November 19, 2021 Sports Betting, Poker, Online

Record breaking month: Michigan sports handle hits $463m in October

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Casinos and poker rooms also set records.

Records were shattered in the state of Michigan as online and retail sportsbooks saw nearly $500m in wagers in the month of October. Had it made that milestone, it would have been only the fifth state to have done so. 

The inordinately large sports handle reflects a national trend and bespeaks an incredibly active sports calendar: college and professional football hit their stride, Major League Baseball had the World Series, and both the NBA and NHL commenced their 2021-2022 seasons. 

Analysts also see the month’s high numbers as evidence for a maturing industry. As Matt Schoch at PlayMichigan.com says: “Michigan bettors are increasingly comfortable with online sports betting. And with a game like Michigan-Michigan State that carries intense local interest, sportsbooks were presented a rare opportunity to expand their customer bases. The events of this month will continue to pay dividends even after the schedule slows.” 

At $463.6m, the take was 30.8% higher than it had been in the month of September when the handle hit $354.3m. It also topped the previous record-holding month – March 2021 – when $359.6m was reached. 

All this activity provided the foundation for online sportsbooks winning $24.3 in total revenue for the month, a 2.7% improvement over the $23.7m seen in September. Of this, taxable revenue was $7.3m. 

The top operators were FanDuel ($124m in wagers) and DraftKings ($120.4m), both of whom did significantly better than they had in September.  

And it was not just sportsbooks: online casinos and poker rooms also broke records, making $109.7m in revenue, up 7.1% from the prior month. Since becoming legalized in January, online casinos and poker rooms have proved to be a resounding success, creating $884.6m in revenue.  

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