Online sports betting in Michigan has certainly been a booming industry since it launched in January of 2021.
But that doesn’t mean that retail sportsbooks can no longer flourish.
Hollywood Casino at Greektown has invested in its Barstool Sportsbook retail location, and it has established itself as the premier retail book in Detroit.
Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown doubling up rest of Detroit
In 2021, Hollywood Casino at Greektown led the three Detroit retail casinos in both retail sportsbook handle ($110 million) and gross revenue ($9.42 million).
However, it was a pretty competitive race, as MGM Grand Detroit brought in $102.1 million in retail handle and MotorCity Casino has $9.1 million in retail sports betting revenue.
In 2022, Greektown has blown away the competition.
Total handle for 2022 through June
- Greektown: $90.3 million
- MGM Grand: $38.5 million
- MotorCity: $28.7 million
Total gross revenue
- Greektown: $4.1 million
- MotorCity: $2.3 million
- MGM Grand: $1.5 million
Why is the Barstool Sportsbook doing so well?
It’s one thing to be ahead, it’s another thing to be lapping the competition the way Hollywood Casino at Greektown is with Barstool Sportsbook.
So, what’s the secret?
“We wanted to differentiate ourselves from more than a traditional model,” said Hugh Flack, Vice President of Gaming Operations for Hollywood Casino at Greektown. “We feel we were able to create a mix of a sports betting experience with the sports bar and grill experience, which has created a really cool environment that seems to really resonate with not only our casual players, but also resonate with a lot of our VIPs in the region as well.”
Hollywood Casino has put in the energy to make sure that Barstool Sportsbook was more than just a feature of the casino. They wanted it to be a place that people planned ahead to visit.
Located at the top of the Grand Staircase, Barstool Sportsbook features a 30-foot video wall and 25 HDTVs for viewing games, as well as 40 betting kiosks.
Greektown also has a team of helpful attendants on hand to aid anyone that might be having issues with their sports betting experience.
“We did really well in recruiting and training a pretty amazing team of sportsbook attendants, as well as leadership staff,” Flack said. “We put our sports bettors at the forefront with everything we do. They deliver an amazing level of guest service for our guests that come in and bet with us.”
The bar & grill menu includes all the favorites, including Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza.
Location of Greektown helpful
One advantage Hollywood Casino at Greektown has always had has been its location.
Located at 1211 Chrysler Dr. in Detroit, it’s less than a mile from Ford Field and Comerica Park, and another mile from Little Caesars Arena. The parking garage is just a short turn off I-375.
With crowds returning to professional sports venues in the last year, Greektown and Barstool Sportsbook have seen an influx in visitors looking to stop in before and after Detroit pro sports events.
“That’s something that we’ve kind of always had even pre-sportsbooks. It’s based on our proximity to the stadiums,” Flack said. “We’re really the only casino in Detroit that’s located in a vibrant kind of entertainment district near the sports venues.”
What does retail success mean for Barstool Online?
As most casino operators have been focused on their online product, Greektown is trying to find a balance between its retail sportsbook and Barstool Online Sportsbook Michigan.
Thus far in 2022, Barstool Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Greektown is accounting for 31.3% of the combined retail and online handle for the operator. That mean’s Barstool online is accounting for under 70%.
By comparison, BetMGM Michigan accounts for 93.3% of the overall handle with its retail partner, the MGM Grand. FanDuel Sportsbook MI accounts for 96% of the overall handle with its retail partner, MotorCity Casino.
“I think what we found is that the two products are both great but they offer different experiences,” Flack said. “We’ve created an environment for people who want to get out of the house, meet up with friends and have some fun. We offer a great place to come in and watch the game. There are players that are only going to play online, but there are some players that will only play here at the retail sportsbook. But there’s certainly a lot that enjoy both for different reasons.”
Barstool/Greektown sits fourth in all-time sports betting revenue in Michigan at $775.8 million. It sits well behind FanDuel/MotorCity ($1.86 billion) and BetMGM/MGM Grand ($1.56 billion). It is also behind DraftKings Sportsbook MI ($1.5 billion), which is partnered with Bay Mills Resort & Casino.
The online numbers coincide with what we’ve seen from Barstool’s online product in other states.
- Pennsylvania: 3rd in all-time online handle ($1.22 billion), sitting in fourth for 2022.
- Indiana: 4th in all-time online handle ($701.8 million), sitting in fifth for 2022
- Illinois: 6th in all-time online handle ($745.3 million), has been fifth or sixth for months of 2022.
What’s ahead for Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown?
Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown is already well on pace for a record year when it comes to retail handle, and could push for a record in retail revenue as well.
With football season on the horizon, Hollywood Casino at Greektown is already planning for a fall boost.
“We will roll out promotions that are very unique to us in Barstool,” Flack said. “We will tie into the Barstool brand by giving away Barstool merchandise and by finding connections between our retail sportsbook and the Barstool online sportsbook.”
Barstool Sportsbook will be hosting fantasy football draft parties starting Aug. 1 and running through Sept. 9. You can book your draft party starting Aug. 1. Fees will be based on size of part and time. Party packages will include appetizers, merchandise, free-bets and more.
Greektown is also expanding on its Barstool Battle survivor pool for its second season. Registration begins Aug. 1 and will occur in person at Barstool Sportsbook.
Entry into the pool is $500, with all entry fees going toward the prize pool. Should someone have a perfect season and hit all 19 picks during the year, they will win a $500,000 bonus.
More information on both promotions can be found on the casino’s website.
Photos Courtesy of Hollywood Casino at Greektown