Michigan Online Sportsbooks Kick Off With $115.2M Bets; Casinos Report $29.4M Revenue

Written By Matt Schoch on February 17, 2021

Michigan online sports betting generated $115.2 million in bets and combined with online casinos and poker sites for $42.7 million in revenue in January.

Those sports bets garnered $13.3 million in gross sports betting receipts. Internet gaming generated $29.4 million in revenue for Michigan. The numbers reflect the first 10 days of online gambling in Michigan after the Jan. 22 launch through the end of January.

Combined with $35.6 million in retail sports bets at Detroit’s three casinos in January, there were $150.8 million in sports bets reported to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. That doesn’t include retail operations at tribal casinos, which do not report to the MGCB.

Tax revenue impacted by launch promotions

Online gambling generated $4.4 million in taxes and payments to the state from the first 10 days. The three Detroit casinos reported paying nearly $1.4 million in taxes and fees to the city for January. Tribal operators reported more than $428,000 of payments to the tribes’ governing bodies.

The taxes are heavily impacted early after a state’s launch by promotions to draw new customers, which cuts into the taxable revenues, particularly for sports betting.

Ten sports betting operators and eight online casinos launched Jan. 22. The market grew to include Fox Bet, Stars Casino, and PokerStars on Jan. 29 with the launch of Michigan online poker. The three days of online poker are not separated in the numbers report from internet gaming.

On Feb. 1, Barstool added its online casino to the mix, though the January numbers do not include it. Four Winds Casinos added online products on Feb. 15 and will have its first partial month included in next month’s report.

FanDuel leads sports betting, BetMGM leads casinos

For January, FanDuel took $32.6 million in sports bets to lead the operators with 28.3% of the market’s handle. The top four operators far outpaced the rest of the field.

The breakdown of Michigan online sports betting revenue is as follows:

Online SportsbookTotal HandleMarket Share
FanDuel$32.6 million28.3%
DraftKings$28.2 million24.5%
Barstool$27.5 million23.9%
BetMGM$22.8 million19.8%
PointsBet$1.5 million1.3%
BetRivers$1.1 million0.9%
William Hill$692,3190.6%
TwinSpires$327,6610.3%
WynnBet$248,8790.2%
Fox Bet*$160,0520.1%
Golden Nugget$106,9040.1%

Meanwhile, BetMGM led internet gaming operators with $11.1 million in adjusted gross receipts for its online casino, which is a 37.7% market share.

The rest of the internet gaming revenue breakdown is as follows:

Online Casino/PokerTotal RevenueMarket Share
BetMGM$11.1 million37.7%
DraftKings$6.9 million23.6%
FanDuel$6.6 million22.6%
Stars Casino / PokerStars*$2 million6.7%
BetRivers$1.4 million4.6%
WynnBet$721,9162.5%
Golden Nugget$489,6311.7%
William Hill$122,0140.4%
TwinSpires$60,6420.2%

*Fox Bet and PokerStars launched on Jan. 29. 

How does Michigan’s online gambling launch compare?

With just 10 days of data, it’s difficult to put Michigan’s launch into proper perspective.

The last launch nationally set records, as Tennessee took in more than $131 million in bets in November.

However, that was a true sports betting launch, whereas sports betting technically arrived in Michigan on March 11, 2020, when two retail sportsbooks opened in Detroit.

Tennessee also had a jump on Michigan in another way, as the Nov. 1 launch gave Tennesseeans a full month of legal online wagering.

Michigan online casinos expected to grow

All of that being said, Michigan online gambling also includes 10 casino apps, one of only a few states with legal online casinos.

In its first 10 days, online casinos generated just shy of $30 million in revenue in Michigan. The first full month of online casino gambling in New Jersey in 2013 featured a total gaming win of $7.4 million with 13 operators (poker and casino).

However, NJ’s industry was brand new to the US whereas Michigan’s online launch comes during a time when internet betting generates far more noise and excitement.

Leap forward to 2021 and New Jersey boasted online gambling revenue close to $104 million in January with 26 online casinos reporting. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s 12 online casinos reported $80 million in online casino revenue for January. Its industry kicked off in 2019.

A full month of online gambling and sports betting in Michigan should be a game-changer for the industry.

“Internet gaming operators are off to a good start in Michigan,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director, in a statement announcing the numbers. “The taxes and payments from online gaming will provide funding for K-12 students, the city of Detroit and Michigan tribal communities.”

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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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