Michigan Reports $115.2M in Handle for Online Sports Betting Debut

Michigan Reports $115.2M in Handle for Online Sports Betting Debut
By Bryce Derouin

Michigan’s much-anticipated online sports betting launch produced a total handle of $115.2 million from Jan. 22 through Jan. 31, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Internet gaming and sports betting operators reported $42.7 million in gross receipts, with $29.4 million coming from online gaming, and internet sports betting operators accounting for the other $13.3 million.

“Internet gaming operators are off to a good start in Michigan,” Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director, said in a news release. “The taxes and payments from online gaming will provide funding for K-12 students, the city of Detroit and Michigan tribal communities.”

Michigan received $4.4 million in taxes and payments from the operators, with $4.3 million coming from Michigan online casino gaming and $111,696 from internet sports betting in Michigan.

For internet gaming, the state receives 70% of the total tax from the commercial operators and 80% of the total payment from the tribal operators. Tax and payment rate ranges from 20% to 28% based on the yearly adjusted gross receipts.

With internet sports betting, commercial operators are required to pay 70% of the 8.4% tax to the state and 30% to the city of Detroit. Tribal operators make an 8.4% payment to the state on adjusted gross sports betting receipts.

For the 10-day period, the three commercial casinos in Detroit reported wagering taxes and municipal fees of $1,379,073. Internet gaming taxes and fees accounted for $1,315,049, while internet sports betting taxes and fees was $64,024.

As for tribal operators, they reported $428,615 of wagering payments to the tribes governing bodies.

Michigan’s big sports betting debut

Michigan’s 10-day handle of $115.2 million smashed the handle of states who have made their online sports betting debuts in the last year.

In Tennessee’s first full week of sports betting, the state reported $27.4 million in total handle from Nov. 1-8. The numbers were similar in Colorado, where the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission reported $25.6 million in total sports handle for the month of May 2020. Of course, the pandemic pausing all major sports leagues played a part in Colorado not having a higher handle — with only the UFC and NASCAR holding regular events — but Tennessee’s opening week included an NFL Sunday.

The NFL, which played the conference round of the playoffs the first weekend Michigan was live, then went on a week break before the Super Bowl. All other major sports were in action at the time of Michigan's launch, including the NBA, NHL and college basketball. Michigan also benefited from having more online sportsbooks prepared to start right away. The MGCB approved 10 operators to go live for the Jan. 22 launch, with all 10 offering sports betting and eight featuring online casinos. By comparison, Tennessee and Colorado each launched with just four online sportsbooks.

MotorCity & FanDuel the Top Sportsbook

MotorCity Casino in Detroit was the leading sportsbook operator in the state with a total handle of $32.6 million. MotorCity is partnered with FanDuel.

Bay Mills Indian Community and DraftKings were second at $28.2 million, edging Greektown Casino and Barstool Sportsbook at $27.5 million. MGM Grand Detroit and BetMGM came in with the fourth-highest handle in the state at $22.8 million.

Those four sportsbooks accounted for 96.4% of the state’s overall handle at $111.1 million. Here’s how much the other operators and platform providers took in:

  • PointsBet (Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians): $1,491,196.19
  • BetRivers (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians): $1,073,194.93
  • William Hill (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians): $692.318.64
  • Twinspires (Hannahville Indian Community): $327,660.81
  • WynnBet (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians): $248,878.53
  • FOX Bet, PokerStars Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians: $160,051.33
  • Golden Nugget (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community) $106,903.52


With a decade in the media and gambling space in Michigan, I aim to bring you the latest news and developments in Michigan online casino and sports betting.

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