Michigan Casinos Down In October But Sports Betting Handle Tops $500M

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on November 24, 2023
Michigan Fans At Michigan Stadium During NCAA Football Game

Michigan online casinos didn’t see much of an improvement in October in terms of gaming revenue as a result of the casino workers’ strike in Detroit.

The state regulators reported that commercial and tribal operators generated $205.3 million in gross receipts in October. The figure is only a 2.4% drop from September but a yearly rise of 7.9%.

The online casino sector remains the primary source of all internet gambling revenue in the Great Lakes State. Throughout October, the state collected:

  • $160.3 million in revenue from Michigan online casinos (a 3.7% decrease from September’s gaming revenue of $166.4 million)
  • $45 million from online sports betting (an increase from $44 million generated in September)

Michigan’s online sports betting handle hit a new record in October.

Michigan’s online casino revenue rises 13.7% yearly

Gross revenue for Michigan online casinos was $160.3 million in October which represents a 3.7% monthly decrease, but it shows 13.7% yearly growth. In other words, October’s online casino revenue surpassed last year’s result by over $25 million.

Total October online casino and internet sports betting adjusted gross receipts (AGR) were $167.7 million. Of that amount, online casinos in the state generated $144.2 million, a 3.7% drop from September.

Overall, MI online casinos paid $30.1 million in tax payments to the state and $11.2 million to governing bodies.

Online sports betting handle is the highest on record in October

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s October revenue report, the total online sports betting handle last month was $533 million.

The October figure represents a 16.5% growth from the $457.7 million recorded in September, and it marks Michigan’s most successful month with the highest internet sports betting handle recorded so far. It was the first time the total handle had exceeded $500 million.

Despite climbing to a new monthly high, Michigan sports betting gross receipts declined 8.5% from October last year.

Retail casinos show slight decrease due to workers’ strike

In October, the three Detroit casinos took in $82.7 million in total AGR. The figure represents almost a 20% yearly drop and an 18.3% decrease from September and is the lowest total since the pandemic’s peak.

October retail figures were largely impacted by the Detroit casino workers’ strike that began Oct. 17 and affected more than 3,700 employees. The Detroit Casino Council, made up of five unions, announced last week it had reached a tentative agreement with three Detroit casinos after 32 days on strike.

The tentative agreement includes the 18% pay rise, as well as workload reductions, job protections, retirement increases, and no healthcare cost increases for workers.

During October, the three Detroit casinos reported paying the city $8.2 million in gambling taxes and municipal services fees during October, including:

  • Internet gaming taxes and fees: $7.5 million
  • Internet sports betting taxes and fees: $663,754

Tribal operators reported making $3.7 million in payments to local entities in October.

Photo by Tony Ding / AP Photo
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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