Michigan’s September Online Gambling Revenues Show Online Casinos Up, Sportsbooks’ Hold Way Down

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In September, Michigan’s online gambling revenue saw a significant increase, according to the latest data released from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The state’s commercial and tribal operators reported a combined total of $210.4 million in gross internet gaming and sports betting revenues. That’s a 20% increase compared to August’s numbers, and a 19.2% rise on September 2022.

This growth was largely fueled by Michigan online casinos, which saw DraftKings, PointsBet/Fanatics, and FanDuel register record revenues for a single month in the state.

On the other hand, Michigan online sportsbooks also saw a big spike in betting activity due to the start of the NFL season. However, a poor hold meant they failed to translate that into revenues. A huge handle of $457 million, which was nearly double August’s total, resulted in a 31% drop in revenues to $18.7 million.

Online Casino Revenue Soars

Through September, online casinos remained the primary source of gambling money in Michigan, with revenues totalling $166.4 million. That was a 29.3% increase compared to last year. The adjusted revenues were $149.8 million, also up 29.3% year-on-year.

This growth in online casino revenue helped offset the sports betting losses for the month in the overall Michigan gambling sector.

Online casinos in the state must partner with Michigan casino venues in order to obtain a license.

The top-performing operators in this sector were BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, each reporting significant increases in revenue compared to August.

BetMGM, licensed through its MGM Grand Detroit venue, saw $48 million in revenue through September. Behind them, DraftKings narrowly went ahead of FanDuel at $37 million, compared to $35 million.

The rest of the pack was far short, including operators Caesars, Golden Nugget, and Wynn Bet, all on less than $10 million in revenues. The least-popular Michigan online casino for the month was Sports Illustrated casino, which still took in $1.31 million.

Despite still being near the bottom of the charts for its online casino, PointsBet (in the process of a rebrand to Fanatics) is performing far better than a year ago across sports betting and its casino. Its revenues so far for 2023 are 96.4% up on last year, which will be good news for Fanatics Betting & Gaming.

Sports Betting Handle Booms, Revenues Down

Despite an increase in handle, sports betting gross revenues slipped 8% to $44 million for the month.

The total internet sports betting handle was $457.7 million, more than double the amount bet in August and a 35.6% increase compared to last year.

However, when including promotional deductions and taxes, the adjusted revenues fell even further, dropping 31.1% to $18.7 million. This decline in revenue, despite the increase in handle, indicates that bettors fared much better this NFL season than they did in 2022.  

Michigan retail sportsbooks’ data is released separately, although the BetMGM sportsbook at MGM Grand Detroit is almost always the most popular of the various venues.

Tax Contributions and Operator Data

In terms of taxes, operators paid out a total of $32.6 million to the state in September, with $31.3 million coming from online casinos and $1.3 million from sportsbooks.

The three commercial casinos in Detroit – MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino, and Greektown Casino – reported a combined total of $7.97 million in wagering taxes and municipal services fees, with $7.5 million coming from online gaming taxes and $470,071 from sports betting taxes.

The three commercial casinos report their revenue separately from sportsbooks. The September figures should be business as usual, but October’s numbers will no doubt be affected by the ongoing Detroit casino worker’s strike action that has shuttered some services at the three operators.

As of September, there are 15 commercial and tribal operators authorized to offer an online casino and/or internet sports betting in Michigan. Some 14 operators are offering internet sports betting, and 15 operators are offering an online casino.

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