Michigan’s online sportsbooks fell to their lowest volume ever for a full month, dropping to less than $200 million for the first time since online sports betting launched in January. July’s wagering was still enough for sportsbooks to nearly reach $2 billion in lifetime online handle, while casino revenue ticked up and surpassed $500 million lifetime, according to PlayMichigan, which analyzes and researches the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.

“Pursuits other than gaming are priorities for many in July, whether that is a trip to the lake or a backyard barbecue,” said Matt Schoch, analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “The good news for sportsbooks is that with the July dip now out of the way, operators can look forward to Michiganders returning from their summer vacations and for the excitement for the football season to build.”

Michigan’s online sportsbooks generated $188.0 million in bets in July, down 20% from $235.1 million in June, according to official data released Monday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Combined with $18.3 million in retail wagering in July, which was announced last week, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks accounted for $206.3 million in wagering. That total is down 20.5% from $259.4 million in bets in June.

That is the lowest volume recorded in a month since sportsbooks collected $150.8 million in January, when online betting first launched on Jan. 22. Still, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks have now accepted $1.99 billion in wagers since retail sportsbooks launched in March 2020.

Gross gaming revenue from online betting fell 21.6% to $19.6 million from $24.9 million in June, pushing the state’s combined win to $20.8 million for the month. After promotional credits, $12.4 million in taxable revenue remained from online bets, down from $16.8 million in June. July’s online revenue produced $1.1 million in state and local taxes.

Volume has remained low since April, part of an expected seasonal slowdown. But sportsbooks have countered the loss in wagering with a gain in hold percentage, which is the money the house keeps after paying out winning bets. The hold in July for online and retail sportsbooks was 10.1%, joining June as the only two full months with a percentage above 10% since online betting launched in Michigan in January.

“Bettors interact with summer sports like golf and even the Olympics differently by placing more futures and novelty bets, which win less frequently than a conventional single-game bet on football,” said Eric Ramsey, data analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayMichigan.com. “For this reason, sportsbooks can bridge the slower betting months.”

The race for the online market lead drew closer in July. FanDuel led all online operators in July with $54.5 million in wagers, down from $77.3 million in June. FanDuel also topped Michigan operators with $7.8 million in gross sports betting revenue, down from $10.3 million in June.

DraftKings was second in the state with $53.4 million in wagers, down from $56.5 million in June. Gross gaming revenue fell to $3.1 million from $5.0 million in June. BetMGM was third with $41.0 million in wagers, down from $52.1 million in June. That produced $5.0 million in gross receipts, down from $6.1 million in June.

The online market leaders were followed by:

  • Barstool ($13.6 million handle, down from $16.7 million in July; $1.4 million gross revenue, down from $1.8 million)
  • PointsBet ($7.8 million handle, down from $10.2 million; $849,524 GGR, down from $911,170)
  • William Hill/Caesars ($7.5 million handle, down from $7.9 million; $252,708 GGR, down from $598,641)
  • Fox Bet ($2.7 million handle, down from $3.7 million; $252,873 GGR, down from $332,639)
  • BetRivers ($2.6 million handle, up from $2.4 million; $224,089 GGR, up from $107,480)
  • WynnBet ($2.3 million handle, down from $5.5 million; $357,718 GGR, up from -$383,777)
  • TwinSpires ($1.0 million handle, down from $1.3 million; $138,911 GGR, down from $143,197)
  • Golden Nugget ($623,977 handle, down from $914,393; $98,615 GGR, up from $83,855)
  • FireKeepers ($367,354 handle, up from $656; $44,048 GGR, up from $299)
  • Four Winds ($318,987 handle, down from $607,100; $35,979 GGR, up from -$18,782)

“The Olympics were never going to drive enough volume for operators to overcome a typically slow summer month, especially with the time-zone difference between Michigan and Tokyo,” Schoch said. “But the Olympics did offer an opportunity for sportsbooks to reach a new segment of customers that they wouldn’t have otherwise. That could pay dividends down the road.”

 

Online casinos and poker

Michigan’s online casinos and poker rooms combined to produce $92.3 million in gross gaming revenue, up 3.5% from $89.2 million in June. Casinos took in $3.0 million per day in wagers over the 31 days of July, a rate consistent with the $3.0 million per day in June. That revenue was enough to yield $17.1 million in state taxes and $6.4 million in local taxes.

Live dealer online casino games launched July 22 in Michigan, likely driving additional wagering later in the month. Since launching in January, online casinos and poker rooms have generated $575.4 million in revenue and $141.8 million in state and local taxes.

“Many of the same forces that slow sports betting in the summer, including summer vacations, also affect online casinos,” Ramsey said. “Michigan is still a young market that hasn’t yet reached maturity. The addition of live dealer games will make a difference going forward. And as the summer turns to fall, we should once again see the revenue at online casinos grow.”

 

Other highlights from July:

  • BetMGM/MGM Grand Detroit continued to dominate the online casino and poker market with $33.8 million in gross gaming revenue, which yielded $8.9 million in state and local taxes.
  • DraftKings/Bay Mills was second in the state with $15.2 million in gross receipts, producing $3.8 million in state and local taxes. FanDuel/Motor City was third with $14.4 million in gross receipts and $3.8 million in state and local taxes.

For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting in Michigan, visit PlayMichigan.com/news