Michigan is coming off one of its slowest online sports betting months, with the state failing to eclipse the $200 million mark for a full month in handle since launching on Jan. 22.
According to the latest report from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, online operators combined for an online sports betting handle of $188 million, down 20% from June’s $235.1 million.
Here are three takeaways from one of the least active online gaming months.
Slow Summer Month
The low July Michigan gambling number follows a nationwide trend of states reporting lower than average handles for the summer months. It’s not all that surprising given the NBA playoffs are finished, football is yet to start regular seasons and college basketball remains far off.
Besides the tedious daily baseball schedule, there simply isn’t a lot of betting interest at this point of the sports schedule. Golf and tennis have regular events, but unless it's a major tournament, they typically don’t draw large handles.
The start of college football and the MI NFL betting should provide a boost to Michigan’s handle numbers. It’ll mark the first time since Michigan’s online launch that both the NFL and college football seasons will be in full swing while online sports betting is live.
Michigan has five Division I football teams, with the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Western Michigan Broncos, Eastern Michigan Eagles and Central Michigan Chippewas. Then there are the Detroit Lions, and with the NFL regularly one of the most wagered sports leagues in the country, the Lions will certainly draw betting interest even if they are unlikely to compete for anything meaningful this season.
DraftKings does well
FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM have established themselves as the top three operators in sports betting. They’ve dominated the market share, accounting for 81.4% of the overall market share with $1.31 billion of the state’s total $1.61 billion handle.
Both FanDuel and BetMGM were affected by the slow betting activity, with FanDuel seeing a 29.5% decrease from June’s handle of $77.3 million to July’s $54.5 million. BetMGM saw a 41% month-to-month decline with an online sports betting handle of $52.1 million for June compared to $41 million for July.
For both of those operators, the July figures were the lowest full-month totals since online sports betting launched in Michigan.
The only member of the big three to post July figures close to its monthly handle totals was DraftKings, who recorded a July handle of $53.4 million, down just 5.3% from June’s $56.4 million. DraftKings has consistently been the second-biggest sports betting operator in Michigan, but the $1.1 million gap between it and FanDuel was the closest anyone has come to eclipsing FanDuel for the highest monthly handle total.
Live Casinos Provide Boost
Despite sports betting seeing a drop-off in handle, Michigan online casinos numbers remained steady for July. Operators reported $92.3 million in July gross receipts, up 3.4% from June’s $89.2 million.
Part of the boost may be from the debut of live dealer games in Michigan. On July 21, the MGCB authorized live dealer casino games in Michigan, with Evolution earning authorization to live stream online table games with live dealers from a Southfield studio.
It wasn’t long before BetMGM, BetRivers and FanDuel launched their own live online casino games, while DraftKings, Golden Nugget, Barstool, the Stars Group, Wynn and Caesars are also scheduled to feature live dealer casino games.
BetMGM benefitted from its live dealer offerings, allowing the operator to post the highest gross receipts total for the seventh month in a row with a total of $33.8 million.