Michigan becomes fifth state to generate $500m+ in retail and online sports bets

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Michigan became the fifth state to generate more than $500m in combined retail and online sports bets over a single month as sportsbooks shattered the state revenue record in what was an impressive November. 

And as winter weather begins to set in, the state’s sportsbooks and online casinos, which remained near an all-time high in November, should continue to hover at or near record levels, according to PlayMichigan.  

Online sportsbooks in Michigan drew a record $473.8m in November, breaking the record of $463.6m set in October by 2.3%. Add the $26.7m in retail wagering at Detroit-area casinos announced earlier this week, and Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks hit $500.5m in wagering for the month, up 0.6% from $497.6m in October.

Michigan has now joined New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois and Pennsylvania as the only states to enjoy a month when sportsbooks handled more than $500m.

Matt Schoch, lead analyst for PlayMichigan.com, stated: “Michigan football’s run, including the intense interest in its showdown with Ohio State, certainly helped buoy sportsbooks. The rising tide of the past three months, though, is more than one game and one sport. 

“Sportsbooks continue to reach more and more Michiganders, and bettors are becoming increasingly comfortable with more diverse forms of betting. Sportsbooks are looking at a bright future, even after football season.”

Unlike in October, record wagering in November produced record gross revenue. Online sportsbooks won a whopping $54.1m in gross revenue in November, up 122.7% from $24.3m in October. Combined with $4.6m in retail revenue, sportsbooks won a total of $58.8m for the month, up 118.1% from $26.9m in October and topping the previous high of $35.2m in March. 

After promotional credits, taxable revenue for both online and retail wagering hit $38.8m, another state high, which yielded a record $2.9m in state taxes.

The onslaught of records came despite fewer weekends of football than in October, which had five full weekends, to bolster the bottom line. Bettors found plenty to wager on, though, with a full month of NBA basketball, the opening of college basketball, and the season-ending Ohio State-Michigan showdown that drew immense local interest.

“The NFL deservedly gets a lot of attention for the betting interest it creates, but NBA betting is a difference-maker, too,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayMichigan.com. “The increase in NBA inventory in November, combined with the start of college basketball, was more than enough to make up for one fewer weekend of football games.” 

DraftKings retook the online market lead with $126.3m in wagers, up from $120.4m in October. Those bets yielded $13.1m in gross gaming revenue, up from $2.9m in October. FanDuel was second with $115.2m in bets in November, down from $124m in October. 

November’s wagering produced a market-topping $18.3m in gross sports betting revenue, up from $10.3m in October. BetMGM remained third by handling $100.8m, down from $102.2m in October. Those bets created $12.7m in gross gaming revenue, up from $7.5m in October.

“Nowhere is the competition between DraftKings and FanDuel more closely fought than in Michigan,” Schoch said. “Nearly one year into online sports betting, the two rivals continue to trade the top spot. The biggest difference is that FanDuel has wrung more revenue from the wagering it has taken in, even as DraftKings has expanded its market share.”

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms generated $107.6m in gross gaming revenue, falling just short of October’s record of $109.7m by 1.9%. But revenue actually grew to $3.59m per day over the 30 days of November, from $3.54m per day during the 31 days of October.

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms have now generated $992.2m in gross gaming revenue, putting the state at the doorstep of $1bn for the year. Only two other states, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have reached such rarefied air over the course of a calendar year. Michigan, though, will be the first to reach that milestone in its debut year.

“No other first-year online gaming market has come close to Michigan’s success,” Ramsey said. “Michigan was always a market with enormous potential, but rivaling the results of New Jersey and Pennsylvania so soon has been impressive.”