Michigan Posts Big iGaming Revenue, Mobile Sports Betting Handle in First Full Month

Posted on: March 16, 2021, 11:51h. 

Last updated on: March 17, 2021, 11:26h.

The first full month of online sports betting and iGaming produced some eye-popping numbers in Michigan. That’s according to data released by the state’s regulatory authority.

Michigan online gaming
Blake Griffin, recently released by the Detroit Pistons, tries to make a pass in a game against the Phoenix Suns last month. Michigan sports bettors who placed bets on the Pistons and other teams wagered nearly $302 million in February, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board. (Image: Matt York/AP)

On Tuesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) reported that the state’s licensed operators generated $89.2 million in gross receipts in February. That comes after the state’s online gaming operators posted $42.7 million in gross revenues for January. Operators were only online for 10 days at the end of that month.

Last month, the 11 online casino providers tallied more than $79.7 million in gross receipts and $75.2 million in adjusted receipts. That led to the state receiving $14 million.

The 12 mobile sports betting apps reported gross receipts of nearly $9.5 million. Even with an adjusted loss of $10.8 million, the state still received more than $142,000 in tax revenue.

Michigan sports bettors wagered nearly $301.9 million in February. That’s the highest first-month total for any state. It should be good enough for the state to post the fifth-highest handle of any state for February. That, though, will not be known for certain until Illinois posts its February total next month.

Big Handle, Little Revenue for Online Sports Betting

Not surprisingly, the sportsbooks that took the top three spots in Michigan just so happened to be the same gaming companies considered the top three across the country.

In Michigan, FanDuel claimed the top honor for sports betting handle for the second straight month. Its bettors wagered more than $87.2 million last month. BetMGM roared from a fourth-place start in January to finish second last month with a $75.7 million handle. Right behind was DraftKings, which reported a $73 million handle.

Interestingly, though, only BetMGM reported positive receipts of the top three. Its gross receipts were $5.3 million and adjusted receipts totaled $2.4 million. The partnership between MGM Resorts International and Entain accounted for nearly all the sports betting tax revenue. They accounted for more than $140,800 of it.

FanDuel reported an adjusted loss of almost $5.4 million for the month, while DraftKings recorded an adjusted loss of $5.1 million. Neither of those sportsbooks reported any state tax payments for the second straight month.

Of the 12 mobile operators, the only other one to post positive adjusted receipts was William Hill, which reported adjusted revenue of more than $16,650 off a handle of $5.6 million for February.

While the big three saw their February handles keep up with the pace they started in January, Barstool stumbled in its first full month. After taking $27.5 million in bets in January, the Penn National product took just $40.3 million for all of February. It, too, posted an adjusted loss of $1.3 million for the month.

Michigan iGaming Off to Solid Start

While most sportsbooks were in the red, iGaming operators were all in the black for February.

BetMGM took top honors in that division, posting adjusted gross receipts of $26.9 million. FanDuel posted $14.9 million, while DraftKings finished third at $13.7 million.

During last month’s quarterly report, DraftKings CEO Jason Robins raved about the early success the company had in iGaming in Michigan. For example, he said the iGaming handle per capita in the state on Super Bowl Sunday was nearly twice the per capita handle New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia iGaming apps had for their first Super Bowl.

Important to note, these other three states were live an average of 179 days before their first Super Bowl, while Michigan was live for 17 days,” Robins told analysts.

Coming in fourth in iGaming revenue was Poker Stars, with adjusted receipts of $5.2 million. Poker Stars is the only licensed peer-to-peer poker provider in Michigan. A multijurisdictional poker law has been passed by state lawmakers. However, it has yet to take effect.