Sports Betting Gamble Paying Big Dividends to the State

The house appears to be winning on the sports betting gamble in Michigan.

The house appears to be winning on the sports betting gamble in Michigan.

The Jan. 22 inception of legalized sports betting in Michigan brought economic benefits, such as an influx of taxes and payments to the state, transparency, safeguards, and a regulated marketplace in which transactions take place.

So far this year, Michigan’s 14 authorized operators/providers delivered more than $19.3 million in taxes and payments from internet gaming and internet sports betting to the state of Michigan — $4.4 million of which was a result of internet sports betting alone. The totals exclude receipts from retail sports betting through the sportsbooks at land-based casinos.

The three commercial casinos reported paying $2.4 million in taxes and municipal service fees to the city of Detroit. Brick-and-mortar tribal casinos are authorized under federal law and are regulated the by tribes and the tribal gaming commissions.

“Michigan residents are huge fans of professional and college sports teams, and many people enjoy gaming for entertainment,” said Mary Kay Bean, communications specialist for the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

The start of the football season proved to be a particular boon, Bean said, noting that September’s online sports betting handle — the total amount wagered — was $354.3 million, an 84.2% increase from August. Those figures do not include amounts generated by retail sports betting conducted at land-based casinos.

“Sports fans in the state of Michigan are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable in the entire country,” said Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings. “DraftKings has seen great success in Michigan since January, thanks to their enthusiasm for both professional and collegiate sports.”

Nontribal operators distribute 20-28% of their adjusted gross receipts for internet gaming to the Internet Gaming Fund, Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund and the city of Detroit.

Since sports betting is available in nearby states and Canadian provinces, its legalization in Michigan keeps gambling dollars and the related taxes and payments within the state. Additionally, legalized sports betting lends an advantage to Michigan’s commercial and tribal casinos, whose sportsbooks are offered at their brick-and-mortar locations, providing additional opportunities for interaction with and attraction of patrons, according to Bean.

“Michigan is an important state for FanDuel Group,” said Kevin Hennessy, director of publicity for FanDuel, which collaborates with MotorCity Casino on mobile sports betting along with its second-largest retail FanDuel Sportsbook. “The atmosphere at the FanDuel Sportsbook at MotorCity Casino rivals any sportsbook in Las Vegas and is truly one of our crown jewel properties.”

The Michigan Gaming Control Board uses a responsible gaming database that allows patrons to sign out of one or both forms of internet gaming for one or five years. In addition, providers’ websites include self-exclusion options, such as self-imposed limits and timeouts. The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline, (800) 270-7117, is open 24/7.


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