MotorCity Leads As Detroit Retail Sportsbooks Took $35M In January Bets

Written By Matt Schoch on February 10, 2021

Detroit’s retail sportsbooks took more than $35.6 million in wagers for January, the second-most ever, despite the fact that Michigan online sportsbooks opened Jan. 22 throughout the state.

While all eyes were on the 11 sports betting sites, sports betting continued at Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino in Detroit.

However, numbers for online sports betting, in addition to online casinos and the lone online poker site, should be available next week, said Mary Kay Bean, a spokesperson for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, on Tuesday. Michigan is expected to eventually be among the sports betting leaders after the online market matures.

The casinos took a record $46.1 million in sports bets in October 2020. January edged September 2020 ($33.5 million) for second place.

A new Michigan sports betting retail leader

There is also a new leader in handle for 2021, as MotorCity led the way with nearly $14.9 million in sports betting handle at FanDuel Sportsbook (41.7% of market share). FanDuel took the top spot from MGM, which took $11.6 million of bets at its BetMGM Sportsbook (32.6%).

Greektown was third at $9.1 million handle (25.6%) at its Barstool Sportsbook, which opened in late December. But Greektown led the way in total qualified adjusted revenue with $1.6 million, paying the most in taxes off the amount. The adjusted revenue numbers are gross sports betting receipts minus free play.

In January, the casinos paid $153,586 in state taxes from sports betting and $187,716 to the city of Detroit.

CasinoHandleRevenueState tax (3.78%)City of Detroit tax (4.62%)
Total$35,684,193.76$4,063,116.46$153,585.80$187,715.98
MotorCity Casino$14,888,934.00 $1,566,018.68$59,195.51$72,350.06
MGM Grand Detroit$11,649,850.05$863,439.10$32,638.00$39,890.89
Greektown Casino-Hotel$9,145,409.71 $1,633,658.68$61,752.30$75,475.03

Michigan residents can also place sports wagers at 16 of the state’s tribal casinos. However, the tribal casinos do not report retail sports betting figures to the state.

Their online partners will be part of next week’s online release. That’s because statewide players can now make wagers off reservation land, and those wagers are regulated by the MGCB.

MotorCity, Greektown make sizable revenue jumps

Greektown’s market share was a sizable jump from 2020 when it grabbed 20.7% of the city’s more than $130 million of sports betting handle. MGM led in 2020 with nearly $57.1 million in handle (43.6%). Motor City took in almost $46.7 million in bets (35.6%).

Since retail sports betting opened on March 11, 2020, and despite months of pandemic closures last year, the Detroit sportsbooks have taken more than $165 million of sports bets. That’s led to more than $1 million in taxes paid to Detroit and more than $850,000 to the state.

In all, the casinos reported $90.8 million in revenue while operating at limited capacity. Table games and slot machines revenue dropped 27.7% compared to last January, generating $86.8 million in revenue this year.

MGM’s $34.0 million in revenue was down 32% from last year and edged MotorCity’s $33.2 million in revenue for the top spot. Greektown was third at $19.6 million, down 30.4% from a year ago.

Fantasy operators close 2020 with $1.4 million in state taxes paid

DraftKings went wire to wire with the lead in fantasy sports contest market share throughout 2020, while the overall sector contributed $1.4 million to state coffers in 2020.

Operators reported $1.9 million in revenue for December 2020, paying more than $158,000 in state taxes.

DraftKings led the way with $1.3 million of revenue in the month, beating out FanDuel, which had just below $775,000 in revenue. The overall numbers are lower because Fantasy Football Players Championship reported negative revenue and negative taxes paid.

For the year, DraftKings generated nearly $9.7 million in revenue to FanDuel’s $6.3 million. The daily fantasy sports giants were among two of the sports betting operators and online casinos that launched last month.

Fantasy sports contests were regulated by the state for the first year after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed expanded gambling laws in December 2019.

Photo by Dreamstime stock
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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