Michigan Sports Betting Hits New Heights During March Madness

Posted on April 20, 2021
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Written By on April 20, 2021

Mobile sports betting in Michigan and a top seed in the men’s college basketball tournament pushed the market to new records in March.

Michigan bettors placed $383.7 million in bets last month, $359.5 million of which came online. That is good for a 93.7% mobile share.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board does not break out handle by sport. There is little doubt the Elite Eight run by no. 1-seeded University of Michigan during March Madness added to that handle.

Taxing situation for MI sportsbooks

Total revenue hit $35.2 million for a hold of 9.2%. Online operations held 9% with $32.3 million in sports betting revenue.

Unfortunately for Michigan, the gross numbers do not tell the whole story. Online sportsbooks dished out $13.3 million in promos for the month. That left some operators with a negative adjusted revenue total, which means they paid no taxes.

Since MI sports betting launched in January sportsbooks paid $789,866 in taxes. That’s just 1.4% of the $55.1 million in online revenue compared to the 8.4% tax rate.

Michigan sports betting handle leaders steady

FanDuel Sportsbook captured the top spot for the third straight month with $107.2 million in handle, or 29.8% of all online bets.

BetMGM remained in the second overall spot for the second straight month after taking it from DraftKings Sportsbook in February. BetMGM took $92.6 million in online handle for 25.8% of the online market. DraftKings, meanwhile, took $76.5 million in bets for 21.3% of the online market.

Just one operator saw its handle drop month over month: Barstool Sportsbook. Penn National‘s online sportsbook saw handle drop 1.8% from February to March for $39.6 million in online bets last month. That leaves Barstool in a distant fourth with 11% of online market share.

The rest of the revenue list

The other eight sportsbook brands in the state combined for the remaining 12.1% of online market share with $43.6 million in handle:

  • PointsBet: $14.2 million
  • William Hill: $11 million
  • Fox Bet: $7 million
  • BetRivers: $4.8 million
  • TwinSpires: $3.2 million
  • WynnBET: $2.2 million
  • Golden Nugget: $789,792
  • Four Winds: $385,009

Who is not paying sports betting taxes in Michigan?

Half of the online sportsbooks in Michigan still are not paying taxes, even though this was the first month with positive adjusted revenue after promos.

That is because those negative revenues carry over month-to-month. So even though multiple operators reported positive adjusted revenue in March, some still are not paying taxes.

Sportsbooks gave out $52.1 million in promos in the two-plus months since Michigan sports betting launched online. That equals 94.6% of all online revenue so far.

With big events like March Madness and the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, the next big promo event should not be until the beginning of NFL betting in September. That means these six sportsbooks should continue to make up their deficits over the next few months:

  • FanDuel Sportsbook: -$6.1 million
  • DraftKings Sportsbook: -$2.6 million
  • PointsBet: -$603,105
  • BetRivers: -$563,422
  • TwinSpires: -$320,136
  • Four Winds: -$69,118
Matthew Waters Avatar
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Matthew Waters

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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