Making Waves: DraftKings Has All The Momentum In Michigan Sports Betting

Written By Matt Schoch on September 28, 2021

DraftKings made big news in the US gambling industry last week, plopping down a $20 billion offer for Entain, a European gaming giant.

DK is everywhere these days, including a new restaurant coming soon to an undisclosed downtown Detroit location.

The awareness blitz is working here in Michigan, where DraftKings Sportsbook unseated rival FanDuel in August for the top slot in Michigan online sports betting handle. FanDuel Sportsbook had led the way in each of the state’s first seven months.

Whether DraftKings can hold on to the lead remains to be seen, but here’s a look at where they came from, how things look these days and where the sports betting giant is headed.

DraftKings overtook BetMGM, then FanDuel in Michigan

DraftKings was second in online sports betting handle for the first 10 days after the Jan. 22 launch.

Then, DK took the third-most bets in each of February and March, trailing FanDuel and BetMGM Sportsbook. In March, BetMGM took $92.6 million in sports bets, compared with $72.9 million for DraftKings.

In April, DraftKings took over second place from BetMGM, which has been in third every month since.

It’s a powerful trio, as the three operators have combined to take $1.46 billion of the state’s $1.88 billion in bets over 14 operators (a 77.7% combined market share).

DraftKings held the second position for four months.

In August, DK took the top spot by taking $61.4 million in bets to $47.7 million for FanDuel.

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DraftKings more than DFS, sports betting in Michigan

DraftKings has long attempted to be more than a daily fantasy sports company. Now that they moved primarily on to betting, they are just not a sportsbook, either.

DraftKings has added an NFT marketplace to its offerings and will drop more Tiger Woods non-fungible tokens on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons after an earlier drop last week.

The marketplace had previous drops with Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Simone Biles, Tony Hawk and Naomi Osaka.

The DraftKings Casino has also emerged as one of Michigan’s favorites, rivaling FanDuel Casino for second place in revenue each month (but well behind BetMGM Casino and BetMGM Poker).

DraftKings has added craps and its own game called DraftKings Rocket in other states, though those have not yet launched in Michigan.

DraftKings has more sports on the docket than most

DraftKings is also on the forefront of betting options, posting markets on cricket and rugby while most others do not.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board does not reveal which operators request markets to be added to the state’s sports wagering catalog.

However, based on the fact that some of the new additions, such as Drone Racing League, are leagues partnered with DraftKings, it’s a safe bet DraftKings made some of these asks.

Weekly NFL profits boosts should boost September in Michigan

Sometimes, we try to make things more complicated than they are.

But a major reason DraftKings is doing well in Michigan comes down to a simple concept: People like free stuff.

DK comes through with profit boosts and free bets that rival any Michigan sports betting operator, save probably Caesars Sportsbook.

Through August, DraftKings had spent $22.0 million on promos compared with $27.0 million in revenue, well outpacing the ratios of FanDuel and BetMGM.

This football season, DraftKings has so far offered 20% profit boosts on all NFL games except for the Sunday night and Monday night games.

They’ve also tacked on risk-free same-game parlay promotions in each week too.

As covered by our sister site PlayVirginia, parlay boosts make life quite a bit easier for bettors who can turn a .500 weekend into a winning one.

Photo by Charles Krupa/AP file
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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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