July Sports Betting Handle Down 25% At Detroit Casinos; Barstool Sportsbook Leads Foes

Written By Matt Schoch on August 10, 2021

After a remarkably consistent run of sports betting at Detroit casinos, handle ticked down considerably in July as a slow summer sports calendar knocked the number down 25% from June.

And yet, overall casino monthly revenue was at its highest at the Detroit casinos since the pandemic hit Michigan in full force in March 2020.

Greektown Casino, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity Casino combined to take $18.3 million in sports bets for the month. July featured the end of the NBA Finals, the start of the Tokyo Olympics and some unexpectedly solid baseball from the Detroit Tigers, who had a seven-game July win streak.

From February through June, the downtown casinos had taken no more than $24.4 million in bets over a month, but also no less than $20.2 million.

These numbers do not include wagers made on online Michigan sports betting platforms across the state. Those totals for July will be released in the coming days and will also come from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The July sports betting handle earned $1.2 million in revenue for the casinos, which in turn paid $45,807 in state taxes and $55,987 in taxes to the city of Detroit.

July surge for Barstool Sportsbook in tight Detroit rivalry

Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown took the most sports betting handle, with $8.6 million (46.9% market share). Barstool topped BetMGM Sportsbook at MGM Grand ($5.2 million, 28.3% market share) and FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity ($4.5 million, 24.7% share).

Through the first six months of the year, FanDuel had led in Detroit casino sports betting handle three times, Barstool twice and BetMGM once after MGM Grand led the way for each month the casinos were open in 2020. July pulled Barstool even with FanDuel at three months apiece atop the 2021 leaderboard.

FanDuel leads in overall 2021 sports betting handle with $59.6 million. But that year-long race is tight. Barstool is second at $57.8 million, and BetMGM has $53.4 million in bets this year.

LicenseeRetail HandleRevenue (GGR)PromosState TaxLocal Tax
Greektown$8,575,885$437,203$0$16,526$20,199
MGM Grand$5,178,196$136,973$25$5,177$6,328
MotorCity$4,518,702$637,682$0$24,104$29,461
Total$18,272,783$1,211,857$25$45,807$55,987

As for overall casino revenue, MGM Grand Detroit was the king of downtown again, generating $53.8 million of revenue. MotorCity was second at $38.5 million. Greektown was third at $23.4 million.

Detroit casinos took $115.7 million in July revenue, their best month since February 2020 ($121.8 million). The revenue total ticked up 9.3% from June’s $105.8 million total.

Michigan has several tribal casinos across the state that also have retail sportsbooks. They are not required to report retail figures to the MGCB, however.

First in-person MGCB meeting since pandemic

Tuesday’s Detroit casino revenue numbers release numbers followed the regular Michigan Gaming Control Board meeting, the first one in person since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

New MGCB board members Joni M. Thrower DavisLinda Forte and Deidre A. Lambert-Bounds also presided over their first meeting since receiving appointments to the board last month from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The trio join Andrew Palms, who was re-appointed to another term.

MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams also read a resolution honoring the term of his predecessor, Richard Kalm. Kalm also was present at the meeting, which was held at MGCB headquarters in Detroit’s New Center area.

Photo by Danny Lawhon/PlayMichigan
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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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