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US – Michigan’s online sportsbooks and casinos make major gains in September

By - 17 October 2021

Football produced a wave of bettor enthusiasm in September that brought more than $350m in wagering to Michigan’s online sportsbooks in September, as the state hit a new record in combined retail and online betting volume. The new high was coupled with the first month of $100m in online casino revenue in the state, helping set a new baseline for Michigan’s gaming industry, according to PlayMichigan, which tracks gaming developments in the state. 

“The potency of a full football schedule and access to online betting is unmatched,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayMichigan.com. “September will raise expectations for the industry, and the bar was already pretty high. The next three months have the potential to bring even more records.”

Michigan’s online sportsbooks accepted $354.3m in bets in September, up 84.2 per cent from $192.3m in August, according to official data released Thursday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. September’s handle fell just short of the online record of $359.5m set in March. But, combined with $32.5 million in retail wagering at Detroit-area casinos announced earlier this week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks accounted for a record $386.8m in wagering.

Gross gaming revenue from online betting rose 49 per cent to $23.7m from $15.9m in August. Combined with $3.5 million in retail revenue, sportsbooks won a total of $27.1m for the month, a rise of 54.7 per cent from $17.5m in August. Gross income from online betting produced $17.4m in taxable revenue, yielding $690,271 in state and local taxes.

Football’s popularity in general, and undefeated starts in the NCAA ranks by both Michigan and Michigan State, helped push the market to a new high. Later this month, the rivals meet each other in a matchup of potentially two Top 10 teams, providing an opportunity for sportsbooks to attract new customers.

“The Michigan-Michigan State game will likely help make September’s records short-lived, even as the Detroit Lions’ struggles continue,” said Matt Schoch, an analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “The state’s sportsbooks are in a healthy position. And with basketball opening, the industry will continue to grow and mature for the rest of the year.”

DraftKings topped the online market for the second consecutive month with $106.9m in wagers, yielding produced $3.0 million in gross gaming revenue.

FanDuel was second with $82.1m in wagers, producing $7.2m in gross sports betting revenue. BetMGM generated an $81.8m handle and topped the market with $8.8m in revenue.

“DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and other operators have been extremely aggressive in using football to push for new customers,” Schoch said. “September’s growth shows that those promotional efforts are paying off, and that will help expand the market even after the football season ends.”

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms set another record, with $102.4m in gross gaming revenue in September. That shattered the previous record of $97.2m set in August, as revenue rose to $3.4m per day over the 30 days of September from $3.1m per day in August. September’s revenue produced $18.9m in state taxes and $5.2m in local taxes.

Michigan joined New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the only three states to ever produce $100m in revenue over the course of a month. A main reason is the expansion of gaming options, including live dealer online casino games, which continue to grow in popularity after launching in late July.

“Live dealer games have pushed online casino gaming to a new level,” Ramsey said. “The state’s industry will almost certainly reach $bn in revenue in its first year of existence, which is a remarkable milestone for such a young market.”

BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit led the online casino and poker market with $40.6m in gross gaming revenue, which yielded $7.2m in state taxes.

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