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Michigan Joins October’s Record-Setting Sports Betting Party

Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings reacts after beating Elvis Merzlikins #90 of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Photo by: Kirk Irwin/Getty Images via AFP.

October was a record-setting month in sports betting for Michigan. Let’s dive into the numbers and whether the trend can continue.

Those that follow the US legal sports betting industry are by now familiar with just how profitable October was for sportsbooks. A dozen participating legal sports jurisdictions have reported their October wagering hauls. All set new records.

We can officially add Michigan to the long list of states that set new high-water marks. According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, October’s sports betting numbers easily topped the previous record from September. It’s further proof that an expanded sports betting menu, along with an increased acceptance of sports betting in the state is ongoing and that this fall could represent a turning point for the state’s wagering culture.

Matt Schoch, lead analyst for, noted: “Michigan-Michigan State, five full weekends of the NFL and college football, the opening of the NBA season, and baseball’s postseason all coalesced in October to create an unusually robust sports calendar. Michigan bettors are increasingly comfortable with online sports betting. And with a game like Michigan-Michigan State that carries intense local interest, sportsbooks were presented a rare opportunity to expand their customer bases. The events of this month will continue to pay dividends even after the schedule slows.”

Diving into the record numbers

Michigan sportsbooks reported $497.6 million in bets during October. It obliterated the short-lived record of $386.8 million set in September. The $497.6 million is a 28.6% spike from the state’s previous high.

While just barely missing out on joining New Jersey, Nevada, Illinois, and Pennsylvania as the only states to generate $500 million in sports bets in a single month, the October numbers are certainly a reason for optimism that sportsbooks are on the cusp of that milestone figure.

Michigan’s mobile apps led the way, generating a record $463.3 million of the overall $497.6 million handle. That’s a 30.8% increase from September’s $354.3 million and is nearly $4 million more than the previous mobile high of $359.5 million from March. Retail accounted for $34.2 million, for a 5.2% month-over-month increase.

Revenues for the Michigan legal sports betting scene, unfortunately, didn’t hit record highs. A total of $26.9 million was made by the state’s sportsbooks thanks to a 7.7% hold. However, after $19.6 million in promotions, taxable revenues came in at $7.4 million. That’s a 111% month-over-month increase from September’s $32.5 million but off the record revenue mark set in March.

Tax contributions for state and local coffers came in at $775,077.

Bouncing back from an underwhelming summer

The Michigan legal sports betting scene was on a somewhat disappointing path this past summer. Sportsbooks were unable to resonate in the state or capture the obvious fanaticism of sports fans. All concerns about the effectiveness of the platform in Michigan have all but been cast away with sports betting figures from the last two months.

“After an explosive first few months earlier this year, the growth in the Michigan online market had really tapered off a bit,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the Network, which includes “The results this fall have mostly erased that lull. The state’s online sportsbooks are again at a level we’d expect for a market with so much promise.”

Looking ahead

Five full weeks of NFL action certainly boosted the sports betting activity in Michigan, and there is a growing sense of optimism that the next three months could be even better. College basketball starts in November and the state gets a full slate of Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings games throughout the entirety of the next three months.

The Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan should provide a boost to wagering operators in the state. That could make a $500 million month a distinct possibility for the Michigan legal sports betting scene. Eyes will be on Michigan in November and December to see if the state can cross the threshold and ultimately enter rarified air with regard to its legal sports betting scene.

SEE ALSO: It’s Pennsylvania’s Turn to Boast About October Sports Betting Haul

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