Michigan Ends First Year of Online Sports Betting With Huge Handle

Written By Pat Evans on January 19, 2022
Michigan sports betting

Michigan sports betting capped off 2021 with a bang, at least in terms of wagers.

While many legal sports betting markets saw growth falter a bit in December 2021, Michigan sportsbooks handled a record $514.6 million in bets, according to a state report released Tuesday. The total handle is up just under 3% from the previous record $500.5 million set in November.

The month put a bow on the first year of online sports betting in Michigan, which launched in late January 2021. For the entire year, Michigan sportsbooks handled more than $3.9 billion. Online sportsbooks made up $3.7 billion of those wagers.

Michigan sports betting revenue dips

While an all-time high was wagered, sportsbooks did not rake in as much as the prior month. Gross sportsbook revenue reached $35.9 million in December, a 7.0% hold, down 38.9% from the record $58.8 million, an 11.7% hold, in November.

For the year, MI sportsbooks generated $319.5 million in gross sports betting revenue. Online sports betting accounted for $292.2 million of that gross revenue.

In December, operators paid $1.2 million in taxes after deducting $23.8 million in promotional spending from the gross revenue. The full-year tax total was $13.6 million.

Race for the throne in Michigan

Online sportsbooks took $484.6 million in December bets, or 94.2% of the month’s total handle. DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook were neck-and-neck to be the online market leader, both commanding nearly 25% of the online handle.

DraftKings took $120.3 million in bets, while FanDuel handled $119.9 million in online bets. FanDuel, however, also took $9.3 million in retail bets at its MotorCity sportsbook, bringing its market total to $129.2 million.

BetMGM Sportsbook was a clear No. 3 in the online market, taking $108.7 million in online wagers.

SportsbookTotal HandleOnline HandleRevenueHoldOnline Market Share
FanDuel$129.2 million$119.9 million$9.5 million7.4%24.7%
DraftKings$120.3 million$120.3 million$7.3 million6.1%24.8%
BetMGM$117.8 million$108.7 million$10.0 million8.5%22.4%
Barstool$57.6 million$45.9 million$3.3 million5.7%9.5%
Caesars$38.4 million$38.4 million$2.6 million6.8%7.9%
PointsBet$28.2 million$28.2 million$1.9 million6.7%5.8%
BetRivers$7.0 million$7.0 million$550,0267.9%1.4%
Fox Bet$5.6 million$5.6 million$180,9103.2%1.2%
WynnBet$3.2 million$3.2 million$212,6856.6%<1%
Parx$2.4 million$2.4 million$179,1047.5%<1%
FireKeepers$1.6 million$1.6 million$30,8711.9%<1%
TwinSpires$1.5 million$1.5 million$56,4453.8%<1%
Golden Nugget$1.2 million$1.2 million$53,7164.5%<1%
Four Winds$605,478$605,478$15,0132.5%<1%

Barstool takes retail sports betting honors

In December, the Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino in Detroit handled $11.6 million in bets. That was tops among the three commercial retail sportsbooks in Detroit, beating FanDuel’s $9.3 million at MotorCity and BetMGM’s $9.1 million at the MGM Grand Detroit.

Retail sportsbooks handled $310.6 million during 2021, up 137.5% from 2020‘s total of $130.8 million. The sportsbooks generated $27.3 million in gross revenue in 2021, up 49.2% from $18.3 million in 2020. Retail sportsbooks in the state opened in March 2020.

Full-year retail sportsbook handle

  • Barstool: $109,972,513
  • BetMGM: $102,055,669
  • FanDuel: $98,599,755

Michigan college football boost?

Both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University saw the college football season go deep into December. Michigan State won the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30, while Michigan lost in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Dec. 31 after winning the Big Ten Championship Game on Dec. 4.

This month, Caesars Sportsbook — No. 4 in online market share — signed a deal to become the official sportsbook and iGaming partner of Michigan State.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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