Michigan Joins Others in Reporting Post-March Madness Betting Slowdown

Michigan is the latest state struck by a post-March Madness slowdown in sports betting, with US$249.9 million in wagers during April down from a handle of US$359.5 million for March.

Posted: May 14, 2021 3:50 PM ET Updated: May 14, 2021 3:50 PM ET
Michigan Joins Others in Reporting Post-March Madness Betting Slowdown
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Add Michigan to the list of states struck by a post-March Madness slowdown in sports betting. 

The Michigan Gaming Control Board reported on Friday that internet sports betting operators took US$249.9 million in wagers during April, down from a handle of US$359.5 million for March.

Total gross sports betting receipts generated by the digital sportsbooks after paying out their winners were US$20.38 million last month, which was likewise lower than March, when revenue was US$32.3 million. When adjusted for free-play incentives provided to and used by bettors, April’s receipts from internet sports betting were US$10.88 million in the Midwestern state. 

Retail handle in Michigan was relatively flat in April, at US$24.3 million, up slightly over the US$24.2 million reported by Detroit casinos in March.

Not the only one

Michigan, however, was not alone in seeing sports-betting activity slow in April, as other states that have reported numbers for the month saw similar dips, such as Indiana. With the close of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and no NFL football in sight, bettors overall seemed to pare back their wagering last month.

Internet gaming gross receipts for April among operators in Michigan were US$94.85 million, just a bit less than the US$95.1 million reported in March. When adjusted, those iGaming receipts were US$88.87 million, which was slightly more than March. 

"While the sports betting handle dropped 30-plus percent, which we expected the month after March Madness, internet casino gaming adjusted gross receipts held steady with a slight two-tenths of a percent increase in April," said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director, in a press release.

FanDuel out in front

Michigan became the 16th state in the United States with legalized sports betting when it started taking wagers back in March 2020. Bets can currently be placed online and in-person in the state. 

The leading digital sportsbook in Michigan for April was that of FanDuel Group, which is partnered with Detroit’s MotorCity Casino in the state. According to the MGCB’s numbers, FanDuel Sportsbook’s handle last month was US$74.2 million. 

Among retail sportsbooks, Detroit’s Greektown Casino led the way in handle, at approximately US$11.3 million. Greektown is partnered with Penn National Gaming Inc. and its Barstool Sportsbook for both online and in-person wagering. The digital handle for Greektown and the Barstool app was US$24.8 million for April. 

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