Sports Betting Handle in Michigan Dips By 0.8% to $490.9 Million in January



  • In January 2023, Ohio launched sports betting, forcing many stakeholders to expect a significant decrease in sports betting revenue in Michigan.
  • Michigan sportsbooks pooled $490.9 million worth of betting handle in January, representing a 1% drop from last December.
  • Online sports betting handle figures were pegged at $475.6 million in January, with FanDuel ranking as the highest grossing online brand in the state.

Unlike the online casino industry, sports betting in Michigan has been plagued with several declines over the past year. Many sportsbook operators witnessed sharp drops in betting handles and revenue, with this phenomenon recurring in January 2023. The MGCB reports that betting handle in the state went down by 0.8%.

Many excuse this decline to be the result of Ohio, a border state of Michigan commencing official sports betting activities at the beginning of the year. February may seem to provide some respite, especially with the Super Bowl.

How the Michigan Sports Betting Industry Fared in January 2024

With sports betting already legalized in Ohio, and operations beginning on January 1, 2023, many feared that Michigan sportsbook would take a huge hit. However, the difference in betting handles between December 2022 and January 2023 have not been all that significant. According to recent data from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the total sports betting handle from the Wolverine state amounted to $490.9 million.

Compared to the figures from the last month of the outgone year, the new handle figures showed a 0.8% decline. From a year-over-year perspective, there was a 7.8% dump from the $532.7 million pooled in January 2022. Online sports betting accounted for most of the betting handle recorded in January 2023. As a standalone statistic, online sportsbooks raked in wagering amounts worth $475.6 million.

However, the online sports betting handle revealed a 7.8% decrease from the all-time record of $496.8 million that was set across a year-over-year period in January 2022. The average hold for the outgone month stood at 6.9% as against 10.2% in December 2022.

Revenue figures were slightly more discouraging, as retail sportsbooks contributed very little to the total earnings in the state. While online sportsbooks brought in a revenue of $33.6 million, retail casinos barely pooled $200,000 to bring the total revenue to $33.8 million. A huge sum of $1.2 million was paid as taxes to the Michigan state while another $540,000 went to local authorities.

BetRivers Sportsbook Records Highest Ever Handle Since Launch in Michigan

Despite the general decline in figures across the Michigan sports betting industry, BetRivers did leave January with some positives. BetRivers Sportsbook Michigan recorded its highest ever monthly handle, with online wagered bets worth $11.14 million. It last set a similar record in December 2022, and has seen a steady growth over the course of the last six months.

It paid no official taxes in the month of January despite its revenue of $643,116. The sportsbook also maintained an average hold of 5.8% throughout the month. These figures put it above PointsBet Sportsbook that has previously occupied the list of top six sportsbook operators by betting handle. PointsBet could only bring in a handle of $11,064,978, compared to BetRivers’ $11,144,424.

Fortunately, the figures from PointsBet sportsbook means it still sits as the sixth all-time highest operator in Michigan by betting handle. However, its revenue of $609,092 did not help the Lac Vieux Desert-operated sportsbook as it remains bottom of all Michigan operators in terms of overall revenue. Nevertheless, the January revenue of the operator clearly shows that PointsBet is taking several steps in the right direction.

FanDuel Maintains Foothold on Michigan Sports Betting, Accounts for More than Half of January Revenue

Regardless of the twists and turns with the Michigan online sports betting industry, FanDuel Sportsbook Michigan has stayed consistent. The operator recorded $153.7 million in handles and a whopping $20 million in revenue. It accounted for more than half of the entire revenue recorded in the state during the monthly period, in addition to a hold of 13.1%.

FanDuel also paid more taxes than all other operators combined, returning $1.3 million to the authorities. With the Super Bowl LVII recently concluded, Michigan bettors went all out, placing bets on FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks as top options.

It is expected that the end of the month report for February will see higher handles and revenues. In addition, the statistics for February will reveal just how much Ohio sportsbook operations have affected Michigan.

Jessica is a news contributor to Gamble Online Michigan. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics but has over three years of experience working in the hospitality and gambling industry. Despite her core finance and investment banking background, she has been a casino feature writer for N1 Interactive Limited and multiple gambling affiliate sites. Her work has been featured on the bet365 blog, and Max Force Racing. She spends her time between Michigan and California, staying up-to-date on the latest industry developments