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Steady As She Goes For Michigan Sports Betting Industry

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Steady As She Goes For Michigan Sports Betting Industry
General view at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP

Numbers from individual states within the US legal sports betting industry have been trickling in. All until Michigan’s report Monday have showed slight dips in their June sports betting activity. According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, the state bucked that trend ever-so-slightly with a small uptick in their overall handle and a healthy rise in the revenue sportsbooks took in during the 30-day period.

While June’s sports betting figures are a far cry from the record-handle seen by the state in March, the fact that they defied the expected seasonal slowdown speaks to the strength of the relatively new jurisdiction within the US legal sports betting scene. June’s increase is a welcome sign after the Michigan sports betting market had reported two straight months of handle declines.

The Handle

Michigan’s sportsbooks, both mobile and retail, were able to generate at total of $259.5 million in June, which represents the slightest 0.7% increase from the $257.75 million they took in during May. May happened to be the lowest total for the Michigan legal sports betting industry in its short five plus months of operation.

While still reasonable considering the lack of a marquee sporting event in June, last month’s handle is miles off the record $383.7 million Michigan’s sportsbooks saw in March. “Michigan’s sportsbooks grew so quickly from January through March that the slowdown that has followed might feel more dramatic than the reality,” said Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayMichigan.com.

Revenues

The gross gaming revenue uptick for June is a little more encouraging for the Michigan market. Sportsbooks in Michigan made $24.9 million in June – a 20.7% increase from the $20.2 million in profits from May. Tax coffers benefitted to the tune of $1.1 million off the increased profits in the state.

“We’ve been waiting for a bump in taxable revenue that led to a real increase in tax revenue, which we finally got in June,” said Matt Schoch, another analyst for PlayMichigan.com. “If there has been a disappointment with Michigan’s launch, it’s that tax revenue gains have lagged. So hopefully, this will continue into the fall, when we know revenue from sports betting will make a big leap forward.”

Mobile Down, Retail Up

Another interesting sign of an encouraging market-rebound became evident with Michigan’s June sports betting figures. The state’s mobile providers saw a 1% dip from $237.6 million in May to $235.1 million in June… and still the overall handle increased. That’s because the three commercial casinos in the Detroit area were finally able to contribute in the post-COVID era.

Retail casinos in the state were responsible for $24.3 million of the total handle, up from $20.2 million in May. Not stellar but bigger than any month since the platform launched int he midst of the COVID-19 tragedy, with the promise of bigger numbers in that metric down the road.

Longing for September

Just like most markets within the US legal sports betting industry, Michigan is patiently waiting for September 9 and the start of the NFL season. The Michigan sports betting market has not yet experienced a full slate of NFL games on its wagering menu and is licking its chops at the prospect. “Sportsbooks remain in excellent position for a ramp up when football season approaches.

Until then, they will have to rely on opportunities such as the Olympics and the NBA Finals to stoke interest,” said Jessica Welman. Michigan quickly elevated into the second tier of legal sports betting states. There is no reason to think their status in that tier is in any danger. All eyes will be on the Great Lake State once September rolls around to see just what the ceiling for the state’s legal sports betting industry is.