As the market for real money online casinos in Michigan approaches the two-year mark, revenue from online poker and casino gaming hit a record $141 million in October — with the top three operators and two smaller ones posting record numbers. Three others had their second-best month for revenue.
According to data from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), the combined market was up 9.5% month-over-month ($128.7 million). The market was up a healthy 28.5% year-over-year, and the October record finally dispatched the previous record of $132.4 million set in April.
Since the MGCB does not separate online poker revenue from online casino gaming, poker’s performance is unknown. But online poker was likely down month-over-month in the Great Lakes State, considering the vertical was down in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in October (Delaware saw a slight month-over-month increase).
Five New Records Set in October
The three most prominent operators in the state each hit record highs for revenue in October.
Perennial market leader BetMGM Casino MI hit a record $52.3 million in October, up 13% from September ($46.3 million). Meanwhile, FanDuel Casino MI and DraftKings Casino MI continued their long-running battle for second place, with FanDuel slipping ahead in October with a record $23 million in revenue, compared to a record $22.6 million for DraftKings.
FanDuel was up 2.5% month-over-month (from $22.4 million), while DraftKings was up 3.4% (from $21.9 million). FanDuel operates under the MotorCity Casino license, while DraftKings partners with Bay Mills Resort & Casino.
But the “Big Three” — BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel — weren’t the only operators to break records in October.
FourWinds, the online casino for three tribal casinos in Michigan — in Dowagiac, Hartford, and New Buffalo — posted a record $3.1 million in October, up 3.6% month-over-month ($3 million). The operator beat the previous record it set in April by about $29k.
PlayEagle — the GAN-powered platform at Soaring Eagle, the largest Class III tribal casino in the state — hit a record $3 million in October. Like FourWinds, PlayEagle’s revenue was up 3.6% month-over-month ($2.9 million).
BetRivers, Golden Nugget, and PointsBet Have Silver Medal Months
October’s windfall didn’t end there. Three operators — BetRivers Casino MI, Golden Nugget Casino MI, and PointsBet Casino MI — had their second-highest months for revenue.
BetRivers, on the Little River Casino Resort license, was up 10.3% month-over-month to hit $9.2 million in October. It fell short of its record $9.7 million, which it set back in March. It was a similar story for Golden Nugget, which was up 10.9% month-over-month and reached $6.5 million, short of its record of $7.2 million set just two months earlier.
Golden Nugget, which operates on the Ojibwa Casinos license, could be poised for even further growth since DraftKings now owns it, which has vowed to expand its presence in the online casino vertical.
Australia-based PointsBet, on the Northern Waters Casino Resort license, surged 24.5% month-over-month to $1.1 million of revenue in October, up from just $846k the month before. PointsBet missed breaking the record it set back in December 2021 by just $119k.
Three other operators were up month-over-month — Barstool Casino MI, PokerStars Casino MI, and WynnBET Casino MI.
Barstool continued to hold fourth place overall with $4.6 million in revenue (up 29.3% month-over-month), while PokerStars was up 9.3% from September and reached $2.5 million in October. But more impressive was the rise of WynnBET, which surged 43% to hit $4.5 million in October — nearly overtaking Barstool.
Caesars Keeps Sliding. FireKeepers Snaps Back.
October wasn’t a good month for everyone, however.
Caesars (aka William Hill/WSOP) fell for the third consecutive month to land at $5.3 million in October. That marked a 5.3% decline month-over-month, but perhaps more worrisome is that the most recent month also marks a 17.6% drop from the record high Caesars set in May ($6.5 million).
October was the first month without TwinSpires MI in the market. The brand, owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), exited Michigan on September 6. Its best month was March 2021, when it grossed $2.2 million.
FireKeepers rebounded from a disastrous September. After hitting a record $1.8 million in August, FireKeepers collapsed 60% to land at $701k in September.
But the tribal operator rebounded in October — revenue more than doubled and hit $1.5 million, its second-highest monthly total. The rebound was likely fueled by the return of the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) in October.
betPARX slipped 9% to $1.8 million in October. The operator was down 26% from its record high of $2.4 million set in February.
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