Volume at Michigan’s online sportsbooks narrowly ticked up in August to more than $192 million, pushing Michigan past $2 billion in online and retail wagering for the year. The modest gain did not lead to more revenue, though, as sportsbooks set the stage for four of the busiest months of the year, according to PlayMichigan, which analyzes and researches the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.
“August marks the beginning of the most important stretch of the year for sportsbooks,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayMichigan.com. “It only takes a few college games, the NFL’s preseason and futures bets to show the importance of football to the industry. But the small number of games in August is merely a precursor for the next four months.”
Michigan’s online sportsbooks took in $192.3 million in bets in August, up 2.3% from $188.0 million in July, according to official data released Thursday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. With $16.3 million in retail wagering in August, which was announced earlier this week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks accounted for $208.6 million in wagering, up 1.1% from $206.3 million in bets in July.
Gross gaming revenue from online betting fell 18.8% to $15.9 million from $19.6 million in July. With retail revenue included, the state’s sportsbooks combined to win $17.5 million for the month, a drop of 15.6% from July. Taxable revenue from online bets landed at $9.2 million, which generated $757,405 in state and local taxes.
The relatively modest bump in sports betting volume was enough to push past $2 billion in online and retail wagering all-time, and for the year. Michigan sportsbooks have tallied:
$2.2 billion in wagering since launch, including $2.1 billion this year alone.
$189.0 in gross gaming revenue, including $170.8 million in 2021.
$8.9 million in state and local taxes, including $7.4 million in state and local taxes this year.
“The hot start after launching online betting in January was the key in hitting $2 billion in wagering this soon, but it is remarkable growth, no matter how you view it,” said Matt Schoch, lead analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “Tax revenue has been somewhat underwhelming so far. As the market continues to mature, and promotional spends begin to slow, hopefully tax revenue improves.”
DraftKings took the online market lead with $61.4 million in wagers, up from $53.4 million in July. Gross gaming revenue rose to $4.4 million from $3.1 million in July. FanDuel fell to No. 2 in the state with $47.7 million in wagers, down from $54.5 million in July. The bets in August produced a market-best $4.8 million in gross sports betting revenue, down from $7.8 million in July.
BetMGM was third in the state with $43.7 million in wagers, up from $41.0 million in July. That total produced $3.9 million in gross receipts, down from $5.0 million in June.
The online market leaders were followed by:
Barstool ($13.1 million handle, down from $13.6 million in July; $741,707 gross revenue, down from $1.4 million)
Caesars ($10.0 million handle, up from $7.5 million; $162,383 GGR, down from $252,708)
PointsBet ($6.2 million handle, down from $7.8 million; $939,617 GGR, up from $849,524)
BetRivers ($3.1 million handle, up from $2.6 million; $236,884 GGR, up from $224,089)
Fox Bet ($2.5 million handle, down from $2.7 million; $328,911 GGR, up from $252,873)
FireKeepers ($1.1 million handle, up from $367,354; $109,987 GGR, up from $44,048)
TwinSpires ($1.0 million handle, even with July; $109,846 GGR, down from $138,911)
WynnBet ($883,496 handle, down from $2.3 million; $95,820 GGR, down from $357,718)
Golden Nugget ($668,503 handle, up from $623,977; $3,049 GGR, down from $98,615)
Four Winds ($483,992 handle, up from $318,987; $16,666 GGR, down from $35,979)
Parx ($455,331 handle; $87,231 GGR)
“Football is not only the main draw for most existing bettors, it is also the primary vehicle for each sportsbook to grow its customer base,” Schoch said. “The promotional offerings and seemingly wall-to-wall advertising that we’ve already seen shows how aggressive Michigan’s operators are and will continue to be over the next couple months.”
Online casinos and poker set fresh record
Gross gaming revenue at Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms rose to a record $97.2 million in August, up 5.3% from $92.3 million in July. August’s revenue was up to $3.1 million per day over the 31 days of August from $3.0 million per day in wagers over the 31 days of July. That total yielded $17.9 million in state taxes and $6.9 million in local taxes.
August marked the fifth time in the past six months that revenue topped $90 million. August also was the first full month of live dealer online casino games, which launched in late July, helping to boost revenue.
Since launching in January, online casinos and poker rooms have generated $672.6 million in revenue and $166.6 million in state and local taxes.
“Michigan’s online casinos continue to grow, and with live dealer games now in the fold, there is no reason to believe that will end soon,” Ramsey said. “For all the interest in sports betting, it is the state’s online casinos that have proven to be the bigger benefit to the state, dwarfing sports betting in tax revenue.”
Other highlights from August:
BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit topped the online casino and poker market with $39.7 million in gross gaming revenue, which yielded $10.5 million in state and local taxes.
FanDuel/Motor City was second, with $14.2 million in gross receipts and $3.7 million in state and local taxes. DraftKings/Bay Mills was third with $12.6 million in gross receipts, producing $3.2 million in state and local taxes.