Amid seasonal slowdown, Michigan's online gambling operators post mixed results for July
Michigan's online gambling operators posted mixed results for the month of July, according to results reported by the Michigan Gaming Control Board Monday, amid what industry analysts say is a normal seasonal slowdown.
In all, operators reported $111.9 million in online gambling revenue for the month — $92.3 million from internet casino games and poker rooms and $19.6 million from online sports betting.
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Online sports betting operators reported a monthly handle, or the total amount wagered by bettors, of $188 million for the month, down 20% from June. And industry analysis site PlayMichigan.com noted that the state's online sportsbooks generated their lowest volume ever for a full month, dropping to less than $200 million for the first time since online gambling launched in Michigan in January.
Gross revenue tied to online sports betting also dropped in July, to about $19.6 million, from June's $24.9 million, according to figures released by the state.
"Pursuits other than gaming are priorities for many in July, whether that is a trip to the lake or a backyard barbecue," PlayMichigan.com analyst Matt Schoch said in a statement. "The good news for sportsbooks is that with the July dip now out of the way, operators can look forward to Michiganders returning from their summer vacations and for the excitement for the football season to build."
Meanwhile, internet gaming generated $92.3 million in gross revenue last month, up 3.5% from June. Analysts said the launch of live dealer online casino games in late July likely drove additional wagering.
"Many of the same forces that slow sports betting in the summer, including summer vacations, also affect online casinos," PlayUsa.com data analyst Eric Ramsey said in a statement.
But, he added, "Michigan is still a young market that hasn't yet reached maturity. The addition of live dealer games will make a difference going forward. And as the summer turns to fall, we should once again see the revenue at online casinos grow."
Collectively, operators in July paid the state $17.1 million in taxes and payments tied to internet gaming, and $762,220 in taxes and payments tied to online sports betting. Taxes and payments are based on adjusted gross receipts, which include deductions for the monetary value of free play incentives provided to and wagered by bettors.
Meanwhile, Detroit's three casinos — MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown Casino and MotorCity Casino Hotel — paid $4.8 million in internet gaming and sports betting taxes and fees to the city of Detroit last month. And online gambling operators at the state's tribal casinos made $2 million in wagering payments to the tribes' governing bodies.
MotorCity Casino, with operator FanDuel, reported the largest monthly online sports betting handle of anyone for July, with more than $54.5 million in bets.
In terms of gross revenue tied to internet gaming, MGM Grand Detroit's $33.8 million for the month far outpaced its competition.
In July, a total of 13 operators were authorized for both forms of online gambling; one was authorized only for internet casino gaming.
Last week, MGCB reported that the three Detroit casinos netted some $116.9 million in aggregate revenue tied to table games, slots and retail sports betting last month, for a 9.3% increase over June's results. Those results were in line with a national rebound of casino gaming, with the American Gaming Association reporting a new quarterly revenue record.
The state offers a 24-hour, toll-free problem gambling helpline at 1-800-270-7117. Further resources are available at www.michigan.gov/mgcb.