports.

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