Michigan’s three commercial casinos have been slowly expanding their lead over the state’s 12 tribal casinos in terms of revenue from online casino gaming, but its advantage in handle from online sports betting has narrowed.
According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), the state’s three commercial casinos — Hollywood Casino at Greektown (formerly Greektown Casino-Hotel), MGM Grand Detroit, and MotorCity Casino — have generated $261.9 million in revenue through the first three months of 2023, up 23.5% from the same period in 2022 ($212 million).
So far this year, BetMGM Casino MI, which operates under the land-based license of MGM Grand, is leading its two commercial rivals in terms of online casino revenue with $157.5 million. FanDuel Casino MI, partnered with MotorCity Casino, was a distant second with $92.6 million, while Barstool (Hollywood) was further back with just $11.8 million in revenue through March.
By comparison, Michigan’s 12 tribal casinos had a combined $211.8 million in online casino revenue during the first three months of 2023, up 29.4% from the same period the year before ($163.7 million). DraftKings Casino MI, partnered with Bay Mills Resort & Casino, has been by far the most profitable online operator among the tribal casinos –it generated $84.7 million in the first three months of the year.
Despite being outnumbered four-to-one, the three commercial casinos have been slowly building a revenue lead over their tribal casino rivals. The commercial casinos were ahead by $35.8 million in revenue through the first three months of 2021. MGCB data show they expanded their advantage to $48.3 million in 2022 and $50.1 million currently.
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Commercial casinos had their biggest lead in online casino revenue so far this year in January when the trio was ahead of the tribal casinos by about $18.1 million. The gap shrank to $14.3 million in February before expanding again to $17.7 million in March.
Online casino revenue data from MGCB includes online poker. Since the regulator does not separate online poker revenue from online casino, online poker’s final contribution is unknown.
Handle Down 8.9% for Commercial Casinos
But while online casino revenue has been trending upward, handle from online sports betting has been going in the other direction. MGCB data show online handle at the state’s trio of commercial casinos totaled $739 million through the first three months of 2023, down 8.9% from online handle between January 2022 and March 2022 ($810.8 million).
FanDuel Sportsbook MI has been the top online book for commercial casinos so far this year with a $419.5 million handle. Among the tribal casinos, DraftKings Sportsbook MI has been tops this year with a $307.9 million handle through March.
Like with online casino revenue, in terms of online handle, Michigan’s three commercial casinos had their biggest lead over their 12 tribal casino rivals in January — MGCB said the commercial trio was ahead $104.5 million in handle that month.
It was assumed that Michigan’s tribal casinos would start to close the gap with its commercial rivals — in both online casino revenue and sports handle — after SI Casino and SI Sportsbook launched in the state in February. The Sports Illustrated (SI) themed online casino and sportsbook is partnered with Island Resort & Casino and replaced TwinSpires.