Michigan Posts Rare June Sports Betting Handle Increase
Michigan Posts Rare June Sports Betting Handle Increase
Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images/AFP

It has become a bit of a theme that legal sports betting jurisdictions in the US will see a downturn during the typically lean summer months. Michigan, one of the newest kids on the block, however, saw a tiny increase in betting activity during June, going against the broader trend of step-backs in the US industry.

The news isn’t a game-changer however. The month-to-month increase comes after two straight months of Michigan handle declines and on the heels of May’s betting figures that represented the lowest total the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported since going live in mid-January. In fact, June’s totals further prove just how real the seasonal slump is and how far the industry has slid since the record $383.7 million the state’s sportsbooks took in during March.

Diving Into the Figures

Michigan’s sportsbooks are relative newcomers to the US legal sports betting scene so any increase in activity has to be considered a victory. In June, it was just a 0.7% rise in the overall handle, but it was an increase in the midst of country-wide declines nonetheless.

Overall, the Michigan Gaming Control Board reported a $259.5 million June sports betting handle, up slightly from the $257.75 million bet in the state in May, but still $125 million off its peek in March.

The Michigan scene set the bar high early on prompting Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayMichigan.com to say: “Michigan’s sportsbooks grew so quickly from January through March that the slowdown that has followed might feel more dramatic than the reality.”

Revenue Bump Leads to Tax Contribution Bump

The best news for the Michigan legal sports betting industry is that revenues spiked thanks to a higher hold. And with that, tax contributions also grew. Michigan sportsbook reportedly made $24.9 million in June, which represents a 20.7% increase from the $20.2 million in profits reported in May.

Thanks to the revenue bump, needy state and local coffers received an estimated $1.1 million in tax revenue.

“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.”

Retail Contributing

Perhaps the biggest factor gleaned from Michigan’s June legal sports betting numbers is the re-emergence of the retail sector following the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions that have been a major factor in Michigan for the lifetime of their legal sports betting scene. Detroit’s three commercial casinos contributed $24.3 million toward the overall June handle, up from $20.2 million in May.

Those numbers should keep rising and should become a factor not seen in the Michigan market since its January launch.

Michigan’s mobile market, on the other hand saw a slight decrease of 1%, even though the overall handle saw an overall increase. Michigan’s mobile apps contributed $235.1 million in June, down from $237.6 million in May.

Looking Forward

The Michigan legal sports betting scene is forced into waiting for the NFL season before approaching records again. “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’s full sports betting potential has not yet been on display, as the market has yet to have a full slate of Sunday games on its sports betting menu. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see just what heights Michigan sportsbooks can reach throughout the fall and winter months.

Michigan has settled into the second tier of legal sports betting jurisdictions. A top-5 place in the list of bet-friendly states is all-but assured. Now comes their attempt at making a run at New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

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