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Online sports betting in Michigan drops blow $250 million in April

14 May 2021
(PRESS RELEASE) -- Michigan experienced its first month-over-month decline in sports betting since launching online sports betting, but the seasonal slowdown didn't stop the state from becoming the quickest in the U.S. to $1 billion in online wagering. This as online casinos continued to dwarf sports betting with another month of revenue that neared $100 million, according to PlayMichigan.

"Sports betting gets the lion's share of attention, but it will take years for Michigan's sportsbooks to reach the kind of revenue that online casinos are already producing," said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayMichigan.com. "In addition, online casinos aren't susceptible to the same seasonal ebbs and flows like sports betting. That said, $1 billion in less than four months of online sports betting is no minor feat either."

Relying mostly on regular season baseball and NBA games to generate action, Michigan sportsbooks accepted $249.9 million in online handle in April, according to official data released Friday. That total was down 30.5% from $359.5 million in March. Combined with $24.2 million retail handle, Michigan's online and retail sportsbooks collected $274.2 million in bets. The combined handle was down 28.5% from $383.7 million in March.

Michigan will likely stay at No. 5 in the U.S. in combined handle, behind New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. But with $1.03 billion in online wagers made through April 30, Michigan is the quickest to reach $1 billion in online wagers.

April's gross operator revenue from online betting slipped to $20.4 million, down 36.8% from $32.3 million in March. That revenue yielded just $312,824 in state taxes.

"Sportsbooks are in a generally healthy position heading into the typical summer slowdown, especially considering Michigan's pro teams have not done much to spur interest," said Matt Schoch, analyst for PlayMichigan.com. "Tax revenue is still a concern, and we will likely have to wait until football season to see significant growth in sports betting again. But with the Olympics this year and the NBA Finals later than usual, sportsbooks can look forward to a busier-than-normal summer. Ideally, that will positively affect tax revenue, too."

FanDuel/MotorCity Casino led with a $74.2 million online handle, down from $107.2 million in March. That produced $7.0 million in gross sports betting receipts, resulting in a market-best $5.2 million in taxable revenue.

"FanDuel, BetMGM and DraftKings continue to flex their marketing advantages to separate themselves from the state's other operators," Schoch said. "As the trio entrench themselves at the top of the market, it will be increasingly difficult for any other operator to break through."

Online casinos and poker

Michigan's online casinos and poker rooms continued to impress with $94.9 million in April — down slightly from $95.1 million in March. Revenue per-day actually rose to $3.16 million per day for the 30 days of April from $3.07 million per day in March.

The win generated $17.8 million in tax revenue for the state and $5.2 million in local taxes. BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit led with $36.8 million in adjusted receipts, yielding $7.2 million in state taxes.

"There is no precedent for how Michigan has responded to the launch of online casinos," Welman said. "It's safe to say that at some point Michigan will challenge to be the largest online casino market in the U.S. The only question is when."

Online sports betting in Michigan drops blow $250 million in April is republished from iGamingAffiliatePrograms.com.


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