The Michigan online casino market passed a key milestone in September, generating more than $100 million in market revenue for the first time in its nine-month history, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) reported this week.
For those watching the market closely, hitting that nine-figure mark is not all that surprising. In August, revenue was just shy at $97.2 million and indeed six out of the nine months since the market opened have exceeded more than $90 million.
In total, operators in September reported a combined $102.4 million in revenue, an impressive 5% increase over August totals, and the third month in a row to see total revenue growth.
The start of the busy sports season, plus the full rollout of live casino games in Michigan across all major operators, will have likely helped the market grow, and is a signal that further gains can be expected as the market enters the traditionally busy winter period.
BetMGM Still Leads the Top Three
The Michigan casino market can be divided into multiple tiers of operators. About 70% of the market now belongs to just three players, with BetMGM MI Casino leading that group with nearly 40% of the total revenue in September this year.
It marked the first time any single operator hit $40 million in revenue for the state and shows the clear dominance of BetMGM in the Michigan market.
The battle for second is much closer. DraftKings Casino Michigan improved its performance over August, adding nearly $3 million to the bottom line in Sept. That meant it edged out FanDuel Casino MI for the number 2 spot, but only by a fraction—with both operators collecting about $15.4 million in revenue, there was less than $100,000 between them.
Smaller Players Carve Out the Rest
With more than two-thirds of the market in the hands of just three players, there is not a lot of room for the rest of the field to jockey around for position.
The chart below of state revenue in September by operator illustrates that segmentation: BetMGM, DK and FD carve out over two-thirds of the market, then a dozen smaller operators each taking a thin slice of the pie.
The five middle-tier players combined for just over $20 million in adjusted gross receipts, with Rush Street leading the way with more than $6 million alone. Wynn and Golden Nugget combined for more than $8 million in revenue, with each posting around $4.1 million.
That left about $6 million for Penn Sports/Barstool and Fox Bet/PokerStars to share. The biggest share of that, about $3.6 million, went to Barstool, and it was the only one among the mid-tier operators to grow over its August numbers.
Another half-dozen operators compete for the remaining share of the market, with Pala Interactive straddling the line between small and mid-tier operators with almost $2.2 million.
That was quite a distance in front of Parx Interactive, second place in this bottom half dozen operators, with about $1.5 million, and third-place William Hill with $1.4 million, both of whom saw big increases over the previous month.
Market Surge as NFL Ramps Up
It is perhaps little surprise that the market is surging now. September continues a four-month upward trend for the market as a whole, but the push over $100 million also coincides with the start of the NFL season.
While that will no doubt have a huge impact on the sports betting market, it is also inevitable that some of the increased traffic from sports betting activity would spill over into the casino side.
With DraftKings and Barstool both increasing revenue over August, and FanDuel holding steady, it looks as though the sports-related casino brands saw the biggest improvements. As the NFL season proceeds and other leagues like the NHL kick into action through the fall, that trend looks to continue.
The other new development in the Michigan market is the addition of live dealer games. These began their rollout in late July into August, and for some operators September would have been their first full month. While the MGCB does not provide revenue statistics for live dealer games separate to other forms of online casino, the popular format will have helped further grow the vertical.
The push to nine digits of gross receipts within the first year of legalized online casino gaming in Michigan certainly marks an important milestone for the market. It also bodes well for future growth into the peak winter season, pointing to a healthy appetite in Michigan for the thrill of online gaming.