Why is Michigan Emerging as Top Market for Sports Betting?

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Why is Michigan Emerging as Top Market for Sports Betting

Michigan has joined other US states, including the likes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania in legalizing and regulating sports betting. Michigan legalized sports betting back in late 2019 when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to allow for legal sports betting and online gambling. Once signed into law, March 2020 saw the first bets being placed in person. Later on, in January 2021, online sports betting launched.

Although Michigan only recently legalized sports betting, many top sports betting sites have already gone live, and bettors have plenty of options to choose from. The state has made it easy for sports betting platforms to set up shop, although they do still need to prove that they’re fair and obtain a license from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. Promotions are also legal, which means several gambling sites in Michigan have no deposit bonus codes.

Michigan was the 20th US state to legalize sports betting, but it has quickly become the fifth largest market in the country. The Michigan Gaming Control Board recently released a report on betting activity in February 2021, the first full month since sports betting online was legalized. The report showed that online sports betting operators in the state had handled over $300 million in bets and had grossed nearly $10 million in profit.

How Much Does Michigan Gain from Taxing Sports Betting?

One of the main reasons why Michigan agreed to legalize and regulate sports betting was so they could gain increased tax revenues. Sports betting operators must pay an additional 8.4% tax rate to the state of Michigan on all profits, while online casinos must pay between 20% and 28%. This money goes towards funding local services, and the Michigan Gaming Control Board has released this breakdown of spending:

  • 30% to the City of Detroit
  • 5% to the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund (up to $3 million per year)
  • 65% to the Michigan Internet Sports Betting Fund or Michigan Internet Gaming Fund
  • Funds may also go to the compulsive gaming prevention fund, the first responder presumed coverage fund, and the state school aid fund. 

February 2021 saw the first full month of legal online betting in Michigan, and operators have already paid the state $14.1 million in taxes, the majority of which is from online gaming. According to Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm “The internet gaming taxes more than tripled, but that’s what we expected with a full month of gaming. This means more funding for the City of Detroit, K-12 education, economic development, and tribal communities.”

Which Michigan Sportsbooks are Taking the Most Bets?

Michigan stands out from a lot of other US states thanks to the wide range of sports betting platforms that are available in the state. So far, twelve different online sportsbooks are available, with residents and visitors to the state allowed to sign up and bet at any of them, provided they’re at least 21 years old.

By March 2021, online sportsbooks had been live for three months in Michigan, and a report from the Michigan Gaming Control Board revealed which operators were most successful so far. The biggest operator in terms of bets placed was FanDuel, which remains one of the most popular online sportsbooks in the country. In March, the site handled $107.2 million in bets, which was close to 30% of the total bets placed.

BetMGM was the second most popular sportsbook, taking $92.6 million in bets for just over one-quarter of the total bets placed. Third-placed, meanwhile, was DraftKings online sportsbook, which reported $76.5 million in bets and around 20% of the total Michigan betting market. Making up 11% of the market with $39.6 million in bets was Barstool Sportsbook.

The remaining eight sportsbooks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control board totaled $43.6 million and around 12% of the total market. These sites and the total bets taken for each are as follows:

  • PointsBet: $14.2 million
  • William Hill: $11 million
  • Fox Bet: $7 million
  • BetRivers: $4.8 million
  • TwinSpires: $3.2 million
  • WynnBET: $2.2 million
  • Golden Nugget: $789,792
  • Four Winds: $385,009

The fact that Michigan has gone on to become the fifth-largest sports betting market in such a short period of time shows just how much demand there was for legal sports betting in the state. Already, twelve sportsbooks have gone live, and there may well be more on the way. The state has ensured that sites can easily form a partnership with a local casino in order to launch safely and within the agreed-upon guidelines. This has ensured that the betting market in Michigan is fair, safe, and full of options.