A Record-Breaking Month for Online Casinos in Michigan

Gabe Brown #44 of the Michigan State Spartans. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images/AFP

Michigan’s online sportsbooks broke their stateside handle record in one month during March (without NFL games), whilst online casino revenue also snapped their own $130 million records for the first time.  

March Madness and Online Casinos: Big Numbers  

March Madness brought in more than $470 million in online and retail wagers, the biggest ever handle for a month without involving the National Football League. In addition, the online casino revenue in MI surpassed its previously held record, proving the state is continuing rapid growth.  

“The popularity of the NCAA Tournament makes March the most important non-football month of the year for sportsbooks,” said the lead analyst for PlayMichigan.com, Paul Costanzo. “March Madness didn’t produce nearly enough momentum to push sportsbooks to a fresh record, but it is more evidence that bettors remain highly engaged during major events.”    

The online sportsbooks in Michigan received $451 million in online wagers during March, a massive 13.4% jump from the $398 million bets that were taken in February. Combined with Detroit’s $26 million retail wagers, online and retail sportsbooks took a total of $478 million in wagers for the month of March. This total overtook February’s $423 million by 12%; however, the record when the NFL season is active is still with January, which took $532 million in wagers.  

Michigan’s year-to-year growth is significant, as March’s 2021 wagers at $383 million were up 24.6% in March 2022. Online sportsbooks exceeded those numbers, boasting a 25.6% advancement in 2022 from the $359 million in March 2021.  

“The seasonal dip in sports betting really begins after the first full weekend of March Madness. That slowdown should extend until football begins in September,” commented an analyst from PlayUSA.com, Eric Ramsey. “If sportsbooks can keep posting year-over-year growth of around 25% and more as the NBA and NHL playoffs, baseball, and golf’s major championships take center stage over the next few months, the industry should be in a fantastic position; heading into the fall.”  

Industry Leaders  

FanDuel was the online market leader in Michigan, rising from $122 million in February to an impressive $140.1 million in March. Gross revenue for FanDuel was $14 million from March’s wagers.  

BetMGM placed second with $108 million received in online bets in Michigan, and this was an $86.7 million gain from February. Compared to their retail sportsbooks, BetMGM took $9.8 million in gross revenue.  

“The race for market share has solidified, and it would take something significant to knock the top players off their pitch,” Ramsey said. “FanDuel’s dominance, in particular, appears to be baked in. But the race for No.2 remains intriguing with BetMGM’s continued growth.