Michigan online casinos make nearly $30 million in first 10 days, 80% of that from the top three operators

Ten Days In, Michigan’s Online Gambling Market Rivals That Of New Jersey And Pennsylvania, With BetMGM Leading The Pack

Michigan is the latest state to launch online gambling. It did so less than one month ago, on January 22, and it’s off to a thundering start.

This week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) released its revenue report for that first partial month. The initial nine online casinos to launch won a total of $29.4 million from their players over that time.

A better picture of the state’s performance will emerge once we have at least one full month of data. However, this preliminary data presents a very promising picture of things to come in the Wolverine State.

MI online gambling revenue highlights – Jan 2021

Naturally, the first few days of a new market aren’t necessarily representative. On the one hand, there’s considerable player excitement immediately following the launch. On the other, it can take time for operators to build their customer databases, and we expect more signups as time goes.

Notwithstanding those wrinkles, we can extrapolate from Michigan’s first ten days and guess at what a full month would have looked like. Based on a daily average of $2.94 million, Michigan online casinos might have earned $91.1 million had they been in business from January 1.

That would put Michigan smack in the middle between Pennsylvania and New Jersey to start with. Pennsylvania iGaming brought in just over $80 million in January, while New Jersey online casinos passed the $100 million milestone.

Here are a few other highlights from the limited data available so far:

  • Operators handed out over $1.8 million in free play to Michigonians. Winnings less free play thus totaled $27,538,672.
  • Operators paid $5.8 million in tax in January, of which $4.3 million went to the state.
  • The total effective tax rate for Michigan iGaming will vary between 20% and 28% depending on operators’ annual performance. For January, it was 21.1%.

MI market analysis by operator

It will be interesting to see how things shape up in the race for market leadership in Michigan.

In these early days, it’s BetMGM Casino on top of the heap, with $11.1 million in adjusted gross receipts for January. It is followed by DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino, which pulled in $6.2 million and $6.0 million respectively.

It was quite predictable that these would be the top three, given their success in other states. The extent of their dominance is impressive, however. BetMGM alone accounted for 40% of adjusted gross receipts. The three collectively held almost 85% of the market.

BetMGM is also the market leader in New Jersey by some estimates, though only on the second-place license, Borgata. However, it has only just launched in Pennsylvania, and trails DraftKings in West Virginia. It was therefore hard to predict in advance what position it would hold in Michigan.

The close race between FanDuel and DraftKings will also be one to watch, especially given their long-time rivalry in the daily fantasy sports space.

Here’s how the rest of the market looks at the moment:

  • PokerStars and BetRivers are the runners up, and the only other operators currently averaging better than $100,000 in daily revenue. Together, they account for another 11% of the market.
  • The remaining 4% is split between four other operators. Wynn, somewhat surprisingly, is the largest of these, followed by Golden Nugget. Less surprisingly, William Hill and TwinSpires are at the bottom of the heap; both are bit players elsewhere as well.

MI sports betting – Jan 2021

Michigan online sports betting also debuted at the same time as iGaming.

Retail betting has been available in the state since last March. We will omit those figures this month, however, as they span the full 31 days, making for an unfair comparison.

The online sportsbooks actually managed to generate negative revenue in their first ten days. This was due to big spending on promotions, however. Specifically, many sportsbooks offer players a single, large free bet as an incentive. This is more or less guaranteed to be a substantial loss leader.

Total handle for the first ten days was $115.2 million. Extrapolated to a full month, this would equate to about $357 million. Unlike the Michigan online casinos, this puts the sportsbooks considerably behind either New Jersey or Pennsylvania for the time being. Pennsylvania sportsbooks took $615 million in bets in January, and New Jersey’s did better still at $959 million.

Excluding the free bets, MI sportsbooks came out $13.3 million ahead on their bets in January, for a pretty substantial 11.6% hold.

Here, too, BetMGM and DraftKings hold the top two spots to start with, though the race is closer. FanDuel, on the other hand, holds a distant fourth, while Barstool Sportsbook is the third place operator.

For more detail and analysis of the Michigan sports betting market, see the latest from LegalSportsReport.

MI online gambling revenue breakdown

OperatoriGaming (millions)Sportsbook (millions, before promotions)
PokerStars/Fox Bet$1.78$0.07
Golden Nugget$0.44$0.03
William Hill$0.12$0.13
- Alex is a journalist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Now site runner for Online Poker Report, he has been writing about poker and the online gambling industry in various capacities since 2014.
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