Sports betting in Michigan is off to a great start! The month of March 2021 (just the second full month of sports wagering for the Wolverine State) saw the state’s sports betting operators record a monster handle of $383.7 million. Of course, having a top seed in college basketball’s March Madness didn’t hurt either, as the tournament drove the nascent Michigan sports betting industry to new heights. The total sports handle was a 19.1% increase on the February handle number.
Only New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Illinois have ever recorded a larger result in their monthly sports betting handle, and remember Michigan recorded this result in only their second full month of legalized sports wagering. None of the more ‘experienced’ legal sports betting states ever recorded such a sports wagering handle as quickly as Michigan has.
Online sportsbooks drive the Michigan growth
All but $24.7 million of the Michigan sports wagering handle was placed online ($359 million) on the state’s 12 online sports betting platforms.
FanDuel finished as the number one online sportsbook in the Wolverine State with $107.2 million of placed wagers, making up 29.8% of the Michigan online sports betting market.
Close behind in second place was BetMGM with 25.8% of market share in Michigan for $92.6 million of handle. Third position went to DraftKings with $76.5 million worth of sports wagers accounting for its 21.3% market share.
Other handle totals for Michigan’s online sportsbooks included;
- Barstool Sportsbook – 4th place – 11% market share – $39.6 million.
- PointsBet – $14.2 million
- William Hill – $11 million
- Fox Bet – $7 million
- BetRivers (part of the SugarHouse Sports family) – $4.8 million
- TwinSpires – $3.2 million
- WynnBet – $2.2 million
- Golden Nugget Online – $0.79 million; and
- Four Winds – $0.385 million.
Richard Kalm, Executive Director of the state’s sportsbooks licensing and regulatory body, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), announced in his statement that March Madness powered the 19.1% jump in the sports betting handle from February to March. He noted that monthly adjusted gross revenue receipts from the state’s fully legal online casino gaming industry also increased 18% on the February numbers.
The fact that the revenue raised for a range of Michigan programs and services was not lost on the Executive Director;
“This led to increases in taxes and payments, which means more funding for the city of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development and tribal communities,” Kalm said.
The Wolverine State has already crossed the $1 billion threshold in handle since the online sportsbook and casino industry was legalized in January. According to leading sports wagering and online casino gaming analyst, Dustin Gouker;
“With nearly $1 billion in lifetime bets now, it’s hard to (overstate) just how unprecedented Michigan’s gaming expansion has been so far. The growth in online casino gaming has been off-the-charts. No other state has enjoyed a launch of online casino gaming and sports betting quite like this,” he said.
Online casino gaming also booming in Michigan
In March, Michigan became only the third state to record as much as $90 million in a single month, and just like the sports betting handle result, no other state has got there as quickly as the Wolverine State has.
After the numbers were crunched at the end of March, Michigan recorded a final online casino revenue tally of $95.1 million, only just behind long-time online casino market leaders New Jersey ($113.7 million) and Pennsylvania ($97.7 million). BetMGM online casino led the way in Michigan with $30.8 million of revenue, followed by FanDuel, Draft Kings, Bet Rivers and PokerStars rounding out the top 5 operators.