December 21, 2023 3 min read


Michigan Betting Handle Sets Record in November amid ESPN Bet Launch

The total betting handle reported by retail and online sports betting operators soared last month, hitting $584.1 million

Earlier this week, the gambling regulator in Michigan, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), released its latest report, uncovering details regarding the performance of commercial and tribal online gambling and betting operators. In total, gross receipts from sports betting and online gambling hit $209.2 million in November, representing a 1,9% increase when compared to the results posted a month earlier, in October.

Focusing on internet sports betting, licensed operators posted a significant increase in betting handle last month. Overall, the internet sports betting handle in Michigan hit $568.8 million in November, marking a new record for the operators in the state and the highest figure recorded for the market so far. The recently posted internet mobile sports betting handle surpassed the $533 million result from October, representing an increase of 6.7% month-over-month.

Earlier this month, the MGCB confirmed that the three Detroit casinos posted $15.3 million in total retail sports betting handle. Combining the retail and online sports betting handle makes a total of $584.1 million, another record for Michigan. The new figure comes after licensed online and retail sports betting operators set a record last month by hitting $551.1 million in betting handle. Now that this record is in the past, the betting sector in Michigan is clearly growing, judging by the results posted in November.

ESPN Bet Entered Michigan in November

On November 14, 2023, ESPN Bet, Penn Entertainment’s newly rebranded sports betting app, celebrated its debut in 17 US states. The launch saw the app become available for customers in major betting markets, including Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Colorado, among others.

In Michigan, ESPN Bet joined a competitive sports betting vertical where market leaders such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars and BetMGM, among others, have already established their presence. Despite the competitiveness of the market, ESPN Bet ramped up its promotional spending in November which surpassed $16 million, a report released by MIBets suggests.

Overall, ESPN Bet’s promotional spend last month was $16,044,642. In contrast, market leaders FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM spent $6.4 million, $5.5 million and $2.3 million last month. ESPN Bet posted $6.1 million in gross winnings, achieving a remarkable result considering its 12.2% hold. Overall, the new sportsbook reported $49.9 million in betting handle, representing 8.5% of the total mobile handle reported for the Wolverine State last month.

Undoubtedly, the sports betting industry across the US is highly competitive but this didn’t stop ESPN Bet and its plan to deliver a one-stop-shop experience for sports fans and bettors alike. The app offers not only options for wagering but also highlights, scores and other relevant data, including opinions. This makes ESPN Bet suitable for seasoned bettors and sports fans who want to place their first wager.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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