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Michigan Sportsbooks Feeling The Summer Heat

Summer is always a down period for sportsbooks, and Michigan is not immune




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Summer just isn’t the best time to be in the sportsbook business. With baseball the only major sport on the calendar, combined with vacation, family time, and assorted fun-in-the-sun activities, it’s a five-star mortal lock that sportsbook handle and revenue will take a hit the higher the temperatures climb.

June was no exception in Michigan, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported last week the state’s 15 online sportsbooks handled just over $270 million in bets for the month. That was down from May’s $333 million number. 

One bright spot, however? This June’s tally bested last June’s $235 million, so despite the month-over-month loss, the year-over-year trend is in the right direction.

DraftKings headed up

Also headed in the right direction? DraftKings, which stopped its own months-long swoon in a big way, being one of the few sportsbooks to handle more money in June than in May. As a result, it retook second place in the Great Handle Wars from BetMGM.

For the month, DraftKings handled $71.7 million, up from May’s $69 million.

While the $2.7 million bump may not seem so big, it’s notable when compared to the haircuts first place FanDuel and third place BetMGM took month-over-month.

FanDuel dropped from $99.3 million in handle to $79 million; BetMGM fell from a tick under $80 million down to $58.7 million.

Notably, DraftKings also saw its iCasino haul head north (along with Barstool), while market leader BetMGM saw its number go down by almost $2 million. Of course, BetMGM’s “down” month of $47.2 million still eclipsed the combined total of FanDuel ($18.5 million) and DraftKings ($17.8 million) by more than $10 million.

So, the big question heading into the rest of summer — and, notably, the start of the football season — revolves around DraftKings. Was its June an outlier, or is it a sign of things to come? Plenty of eyes on that question …

Meanwhile, in other news …

While sports betting handle tells one story, the level of adjusted gross sports betting receipts — basically, how much money did these sportsbooks make after bonusing is accounted for — tells another.

To wit: DraftKings made $371,387 on its $71 million handle, but Barstool — with a handle of $23.9 million – saw its adjusted gross betting receipts number total over $1.3 million.

In fact, Barstool was behind only FanDuel (at $2.2 million) and BetMGM (at $1.8 million) in adjusted receipts.

Another bright spot in the landscape is the newly minted Soaring Eagle, which saw its handle nearly eclipse the million-dollar mark in only its second full month as an operator.

And while its number pales in comparison to the big dogs, it’s certainly worth noting that despite coming late to the party, Soaring Eagle finished 10th in handle with its $980,506, besting FireKeepers, Parx, Golden Nugget, Four Winds, and the soon-to-be departing TwinSpires.

One not-so-bright spot for the month? The performance of Caesars, which saw its handle drop to $18.2 million. What was once a race for fourth place with Barstool now seems more like a foregone conclusion. Making matters even worse? Caesars lost nearly a million dollars on the adjusted gross sports betting receipts side.

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