In January 2021, Michigan legalized online gambling and sports betting to a select number of operators. Just under a year and a half of legalization, Michigan continues to break their own records in terms of online gambling revenue. While the state was up just a hair when comparing revenues in March 2022 to April 2022, it’s how the revenue was earned between online casino revenue and online sportsbook revenue. In April 2022, online gambling operators made $163.1 million in the month. However, $132.4 million of that was from online casino games, which broke the previous record set in March 2022 of $131.7 million, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
Sportsbook of the Month: Fanduel
Sport Betting Slowdown
While the total online gambling revenue was up slightly from March, the online casino games were the driving force in the increase. With the online casino games breaking new records, this means that online sportsbooks took a hit month over month. With no football and the end of March Madness, the sports betting space slowed down in April 2022. Revenue for sports betting totaled around $30.7 million. Starting in April, 15 online casinos and sportsbooks in the state of Michigan were allowed to operate both forms of online wagering.
Additionally, April 2022 saw online sportsbook handle (the amount wagered) in Michigan at $372.2 million. While the handle was up 49% year over year, the handle was down 17.8% month over month. Combined, which includes retail sportsbook wagers provided separately from Michigan’s reporting. The handle for the month of April was $396 million which showed an overall decrease in performance. This was led by a seasonal change where the sportsbooks, both brick and mortar and online, see a slowdown before the football season begins.
Paul Costanzo, the lead analyst for the Play Michigan website, stated that online casino revenue is so crucial for online gambling operators and the state of Michigan is that it is a consistent performer month after month. Adjusted Gross Receipts (AGR) has become a relevant statistic in the online gambling industry because of the increase in free play incentives. AGR includes the deductions for the monetary value of the free-play incentives provided by the operators and used by the bettors. The AGR for both online casino games and online sportsbooks combined to $136 million in April. This was up 0.6% from March for online casino games and up 13.9% for online sportsbooks. They were both up 34.4% and 53.5% year over year, respectively.
Monetary Benefits In Michigan
All the online gambling operators in the state of Michigan paid out $25.2 million in payments and taxes to the state for the month of April. Additionally, there were three brick-and-mortar casinos located in Detroit that paid the city for wagering taxes and municipal services fees related to online gambling in the upwards of $7.2 million. Finally, the tribal casino operators paid $2.7 million in payments and taxes to the relevant governing bodies.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for the website PlayUSA.com, said that the biggest takeaway from the first quarter of the year is that the online gambing scene in the state of Michigan is nowhere close to the ceiling of how it could perform in the future. Even with everything that is currently happening in the economy and at a global scale economically, the online casino and sportsbook growth in Michigan should keep going until at the very least, until the end of the year and more than likely well after. The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported that the 3 different brick-and-mortar casinos in Detroit generated $118.7 million in revenue in April which was directly related to in-person slots, table games, and sports betting.