MGM Grand Detroit

Online casinos and poker rooms in Michigan set a new revenue record through August, as volume narrowly rose across the region’s digital sportsbooks.

Gross gaming revenue for the former reached an all time high of $97.2m, which is up 5.3 per cent from $92.3m month-on-month. This yielded $17.9m in state taxes and $6.9m in local taxes.

This latest uptick could also have been aided by a first full month of live dealer online casino games, which launched in the state during July.

BetMGM alongside MGM Grand Detroit topped the online casino and poker market with $39.7m in gross gaming revenue, which yielded $10.5m in state and local taxes.

“Michigan’s online casinos continue to grow, and with live dealer games now in the fold, there is no reason to believe that will end soon,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayUSA

“For all the interest in sports betting, it is the state’s online casinos that have proven to be the bigger benefit to the state, dwarfing sports betting in tax revenue.”

Despite recording a slight gain in volume, Michigan sportsbooks couldn’t replicate the feat in revenue as the jurisdiction gears up for four of the busiest months of the year.

Online sports betting entities took $192.3m in bets in August, which is up 2.3 per cent from $188m in July. Buoyed by $16.3m in retail wagering in August, Michigan’s online and retail sportsbooks accounted for $208.6m in wagering, up 1.1 per cent from the $206.3m recorded one month earlier.

Gross gaming revenue from online betting fell 18.8 per cent to $15.9m from $19.6m in July. With retail revenue included, the state’s sportsbooks combined to win $17.5m for the month, a drop of 15.6 per cent from July. Taxable revenue from online bets landed at $9.2m, which generated $757,405 in state and local taxes.

The relatively modest bump in sports betting volume was enough to push past $2bn in online and retail wagering all-time, and for the year. 

Michigan sportsbooks have tallied $2.2bn in wagering since launch, including $2.1bn this year, $189m in gross gaming revenue, including $170.8m in 2021; and $8.9m in state and local taxes, including $7.4m this year.

“The hot start after launching online betting in January was the key in hitting $2bn in wagering this soon, but it is remarkable growth, no matter how you view it,” noted Matt Schoch, lead analyst for PlayMichigan

“Tax revenue has been somewhat underwhelming so far. As the market continues to mature, and promotional spends begin to slow, hopefully tax revenue improves.”