Michigan became the eighth state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $1 billion in operator gross revenue for sports wagering Tuesday after the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported that operators claimed $23.5 million in winnings for August.
The Wolverine State launched retail sports wagering in March 2020, days before the COVID-19 pandemic caused much of the nation to shut down. Michigan launched online wagering the following January, and the state’s now-14 mobile sportsbooks have accounted for $928.1 million in gross revenue in two-plus years of accepting bets.
The MGCB reported overall internet gaming revenue of $175.4 million, with mobile casino gambling accounting for $152.2 million. Online sports wagering gross revenue totaled nearly $23.2 million, as operators collectively posted a 10.6% hold on $218.5 million handle.
Adjusted gross revenue eligible for taxation between the two online gambling disciplines totaled $153.1 million, with iCasino accounting for $137.2 million. The state received $28.6 million in taxes from online casino and an additional $1.1 million from sports wagering.
The city of Detroit received $6.9 million in taxes from iCasino play and close to $370,000 from digital sports betting. More than $3.6 million was disbursed to local jurisdictions with tribal casinos, lifting the total for the calendar year to $27 million.
FanDuel continues to wallop public in sports wagering
Online sports wagering revenue in the Wolverine State almost always starts with FanDuel, and August was no different. The mobile juggernaut claimed $9.4 million in gross revenue while posting a 12.3% hold.
It was the 14th consecutive month FanDuel achieved a double-digit win rate, and it has a 13.7% hold in Michigan this year. The $76.1 million handle generated pushed 2023’s total over $850 million.
DraftKings was thwarted in a bid to have back-to-back 10%-plus holds for the first time in the state, falling short at 9.7% for August while claiming $5.6 million in revenue from $57.8 million in handle. It was the fourth time DraftKings had a 9%-plus hold this year, matching its total from 2021 and 2022 combined.
BetMGM, however, was successful in notching another double-digit hold, edging over the mark at 10.1% as it reaped $3.7 million from $36.5 million handle. It was the fifth time in the last six months BetMGM had a 10% or higher hold. Yet despite the increased holds, its $57.8 million in year-to-date gross revenue is 31.4% lower than 2022, largely due to strong bettor performance in January and February.
Caesars Sports posted its best hold in Michigan, reaching 11.8% to collect $1.9 million from $16.5 million handle. It was a 2023 high for revenue as well, barely eclipsing the $1.9 million-plus accrued in January. It was the first time Caesars posted a win rate above 6.3% this year, while its previous all-time high was 11% set last August.
Despite a 40.8% increase in handle from July, PENN Entertainment had an 11.1% decline in gross revenue to just over $900,000. Its month-over-month hold plunged more than 4.5 percentage points to 7.8%, but that is still notably better than its year-to-date win rate of 4.8%.
Soaring Eagle, which has its own mobile betting platform, paid taxes on digital sports wagering for the first time since launching in April 2022, as its all-time AGR crossed into the black after 17 months of betting. It had a healthy 14.9% hold on $1.1 million handle in August, and the $92,506 in AGR following carryover deductions led to a tax payment of $6,195.
BetRivers reaches historic iCasino milestone
BetRivers, which operates iCasino via the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, became just the second tribal-based platform to reach $10 million in monthly gross revenue along with Bay Mills, which has DraftKings as its internet platform. BetRivers’ $10.5 million in August gross revenue easily eclipsed the previous high of $9.7 million set in March 2022. It had cleared $9 million on just two previous occasions in 2023, and revenue was up 15.3% compared to July.
BetMGM continued to be the bell cow for internet casino revenue, clearing $44 million and moving within $1.7 million of $400 million in gross revenue for the calendar year. FanDuel, which operates through MotorCity Casino, had its second-best month all-time with almost $33.2 million. It was narrowly within $1 million of its record $34.2 million set in March.
PENN Entertainment, which is in the process of pivoting from Barstool to ESPN BET, saw month-over-month revenue plummet 37.7% to an all-time monthly low of $2.2 million. PENN’s previous low was $2.5 million in August 2021.
August marked only the second time in 32 months of internet casino gaming that tribal-based platforms contributed more in state taxes than Detroit’s three commercial casinos, with the other occurrence in June 2021. Tribal levies totaled close to $14.6 million, while commercial taxes collected were $14 million.
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