Wagering At Michigan Sportsbooks Expectedly Slows In February While Online Casinos Set State Revenue Record

Written By PlayMichigan Staff on March 17, 2022
Matthew Stafford at Rams celebration

Post-football lull slows betting down to $423.8 million, but online casino revenue reaches $123 million, according to PlayMichigan

(LAS VEGAS) — Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks took in nearly $425 million in wagers in February, but it still marked the first month-over-month drop in handle since July 2021 as sports betting hit its expected post-football lull. Meanwhile, online casinos were unaffected by any such seasonal ebbs and flows, setting a fresh revenue record with more than $120 million, according to PlayMichigan, which tracks gaming developments in the state.

“Michigan sportsbooks flew out of the gates in 2021 and the growth since has been relentless,” said Paul Costanzo, lead analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “The rapid growth over the last year will be nearly impossible to maintain in the year ahead, but the upward trajectory of the industry will continue into the foreseeable future.”

Michigan’s online sportsbooks attracted $398.4 million in bets in February, which was down 19.8% from the record $496.8 million in wagers that were accepted in January, according to official data released Thursday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. With $25.4 million in retail wagering at Detroit-area casinos, which was released last week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks combined to take in $423.8 million in wagering for the month. That was down 20.4% from $532.7 million in January.

Despite the slowdown from January’s record pace, February’s handle was up 30.2% from $325.6 million in February 2021, which was the first full month of online sports betting in Michigan.

Online sports betting has been the key to the state’s year-over-year growth. And online wagers were up 32% in February from the $301.9 million in bets placed in February 2021.

Michigan’s sportsbooks have now generated $5.1 billion in wagers, producing nearly $400 million in revenue, since legal sports betting launched in 2020.

Online sportsbooks alone generated $22.5 million in gross revenue from February’s bets, up 137.6% from $9.5 million in February 2021 despite dipping from $34.7 million in January. Combined with a $896,939 loss in retail revenue, Michigan’s sportsbooks won $21.6 million for the month. After $26.5 million in promotional credits, retail and online sportsbooks booked a $4.8 million loss in taxable revenue, yielding just $581,548 in taxes.

February is typically a slower month for sportsbooks than either January or March. As popular as the Super Bowl is for bettors, it is a single game that comes with heavy promotion from sportsbooks. Ultimately, it is no match for a month filled with NFL playoff games or the three-week NCAA Tournament that offers 67 games to bet on from start to finish.

“The period between the Super Bowl and March Madness is always relatively slow for sportsbooks,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayMichigan.com. “The NCAA Tournament should push betting back over the $500 million plateau, and wagering could move even higher if Michigan or Michigan State can go on a surprise run.”

FanDuel drew more online bets than any other operator with $122.4 million, down from $132.7 million in January. Combined with its retail sportsbook, FanDuel won $4.4 million in gross revenue from those bets. DraftKings was No. 2 in the online market with $94.7 million in bets, down from $132.0 million in January. DraftKings won $4 million in gross revenue from those bets.

BetMGM followed with $86.7 million in online wagers, down from $110.9 million in January. Combined with its retail sportsbooks, BetMGM won a state-best $5.8 million in gross revenue.

“Baseball’s lockout was really the only major concern for sportsbooks because it is the main attraction for bettors during the otherwise slow summer months,” Ramsey said. “With the lockout now over, Michigan’s sportsbook operators can look forward to the first normal sports year since the state legalized sports betting.”

Online casinos and poker

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms produced $122.8 million in revenue in February, breaking the record of $121.8 million set in December despite three fewer days in the month. That equates to $4.4 million in revenue per day in February, up significantly from the $3.9 million per day that online casinos generated in both January and December.

February’s revenue yielded $21.6 million in state taxes and fees.

“It would not be shocking for Michigan to surpass New Jersey and Pennsylvania to become the largest online casino market in the U.S. by the end of the year,” Costanzo said. “Online casinos consistently produce huge amounts of revenue, and the industry’s importance to the state budget will only grow.”

MI online sports betting revenue, February 2022

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleOnline HandleRetail HandleRevenue (GGR)PromosState TaxLocal Tax
Bay MillsDraftKings$94,693,960$94,693,960?$4,000,114$11,115,378$0$0
MGM Grand DetroitBetMGM$91,823,377$86,658,217$5,165,160$5,791,031$5,863,687$6,023$3,861
Grand TraverseCaesars$35,283,067$35,283,067?$1,682,832$4,216,217$0$0
Lac Vieux DesertPointsBet$10,783,875$10,783,875?$717,523$717,866$0$0
Little RiverBetRivers$6,067,485$6,067,485?$188,533$324,940$0$0
Little Traverse BayFox Bet$2,959,175$2,959,175?$90,414$109,843$0$0
Sault Ste. MarieWynnBet$2,823,945$2,823,945?$185,386$21,552$13,762$0
Nottawaseppi HuronFireKeepers$1,763,646$1,763,646?$97,537$97,732$0$0
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-WishPlay Gun Lake$1,669,968$1,669,968?$243,584$392,225$0$0
Keweenaw BayGolden Nugget$886,420$886,420?$72,695$53,641$1,601$0
PokagonFour Winds$817,694$817,694?-$69,041-$86,781$0$0

MI online casino revenue, February 2022

LicenseeOnline BrandRevenuePromosTaxes
MGM Grand DetroitBetMGM$46,883,965$4,688,397$12,342,204
Bay MillsDraftKings$20,111,744$2,011,174$5,068,160
Little River Band of OttawaBetRivers$7,869,999$787,000$1,827,496
Keweenaw BayGolden Nugget$5,740,290$574,029$1,198,862
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and ChippewaCaesars$4,572,807$457,281$905,919
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of ChippewaWynnBet$4,452,628$445,263$897,313
Little Traverse Bay Bands of OdawaPokerStars$2,628,928$262,893$496,505
Pokagon Band of PotawatomiFour Winds$2,486,293$248,629$451,752
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of PottawatomiPlay Gun Lake$2,430,439$243,044$441,632
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of PotawatomiFireKeepers$1,066,976$106,698$192,056
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior ChippewaPointsBet$578,509$27,441$110,214

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Michigan, visit PlayMichigan.com/news. Contact: Zack Hall, Catena Media, [email protected].

Photo by Jose Sanchez / Associated Press
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