Michigan Betting Hits $115M in 10 Days; Here’s What We Learned

Michigan Betting Hits $115M in 10 Days; Here’s What We Learned
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The Michigan Gaming Control Board released the state’s online sports betting and internet casino gaming report for Jan. 22-31 on Wednesday. According to the report, the operators delivered approximately $4.4 million in taxes and payments to the state of Michigan, while the total sports betting handle reached $115.2 million.

Here are three takeaways from Michigan’s opening 10-day period of online gaming.

Michigan Lived Up to the Hype

The results from Michigan’s 10-day Internet gaming debut highlight how eager players within the state were for online wagering. Michigan’s sports betting handle of $115.2 million topped other states that have made their online sports betting debuts in the last year.

In Tennessee, the state reported $27.4 million in total handle from its opening week spanning Nov. 1-8. And in Colorado, the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission reported $25.6 million in total sports handle for the entire month of May.

And while the pandemic played a role in Colorado’s lower figure — only NASCAR and the UFC held regular events at the time — Tennessee’s opening week included an NFL Sunday, serving as a better comparison for Michigan. The NFL did not play during Michigan’s opening 10-day debut since it was the bye week before the Super Bowl.

RELATED: Michigan online gaming launch serves notice to Midwest states

With March Madness set to begin and the Super Bowl numbers coming for February, expect Michigan sports betting to continue rising as more marquee events near.

Opening Shows the Potential Revenue for State

The opening 10-day stretch showcased the revenue possibilities for the state, which will allow the state and city of Detroit recoup some of the losses from the capacity limitations currently in place due to the pandemic. The launch of mobile sports betting on Jan. 22 came in time for one of the NFL’s biggest days of the season — Championship Game Sunday.

Michigan’s $4.4 million in taxes for the state is a significant influx of revenue over just 10 days. Tennessee generated $2.3 million in taxes from its first month of online sports betting in November 2020, and Indiana’s first month in September 2019 generated $813,000 in taxes from its retail and online sports betting offerings. Indiana’s all-time high in tax revenue for a full month is $2.7 million in January 2021.

Players Trust the Big Brands

FanDuel, DraftKings, Barstool and BetMGM are four of the most well-known gaming brands, and those are where Michiganders mostly put their sports betting money. Those four combined for 96.4% of the state’s overall sportsbook handle at $111.1 million with FanDuel leading the way at $32.6 million, according to the MGCB.

DraftKings was second at $28.2 million, followed by Barstool ($27.5 million) and BetMGM ($22.8 million).

FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM have been three of the most prevalent advertisers within the state. It’s nearly impossible to watch a sporting event or any other show in Michigan without seeing a commercial for one of those sportsbooks or their online casinos.

Barstool is unique in that it hasn’t advertised the same way as the other three. Instead, the online media company has relied on its name-brand recognition and social media personalities to promote the sportsbook and its casino offerings to its loyal fanbase.

FanDuel and DraftKings likely drew in customers that were familiar with their daily fantasy offerings. For those players, the transition to their sportsbooks was made simple since players could log in with their same email and password already registered to the site. The apps and website ran smoothly during their debut, and each offered numerous promotions around Michigan teams to appeal to the state’s citizens.

By comparison, BetMGM’s app felt a bit clunky and slow upon launch. Numerous online casino games didn’t work in the opening week, and it’s fair to wonder if other players decided to migrate elsewhere after the first-week issues.

But the overall numbers speak to customers putting their faith and money into the trusted brands advertised across television and social media.