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SPORTS BETTING

US – Michigan’s unprecedented launch of online sportsbooks and casinos continues in March

By - 21 April 2021

Michigan online sportsbooks set fresh records for handle and revenue, reaching nearly $400m in online and retail bets in March and surpassing $30 million in online revenue, while online casino revenue approached $100m.

“With nearly $1bn in lifetime bets now, it’s hard to understate just how unprecedented Michigan’s gaming expansion has been so far,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “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.”

The NCAA Tournament spurred Michigan’s online sportsbooks to $359.5n in handle, according to official data released Tuesday. That total was up 19.1 per cent from $301.9m in February. Combined with the state’s $24.2m retail handle, which was released last week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $383m in bets. That overall total is up 17.8 per cent from $325.6m in bets in February.

Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks have now combined to take in $990.9m in bets since legalisation, including $860m in 2021.

March’s online bets produced a record $32.3m in total gross sports betting receipts, up from $9.4m in February. Taxable revenue rose to $19 million, which was up from a $10.8m loss in February.

Online sportsbooks generated $535,930 in state taxes, but promotional credits continue to dampen the state’s take. So far this year, the state has collected $819,866 on $3m in taxable revenue.

“As successful as the launch has been, those promotional credits are starting to stack up, which could take some time to work through,” said Matt Schoch, analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “The summer months will likely end up being more fruitful for the state, even as betting predictably slows with a lighter sports calendar. If tax revenue remains lackluster, however, it could grow into a larger issue that may need to be fixed going forward.”

Online betting accounted for 93.7 per cent of the state’s overall handle. FanDuel/MotorCity Casino led the online market with $107.2m in bets. Those bets gained $7.8m in gross sports betting receipts and $5m in taxable revenue.

BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit was second with a $92.6m handle and topped gross receipts with $8.7m.

“Michigan is the most competitive online sports betting market in the country right now, and that has shown in the heavy promotional spend by most operators,” Schoch said. “The top three have separated themselves from the pack, but BetMGM has differentiated itself in generating heavy action while preserving its win with less in promotions.”

Online casino and poker revenue hit $95.1m in revenue in March, up from $79.7m February.

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms won $3.1m per day in March. That total yielded adjusted gross receipts of $88.7m, $12.8m in tax revenue for the state, and $4.5m in local taxes. BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit led the market again with $30.8m in gross receipts.

“Michigan’s online casinos have been nothing short of a huge success,” Mr. Gouker said. “The state’s online casinos launched with more robust game libraries than in Pennsylvania, so residents had no reason to hold out and wait for games such as blackjack. Also, with the pandemic surging in Michigan, online casinos have been an appealing alternative for many.

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