Detroit Sportsbooks Accept $15M In Bets During First Month Back

Written By Matt Schoch on September 14, 2020
MI Sports Betting Numbers Aug 2020

Detroit sportsbooks were open for nearly the entire month of August. In that time, the three sportsbooks accepted $15 million in wagers and posted nearly $2 million in sports betting revenue.

Just as in March when sportsbooks were open for five days before the pandemic, MGM Grand Detroit leads the Motor City market.

The BetMGM Sports Lounge took in 48% of the market share of Detroit handle. That’s compared to 34% at the FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino, and 18% at Greektown Casino.

August 2020 Detroit casino sportsbook revenue

Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

LicenseeHandleRevenueState TaxLocal Tax
MGM Grand$7,561.607$932,601$35,252$43,086

Overall, retail sports betting numbers lag New Jersey’s launch two years ago. But there’s still reason to believe Michigan will be a strong sports betting market.

However, in part because of pandemic-related restrictions on casinos, the Detroit gambling market is still down quite a bit.

Michigan also has six retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos across the state. The tribes do not report monthly numbers to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

How does Michigan sports betting’s ‘first month’ stack up?

Michigan’s three casinos had sports betting for five days in March, though most sports were being postponed by the hour. In August, Greektown and MotorCity casinos were open for 27 days, and MGM Grand Detroit was open for 25.

In short, there’s been about a month of retail sports betting on file. However, the limited sports in March, plus August’s capacity restrictions and overall revenue dip have to be factored in.

When New Jersey opened retail sports betting with three operators in June 2018, more than $16 million was wagered over 17 days. The casinos combined for more than $3 million in revenue and amassed nearly $300,000 in state tax revenue.

In less than two weeks after a November 2018 launch of just one casino, Pennsylvania drew over $1.4 million in wagers at Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg. That generated more than $500,000 in gross revenue and more than $173,000 in state tax revenue.

Detroit’s “first month” of handle comes in at right over $16 million. That’s right about in line with New Jersey’s from a shorter timeframe, and well over the pace of the small Pennsylvania launch.

Detroit casino revenue remains down

Greektown and MotorCity reopened on Aug. 5 with MGM opening two days later.

With 15% capacity restrictions in place, among other COVID-19 precautions, the overall casino numbers are down 42% year-over-year compared to August of 2019.

The Detroit casinos reported $69.3 million in aggregate revenue for slots and table games for August.

MGM was down 46% to $28.6 million in August, with MotorCity down 46% to $28.6 million, and Greektown down 41.5% to $15.7 million.

MGM had 41% of market share, compared to 36% for MotorCity and 23% for Greektown.

MGM’s sports betting market share outperformed its overall casino market share 48% to 41%, with Greektown underperforming in sports. The Penn National Gaming casino took in 18% of Detroit’s sports bets in August and 23% of casino revenue.

Greektown plans to soon open its permanent Barstool Sportsbook in the middle of the casino floor. The company hopes the branded book is a game-changer.

Online betting will surpass retail sportsbooks

When New Jersey was rolling with retail sportsbooks and online sports betting available in December, about nine out of every 10 bets were made online.

The latest estimates are for a Michigan online gambling launch around Thanksgiving. A virtual public hearing is set for Sept. 23.

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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 former 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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