Michigan online gambling operators pulled in almost $95 million before taxes and promotional spending

Michigan Online Gambling Revenue Holds Steady In May, As FanDuel Establishes Itself In Second Place

So far, the defining feature of the Michigan online gambling market has been its stability. May’s revenue figures, released this week by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) exhibit that trend to a remarkable degree.

From March to April, total gross monthly receipts for all operators in the market changed by only a quarter of one percent. As small as that change was, the change from April to May is even tinier. Total revenue dropped by $213.47, a figure you’re ordinarily more likely to see on your grocery receipt than a state-level revenue report. As a percentage of the total, that dip equates to just 0.0002%.

Sports betting revenue for the Wolverine State was also very stable in May, though the difference from April wasn’t quite as minuscule. In both verticals, individual operators saw more variability than the state as a whole, including some pretty significant changes for a few small-to-medium brands.

MI online gambling revenue highlights – May 2021

All told, Michigan online casinos and poker rooms brought in $94,851,552 in gross revenue.

Though the similarity in the monthly totals is dramatic, it’s a little misleading, since May was a longer month. The extra day meant the revenue was spread over a 3.3% longer period of time, which in turn implies the same drop in daily average revenue. The May average was $3.06 million per day, compared to $3.16 million in April.

Other iGaming states haven’t yet released their revenue figures for May. New Jersey’s should come out this afternoon. It’s therefore too early to say that Michigan’s numbers reflect stagnation of the US market as a whole. However, given how close Michigan’s performance last month was to Pennsylvania’s, it’s quite likely to be the case that the overall trend will be level or slightly downward.

Here are some other key figures:

  • Operators spent a collective total of $5,787,446 on promotions for online casino and poker, slightly less than in April even before taking into account the length of the month.
  • Online casinos and poker rooms paid a combined $25.2 million in taxes, which breaks down as $18.1 million in state tax plus $7.1 million in local tax.
  • Deducting promotional expenses and taxes leaves $64,883,151 in net revenue for the operators, or a daily average of $2.06 million.

Michigan market analysis – by operator

Michigan has really provided the first chance to see how various national iGaming operators stack up to one another on even terms. New Jersey’s market has existed longer than many of the operators in question, and Pennsylvania’s slow approval process had them straggling in one at a time. By contrast, Michigan had almost all the big names lined up and ready to go from day one.

BetMGM Casino has been the clear front-runner from the start. Competition for second place was much tighter, between FanDuel Casino and DraftKings Casino. In April, less than 1% separated the two, with FanDuel holding a slight lead.

In May, FanDuel established that advantage a little more firmly. It was the only brand in the top four to post an increase in daily average revenue for the month. DraftKings saw a slight increase in its monthly total, from $15.5 million to $15.7 million, but factoring in the extra day, we see that its business has slowed down somewhat.

As a result, FanDuel is now beating DraftKings by a wider margin of 4.1% and enjoys a market share of 18.8%. The race is still on but unlike last month, the difference is large enough to say that FanDuel is in fact winning the race at the moment.

Other notable shifts:

  • BetMGM’s monthly total fell, and its daily average is down more than 5%, though it remains the clear market leader.
  • WynnBet Casino is creeping up in the rankings. It booked a modest 2.8% gain in daily average revenue but also cut its promotional expenses. It’s now in fifth place, but still well behind fourth-place BetRivers.
  • PokerStars had a terrible month, down almost 20% on the month, and 22% as a daily average. It’s now in a deadlock with Golden Nugget Online Casino for sixth place.

Michigan sports betting – May 2021

The story for sports betting was much the same as it was for Michigan online poker rooms and casinos. After the Super Bowl in February and March Madness the following month, late spring and summer is a slow time for sportbooks in the US, before things pick up again with the beginning of the NFL season.

Monthly handle dropped by 6%, but hold rose by a quarter of a percentage point, so revenue dropped only 3.2%. Taken as a daily average, the picture is a little worse, with a drop of 6.3%.

Here, FanDuel Sportsbook is the far-and-away market leader with BetMGM in second, a reversal of the situation for iGaming. Together, they hold about three quarters of the market, with DraftKings Sportsbook, somewhat shockingly, holding just under 10%.

For more detail on the Michigan sports betting market, read the latest coverage at our sister site, Legal Sports Report.

MI online gambling revenue breakdown

Here are all the numbers for individual operators, as well as the market totals.

Dollar figures are after deducting promotional costs, and are for iGaming only, i.e. online casino and poker but not sports betting. Monthly changes are calculated as a daily average, i.e. normalized for the number of days in the respective months.

OperatorMay TotalApr. TotalChange (Daily Avg.)
Golden Nugget$3.8M$3.5M7.5%
Four Winds$1.6M$1.6M2.2%
William Hill$0.3M$0.4M-34.1%
All operators$89.4M$88.8M-2.5%
- 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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