Half Of Michigan Sportsbooks Increased Handle This Football Season

Written By Drew Ellis on December 5, 2023
Jameson Williams soaring as he scores a touchdown for the Detroit Lions vs. the New Orleans Saints. Leading Michigan online sportsbooks have been soaring during the start of the NFL season.

Online sports betting in Michigan has certainly seen a big jump with football season kicking off.

September and October saw Michigan online sportsbooks collect just under $1 billion in handle over the two months. That included a record handle of $533 million in October.

Which of the sportsbooks are seeing the biggest increase compared to football season from a year ago?

Michigan sportsbooks add 17% in handle during football season

Coming into 2023, it appeared that online sports betting had plateaued in the state.

That held true for most of the year, with year-over-year declines in online handle each month.

However, come September that changed.

A year ago, September and October produced $845.3 million. This year, those two months have combined for $990.7 million. That is a 17.2% increase.

Here’s a look at how each operator has performed in the two months over the last two years:

OperatorSept/Oct 2022 HandleSept/Oct 2023 HandleGrowth/Decline
Eagle Casino & Sports$3,432,392$3,697,2847.7%
Sports Illustrated$1,988,471$3,593,35680.7%
Play Gun Lake$2,765,106$2,560,462-7.4%
Four Winds$1,380,357$2,395,88073.6%
Golden Nugget$1,944,877$2,331,99019.9%
Fox Bet$5,559,353$0N/A

Only half of sportsbooks saw handle increase

Chart showing Michigan sportsbook handle during start of the football season 2022 and 2023

Despite a drastic overall jump, only half of the sportsbooks have actually grown in handle over the first two full months of the football season this year.

FanDuel Sportsbook Michigan and DraftKings Sportsbook Michigan are responsible for a lot of the overall handle increase. But, BetRivers Sportsbook Michigan saw the biggest percentage jump, increasing their online handle by 423% in the two months compared to a year ago.

Those that gained tended to gain by a significant amount. Of the eight operators that improved on their online handle, seven of them improved by at least 19.9%.

Despite handle growth, revenue actually down

The big boost in online handle hasn’t actually led to improved revenue for the collective Michigan online sportsbooks.

Over this two-month span, the sportsbooks have generated just under $89 million in revenue. Last year, September and October saw just over $97 million in sports betting revenue. That is an 8.3% decline.

That also goes against what we have been seeing most of the year. While the handle has typically been down, the revenue throughout most of the year has been up.

Even with the two-month dip, 2023 online sports betting revenue sits at $325.3 million through 10 months. A year ago, Michigan was sitting at $309.9 million in revenue through 10 months.

Photo by Butch Dill / AP Photo and PlayMichigan
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of PlayILottery.com. He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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