Image: Hanson L/Shutterstock

March Madness has fuelled further sports betting growth for Michigan, as online casino continued its rapid ascent after surpassing $130m in revenue for the first time.

The region’s igaming entities reached $131.7m in March to shatter the previous high of $122.8m that was set one month earlier, which marks the third time in four months that revenue from online casinos and poker rooms has reached a new high.

On a per day basis, revenue reached $4.2m through the month, which is down slightly from the record $4.4m generated in February. 

March’s revenue yielded $33.1m in state taxes and fees, with online casinos now having generated $368.9m in taxes and fees since launching in 2021.

“Online casinos aren’t affected by the same seasonal ebbs and flows as sports betting, so they should continue to generate huge amounts of revenue over the summer,” said Paul Costanzo, lead analyst for PlayMichigan. 

“Michigan has been so successful in wringing tax revenue from online casino gaming, that it is a wonder why more states haven’t followed suit in legalising and regulating it.”

Elsewhere, Michigan’s online sportsbooks attracted $451.6m in online bets in March, which was up 13.4 per cent from the $398.4m in bets that were accepted in February.

When accounting for the previously announced $26.4m in retail wagering at Detroit-area casinos, online and retail sportsbooks combined to take in $478m in wagering for the month. 

This represents a 12.8 per cent uptick from the $423.8m produced one month earlier, but falls shy of the record $523.7m that was evidenced during an NFL packed January.

Online sportsbooks won $30.5m in gross revenue from March’s bets, which is up 35.4 per cent from $22.5m in February but down 5.6 per cent from $32.3m in March 2021. 

Combined with $2m in retail revenue, Michigan’s sportsbooks won $32.4m for the month. After promotional credits, retail and online sportsbooks generated $16.6m in taxable revenue, yielding $967,314 in taxes.

“The seasonal dip in sports betting really begins after the first full weekend of March Madness, and that slowdown should extend until football begins in September,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA. 

“If sportsbooks can keep posting year-over-year growth of around 25 per cent or more as the NBA and NHL playoffs, baseball, and golf’s major championships take centre stage over the next few months, the industry should be in a fantastic position heading into the fall.”

FanDuel led the online market with $140.1m, up from $122.4m in February. Combined with its retail sportsbooks, the group won $14m in gross revenue during the month. 

“The race for market share has solidified, and it would take something significant to knock the top players off their perch,” Ramsey added. 

“FanDuel’s dominance, in particular, appears to be baked in. But the race for number two remains intriguing with BetMGM’s continued growth.”