The Michigan online poker market was larger than New Jersey’s for the third month in a row in May, thanks in no small part to the success to date of WSOP MI, estimates based on factors including cash game traffic reveal.
Online poker and casino revenue totaled $127.4 million in May, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) and reported in Poker Industry PRO’s industry monitor earlier this week. Revenue from the combined verticals was down 3.8% month-to-month ($132.5 million) but was up 34.3% from one year ago ($94.9 million).
The MGCB does not separate online poker revenue from online casino revenue. But a comparison of cash game traffic data — coupled with an estimate based on the populations of three states where online poker is legal and its revenue is known — provides some context.
Michigan Online Poker: May 2022 Revenue and Estimates
|Operator||Online Poker & Casino Revenue||Estimated Online Poker Revenue||Cash game traffic (30-day average on May 31)|
|BetMGM Poker MI||$49.2 million||$642k||76|
|PokerStars MI||$2.5 million||$1.2 million||141|
|WSOP MI||$6.5 million||$642k||76|
|Total||$127.4 million||$2.5 million||293|
Based on cash game traffic data provided by independent industry monitor GameIntel, Michigan’s three online poker rooms made an estimated $2.5 million in revenue in May, down 7.9% from an April estimate of $2.7 million. Revenue from March is estimated at $2.6 million.
If accurate, the estimates would mean that Michigan has had a larger online poker market than New Jersey for the last three months. The poker vertical grossed $2.5 million in the Garden State in March, just under $2.3 million in April, and just over $2.3 million in May.
According to Poker Industry PRO, which makes GameIntel data available to subscribers of its unique PRO Data platform, there were 141 cash game seats on PokerStars MI on May 31. That same day, there were 76 cash game seats on both BetMGM Poker MI and WSOP MI.
WSOP Only Poker Room Up in May
MGCB data show BetMGM MI had $49.2 million in online casino and poker revenue in May, while PokerStars MI grossed $2.5 million and WSOP MI made $6.5 million. Revenue was down 1.5% month-to-month for BetMGM ($50 million) and 9% for PokerStars, but WSOP saw revenue grow 10.3% from April ($5.9 million).
Using the same estimation method as before, PokerStars Poker MI had approximately $1.2 million in revenue from online poker in May, down 10.2% from April ($1.3 million). PokerStars also appears to have slipped 15.6% from March ($1.4 million).
Meanwhile, BetMGM Poker MI and WSOP MI are both estimated to have generated $642k from online poker in May. For BetMGM, that represents an 11.6% decline from an April estimate of $727k. But for WSOP, May’s estimate was 1.3% higher than April’s ($634k).
Cross-Traffic Boosted Caesars in Online Casino
The launch of WSOP online poker in Michigan also appears to have benefited Caesars in online casino gaming.
Caesars, under the William Hill license, was the eighth-largest online poker and casino operator in March, but has climbed into fifth place for May. Revenue in the combined vertical totaled $6.5 million in May, up 10.3% from April ($5.9 million) and up a whopping 45% from March ($4.6 million).
The growth at Caesars is likely a result of cross-traffic from what has been a very busy WSOP MI room since its launch in March. Case in point: WSOP held its first Spring Online Championship series in Michigan in May.
The formula used to calculate online poker revenue in Michigan is based upon the average of two months’ cash game seats (using the 30-day average) on the dates of April 30 and May 31 in three states — Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
After calculating a rate per seat in New Jersey ($7,931) and Pennsylvania ($8,971), and adjusting for the populations of Michigan (10 million), New Jersey (9.3 million), and Pennsylvania (13 million), a rate per seat of $8,450 is assumed for all revenue estimations in Michigan.