First Full Month Of Sports Betting At Detroit Casinos Leads To Record Handle

Posted on October 14, 2020

The start of NFL and the first full month of legal sports betting in Michigan led to record sports wagering at Detroit casinos.

More than $33.5 million was bet on sports in September, earning $4.3 million in MI sports betting revenue for Detroit’s commercial casinos. Two previous partial months, which equaled about a full month of gaming, had $16.3 million wagered and revenue just over $2 million.

As the overall numbers doubled, MGM again led Detroit’s three casinos in MI sports betting handle and revenue.

MGM had $14.6 million bet at its BetMGM Sports Lounge in September. MotorCity had $12.9 million wagered at its FanDuel Sportsbook. Greektown, meanwhile, received $5.8 million in sports bets.

CasinoHandleRevenueState tax (3.78%)City of Detroit tax (4.62%)
Total$33,503,928.74$4,376,407.44$165,428.20$202,190.02
MGM Grand Detroit$14,682,036.25$2,096,337.55$79,241.56$96,850.79
MotorCity Casino$12,968,139.00$1,557,561.00$58,875.81$71,959.32
Greektown Casino-Hotel$5,853,753.49$722,508.89$27,310.84$33,379.91

Sports betting raised $202,190 in tax revenue for the city of Detroit in September and $165,428 for the state of Michigan. Those year-to-date totals are $298,406 for Detroit and $244,150 for Michigan.

MGM also leads in overall casino revenue

As for overall casino revenue, MGM Grand Detroit set the standard with $36.1 million in revenue. MotorCity Casino had $32.1 million, and Greektown Casino had $19.5 million.

The casinos earned $87.9 million in revenue for September, operating at a 15% capacity limit.

That number was down 21.7% from September 2019. Year over year, the Detroit casinos are down 58% from the first nine months of last year.

The decline is almost entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three commercial casinos in Detroit plus all of the state’s tribal casinos shut their doors on March 16.

MotorCity’s market share on the move in MI sports betting

MGM entered September with nearly half the city’s market share, taking 49% of Detroit’s bets since March.

However, in September, MotorCity brought in 38.7% of the city’s sports bets, helping to knock MGM’s total to 43.8%. Greektown’s market share for September was 17.4% in September, down slightly from 18.2% combined in March and August.

FanDuel has been providing odds boosts for betting throughout the football season for MotorCity customers, while MGM has not. This could change for online players after sports betting apps launch soon.

Greektown is hoping for a big boost when it opens a permanent Barstool Sportsbook next month.

Sports betting opened on March 11 in Michigan, five days before Detroit’s casinos closed because of the coronavirus. Detroit casinos started reopening Aug. 5. MGM reopened Aug. 7.

More than 10 tribal casinos in Michigan also take sports bets. However, they are not required to report revenue to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

All of the state’s 15 casino operators will report online sports betting and online casino numbers after online gambling launches later this year.

Michigan fantasy sports revenue breaks records in August

Fantasy contest operators had their biggest month in August since becoming Michigan taxpayers this year.

The Michigan daily fantasy sports and other fantasy contest operators paid over $189,000 in taxes from $2.2 million in revenue from the month. That’s before the NFL season got started in September.

DraftKings stayed ahead of rival FanDuel in market share, raising $1.1 million in revenue (50.8% of market share) to FanDuel’s $952,246.06 (42.1%).

Fantasy Football Players Championship was a distant third in Michigan fantasy contests revenue at $148,395.07 (6.6%).

OperatorAdjusted revenueTax collected
Total $2,260,421.99$189,875.45
DraftKings$1,148,952.33$96,512.00
FanDuel$952,246.06$79,988.67
Fantasy Football Players Championship$148,395.07$12,465.19
Yahoo Fantasy Sports$7,203.15$605.06
FullTime Fantasy Sports Network$3,624.02$304.42
SportsHub Games Network$1.36$0.11
Fantasy Sports Shark$0.00$0.00
Photo by AP Photo/Tony Avelar
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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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