March Madness boosts Michigan's internet sports betting revenue

Jordyn Grzelewski, The Detroit News
·2 min read

Apr. 20—Michigan's internet gaming operators brought in $95.1 million in receipts in March, the second full month of legal online gambling in the state.

Meanwhile, operators of internet sports betting platforms reported a total handle — the amount of money wagered — of $359.5 million and gross sports betting receipts of $32.3 million for the month, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

Richard Kalm, the board's executive director, said in the statement that March Madness likely fueled the 19.1% jump in the sports betting handle from February to March. He noted, too, that monthly adjusted gross receipts tied to internet gaming rose 18% from February.

"This lead to increases in taxes and payments, which means more funding for the city of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development and tribal communities," he said.

Taxes tied to online gambling are based on adjusted gross receipts. In March, those receipts totaled $88.7 million for internet gaming and $19 million for online sports betting, according to MGCB.

Operators paid about $17.8 million in taxes and payments to the state last month, with the vast majority of that coming from internet gaming revenue.

Meanwhile, the city of Detroit received $5.2 million in wagering taxes and municipal services fees from the two forms of online gambling last month. Internet gaming taxes and fees made up $4.9 million of the total.

The operators of Michigan's tribal casinos that offer online gambling reported $1.8 million in wagering payments to the tribes' governing bodies, according to the state.

Online gambling was launched in Michigan in mid-January. As of March, 12 operators were authorized to offer one or both forms of online gambling.

On the internet gaming side, BetMGM — the platform tied to the MGM Grand Detroit casino — led the pack with nearly $30.8 million in gross receipts in March.

On the online sports betting side, Detroit's MotorCity Casino Hotel and platform provider FanDuel led the month with a total handle of nearly $107.2 million, while BetMGM had the most gross receipts, with more than $8.7 million.

MGCB last week reported that Detroit's three casinos generated nearly $114 million in revenue from on-site betting options such as table games and slots in March.

Casinos in the state were permitted to reopen at the end of last year after an extended shutdown but have been operating under capacity limits and other pandemic-related restrictions.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski