Brief March Sports Betting Start In Michigan Posts $105,000

Brief March Sports Betting Start In Michigan Posts $105,000
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Although it had just a brief start in March before casinos were closed by the state, sports betting at Detroit’s three commercial casinos saw adjusted gross receipts of $105,548, according to figures released Tuesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

First bets were placed on March 11 at the MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown casinos. On March 12, the MotorCity Casino took its first wager. The casinos closed on March 16 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an order because of the coronavirus pandemic. The casinos will remain closed until at least April 13.

Between the first bets and the closing of the casinos, sports leagues began postponing games on March 12 and the NCAA canceled its men's and women's basketball tournaments the same day.

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The qualified adjusted gross receipts reported by the three Detroit casinos, according to the gaming control board (the state has an 8.4% tax on adjusted gross receipts from sports betting; the casinos pay Detroit an additional 1.25% tax):

  • MGM Grand Detroit, $84,695
  • Greektown Casino, $15,904
  • MotorCity Casino, $4,949

The casinos paid $3,990 in state retail sports betting taxes and reported submitting $4,876 in retail sports betting taxes to Detroit, according to the gaming control board release.

In addition to the sports betting figures, the March aggregate revenue of $57.4 million for the casinos was down 59.1 percent from March 2019, but the casinos were closed for nearly half of last month. The three Detroit casinos paid $4.7 million in state gaming taxes in March. That figure was down from $11.4 million in March 2019. The Detroit casinos reported $6.8 million in wagering taxes and development agreement payments submitted to Detroit during March.

Michigan also has more than 20 tribal casinos in the western and northern parts of the state, but those facilities were still working on timetables to launch sports betting when the coronavirus pandemic started.

With the launch of onsite sports betting at the casinos, Michigan became the second state during the week of March 9 to take its first bet. Illinois began taking bets on March 9. Michigan will have one of the most comprehensive markets in the country. It will be the first state with commercial and Native American casinos, as well as online sports betting and casino gambling.

Online betting in Michigan still has an undetermined timetable and might not launch until next year. Regulators expect to finalize rules for mobile and online wagering by early 2021.