Sports Betting Launched In Michigan As Sports Shut Down
Legal Sports Report

Could Michigan Sports Betting Go Mobile Sooner Than Expected?

Michigan sports betting

It’s safe to say that Michigan sports betting launched at one of the worst possible times. Its first revenue numbers back that up.

Detroit’s three casinos – Greektown, MGM Grand Detroit and MotorCity – reported a combined $105,548 in sports betting revenue for March.

Those numbers will forever include a big asterisk like so many in sports history. Those casinos launched sports betting in Michigan just as leagues were shutting down around the country because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The figures include revenue from Penn National‘s Greektown and MGM Resorts‘ MGM Grand Detroit from March 11 until casinos were ordered to close March 16 at 3 p.m. Privately owned MotorCity took its first bets March 12.

Is Michigan sports betting online faster?

The state previously forecasted an early 2021 start for online Michigan sports betting and iGaming. That could be sped up now, according to Rep. Brandt Iden, who introduced the bill legalizing both last year.

“We’re working with regulators in hopes to have that mobile piece up and ready, he said on iGaming BusinessSports Betting Without Live Sports webinar Tuesday. “And hopefully, very soon, given that people are at home and there’s a pent-up demand, as was articulated, and people are going to be playing. And the state needs to capture some of that revenue.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer previously instructed the state’s regulator not to use emergency rules to quicken the process.

MI sports betting revenue breakdown

MGM Grand Detroit had the vast majority of sports betting revenue with $84,695.40, according to the state report.

MGM’s sportsbook is operated by Roar Digital, the 50-50 joint venture between MGM and GVC Holdings. Roar operates the BetMGM platform.

The second was Greektown Casino, with $15,904.04 in revenue. Penn National operates the book through Kambi‘s technology. The sportsbook will eventually move to the heart of the casino floor and use the Barstool Sportsbook branding.

Last was MotorCity, which partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook. The sportsbook reported $4,949 in revenue.

Handle not publicly available

The only thing not reported by the Michigan Gaming Control Board was handle from any of the casinos.

That handle will likely remain unavailable unless an operator decides to share the data. That could change in the future, though.

“While we did not publish the sports betting handle for March, we will consider publishing it in the future,” said Mary Kay Bean, communications specialist for the regulator.

Michigan would join New York as the only legal sports betting state to only report revenue and exclude handle. Arkansas and New Mexico report neither figure.

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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