With Parx launch, only FireKeepers, Four Winds and Soaring Eagle remain for brands pending launch in MI

Michigan Welcomes Parx Interactive As State’s 12th Online Casino

Parx Interactive will launch its online casino product in a third state. Parx and its partner, the Gun Lake Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan, received approval today from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

It will only be the casino product at first. The company made the logical choice in opting for that vertical to start with, as it generates far more money than online sports betting. In March, for instance, Michigan operators saw $95.1 million in gross receipts from online gambling and $32.3 million from online sportsbooks.

That said, the MGCB said the Gun Lake Band may have online sports betting soon, just as soon as it meets the regulatory requirements.

Parx may be only a bit player in Michigan

Michigan launched online gambling and online sports betting in January. The dominant forces in the early going have been BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings. These have all had similar success elsewhere, and are likely to hold on to the top spots.

The Big Three generated $66.3 million of the online casino totals in March. All of the other operators combined generated $28.8 million.

That trifecta may further solidify its Michigan market supremacy if Flutter, which owns FanDuel, ends up phasing out its Fox Bet brand and transferring those players to FanDuel. That possibility has been floated as one potential outcome in the ongoing feud between Flutter and Fox Sports over the upcoming FanDuel IPO.

While Parx Casino is well known in its home state of Pennsylvania, it has little brand visibility in Michigan. Launching late and faced with such dominant rivals, it may have a hard time being any more than a bit player in the Wolverine State.

Parx-Gun Lake partnership brings the state total to 14 brands

The new online casino option in Michigan brings the state’s total number of online gambling brands to 14.

Prior to Parx’s launch, there were 11 Michigan online casino operators:

  • Barstool
  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Four Winds
  • Golden Nugget
  • PokerStars
  • BetRivers
  • TwinSpires
  • William Hill
  • WynnBet

Parx brings that total to 12. There is a 13th company in the state, PointsBet, but it operates only in the sports betting vertical so far. It offers its sportsbook in partnership with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. It and Parx are the only two now operating in only a single vertical, since Barstool Casino launched. Finally, Fox Bet makes the total number of brands 14, though it is on the same license as PokerStars, and owned by the same company.

Parx’s launch leaves only two licensees which have not yet gone live. These are the remaining tribal operators who, like Four Winds, have elected to start their own online brands rather than partner with an existing one:

Since each Michigan licensee can have only one brand per vertical, their launch with bring the market to capacity. However if Flutter did absorb Fox Bet and related brands like PokerStars into FanDuel Group, that could end up freeing up the Odawa Casino license for a new operator. Thus, there is still potential for Michigan to see a surprise late arrival, perhaps by Bally’s or Caesars, who are excluded at the moment.

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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