Michigan Sports Betting Handle Passes $1 Billion After Detroit April Revenue Release

Written By Matt Schoch on May 11, 2021

The Michigan sports betting market is now officially a billion-dollar industry.

Tuesday’s release of April retail sports betting revenue numbers from Detroit’s three commercial casinos pushed the state to $1,015,212,003.79 in sports bets made in just over a year’s time.

That total comes after Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino reported $24.3 million in bets for the month. Greektown led the way with $11.3 million in handle, a 46.3% market share.

The April handle was up $95,951 from March, a modest 0.4% bump. But considering March features the bulk of the men’s basketball NCAA Tournament, even just maintaining March’s level is a win.

Through April, Detroit retail sportsbooks have taken $108.0 million in sports bets (after rounding) in 2021, and $238.7 million since opening on March 11, 2020. Combined with the $776.5 million in online sports bets from the Jan. 29 launch through March, Michigan sports betting has become a billion-dollar industry in terms of handle.

LicenseeRetail HandleRevenue (GGR)PromosState TaxLocal Tax
Greektown$11,264,388$517,224$0$19,551$23,896
MotorCity$6,760,156$420,605$0$15,899$19,432
MGM Grand$6,313,137$604,701$0$22,858$27,937
Total$24,337,682$1,542,531$0$58,308$71,265

Sports betting in Detroit contributed $58,308 in state taxes and $71,265 to the city of Detroit in April.

Sports betting at Michigan’s tribal casinos is not reported to the state by the sovereign Native American tribes.

April’s online sports betting numbers are expected to be released by the Michigan Gaming Control Board in the coming days.

Greektown Casino leads Detroit’s casino market share

MGM Grand Detroit led the sports betting handle race for the first five reported months of wagers before MotorCity Casino took the top spot for three months through February 2021. Greektown Casino led for the first time following the March 2021 handle totals. (No retail numbers were reported for April through July 2020 because of closures related to the coronavirus pandemic.)

Greektown was a distant third in 2020, taking $27.1 million in bets, a 20.7% market share. But it rebranded as Barstool Sportsbook during a December relaunch, building a permanent book in the middle of the casino floor.

Through April, Greektown has taken $35.7 million in 2021 sports bets, a 33.0% share. That’s second in the first four months of 2021, as MotorCity ($40.2 million handle, 37.2%) still leads Detroit. MGM is third ($32.15 million, 29.8%).

Greektown is the only Detroit sportsbook to already surpass its 2020 handle in 2021.

Following Greektown in April was MotorCity with $6.8 million in handle, a 27.8% market share. Third was MGM ($6.3 million in bets, 25.9% share).

The casinos are still faced with state-imposed COVID restrictions, and Michigan’s case numbers were among the nation’s highest in April.

MGM, DraftKings continue casino, fantasy market share leads

Greektown’s sports betting success is even more impressive, considering the casino is a distant third in overall casino revenue.

MGM reported $43.2 million in adjusted casino revenue in April, a 40.2% market share. MotorCity was second with $39.9 million in revenue, a 37.2% market share. Greektown was third ($24.3 million revenue, 22.6% share).

As for statewide fantasy contests, DraftKings maintained its market advantage over rival FanDuel.

DraftKings reported $536,385 in revenue for March, a 60.3% market share. FanDuel reported $314,262 of revenue, a 35.3% share.

Fantasy contests raised $889,532 in March revenue, paying $74,721 in state taxes. In the first quarter of 2021, fantasy contests raised $4.2 million in revenue and $355,472 in state taxes. Since becoming regulated in 2020, fantasy contests had raised $20.9 million in revenue through March, and $1.8 million in state taxes.

Fantasy contest numbers are released by the MGCB a month behind casino and sports betting revenue figures.

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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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