Why Michigan Sports Betting Revenue Is Growing As Handle Continues To Decline

Written By Drew Ellis on July 26, 2023 - Last Updated on July 31, 2023

Sports betting in Michigan may appear down, but online operators have found a way to still increase revenue.

Overall sports betting handle for June was just $236 million. That is a 22.7% decline from May’s $305.3 million handle. It’s also a 19.3% drop from June 2022’s handle of $292.4 million.

However, sports betting operators are doing a better job of retaining revenue. In June, online operators had $18.3 million in revenue, a jump of 13.7% from last year’s $15.4 million.

For the year, online sports betting revenue sits at $190.7 million through six months. That’s a 14% increase from the first six months of 2022’s $167.3 million.

Sports betting is still not up to the level it was a year ago in terms of how much people are betting, but online operators are profiting more than ever.

June 2023 Michigan sports betting revenue numbers

Here are the top-line numbers for Michigan sports betting in June from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

  • Handle: $236 million ($227.9 million online)
  • Revenue: $17.9 million ($18.3 million online)
  • Hold: 7.6% (down from 11.8% last month)
  • Month-over-month: Handle decreased 22.7%
  • June sports betting taxes: $557,464 to the state and $304,031 to local entities.
  • Top online sports betting app by handle: FanDuel Sportsbook MI with $74 million
  • Top online sports betting app by revenue: FanDuel Sportsbook MI with $10.2 million

Three takeaways from June Michigan sports betting revenue report

Online handle down 11%, but revenue still grows

Sports betting overall in Michigan may have hit a plateau, but clearly operators have adjusted to the new market.

Retail sports betting has been on the decline for a while, but it wasn’t until December of 2022 that online handle was actually less than it had been a year prior.

That has sparked a run of seven consecutive months that online handle has been less than the same month the previous year.

Overall, online handle in 2023 through six months ($2.07 billion) is down 11% from the $2.32 billion in the first six months of 2022.

Despite that, Michigan’s online revenue has been stronger year-over-year for the last five months. That includes $44.6 million in March, a number that hasn’t been seen outside of a football season month in this state.

Improved hold, fewer promos leading to revenue growth

If less money is being wagered, why is the revenue growing?

That’s pretty simple.

Online operators have put in a focus on stronger holds (retaining more of the money wagered) while offering fewer promotional offers to their customers.

At this time in 2022, online operators had a total adjusted gross sports betting revenue total of $74.1 million. That’s a difference of $93.2 million. The adjusted gross revenue is an indicator of how much the online operators are crediting as losses from promotional wagers like odds boosts and free bets.

In 2023, the AGR sits at $113.5 million, a difference of $77.2 million. While still a healthy number, that’s $16 million less than a year ago.

That AGR also plays into the improved hold.

Online sportsbooks have a 9.2% hold for 2023. That means they are collectively keeping 9.2% of the overall money wagered at their respective books. In the first half of 2022, the same sportsbooks had just a 7.2% hold.

That may not seem like a big difference, but 2% of billions of dollars is a big chunk of change.

Fewer promos and tougher odds are creating a decline in how much consumers are willing to spend at the sportsbooks. But, the decline isn’t coming at a cost of the bottom line as of yet.

Revenue increases despite retail losses

The overall sports betting revenue in June was just $17.9 million despite $18.3 million coming from online operators.

The reason being is that the three Detroit casinos suffered loss of over $378,000. It marked the second time in 2023 that the Detroit casinos have lost money to the bettors for a month.

Leading the losses was a $972,000 payout at MotorCity Casino, which resulted in the casino losing over $708,000 for the month on its own.

Interestingly enough, the retail bettors in Michigan are having much greater success than online ones. The three Detroit casinos are combining for just a 3.2% hold in 2023.

Those making big-money wagers tend to feel more comfortable making said wagers in-person at a retail sportsbook. Laying down six-figure wagers on a mobile device seems like a recipe for disaster. Then again, so does making a six-figure wager in general.

Michigan sports betting June 2023 revenue by operator

LicenseeOnline BrandHandleRevenueHoldTaxes
Bay MillsDraftKings$65,371,309$2,099,4093.2%$25,070
MGM Grand DetroitBetMGM$44,613,131$2,964,4126.6%$28,537
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and ChippewaCaesars$17,751,379$896,3715.0%$27,767
Little River Band of OttawaBetRivers$6,016,783$516,2438.6%$8,778
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior ChippewaPointsBet$4,445,289$388,3118.7%$18,992
Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of PottawatomibetParx$1,592,689$96,2876.0%$0
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of ChippewaWynnBet$1,406,203$134,0839.5%$11,066
Sagniaw ChippewaEagle$1,069,044$104,6679.8%$0
Keweenaw BayGolden Nugget$1,067,204$25,1172.4%$351
Little Traverse Bay Bands of OdawaFox Bet$959,661$82,0638.6%$6,652
Pokagon Band of PotawatomiFour Winds$767,278$38,2765.0%$0
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of PotawatomiFireKeepers$558,215$29,4175.3%$0
Drew Ellis Avatar
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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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