Start of Summer Slowdown Hits Michigan’s Online Casinos Hard

Online gaming usually drops in May at the beginning of the summer, but the decline this year has been more pronounced than what was observed in 2021 and 2022.
Melting pink popsicle with pink flamingo inflatable on turquoise blue background 3D Rendering, 3D Illustration -- Start of Summer Slowdown Hits Michigan's Online Casinos Hard
By
June 29, 2023

The beginning of the summer doldrums hit Michigan online casinos harder this year, as revenue from poker and casino gaming slipped 5.5% to $150.6 million, data from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) show.

Two months removed from a record $171.8 million in March, revenue from online poker and casino gaming has slid 12.4% since then. Nevertheless, May was the third consecutive month — and the fifth month in the last six — where revenue has exceeded $150 million.

Online gambling typically dips in the summer, but the 5.5% month-over-month decline this year was wider than in 2022 (3.8%). Revenue was flat between the same two months in 2021. Online casinos in Michigan have consistently seen revenue decline between May and June.

MGCB data also show online poker rooms and online casinos are up 18.2% year-over-year ($127.3 million) — its lowest point since the market launched in January 2021. Since the regulator does not separate online poker revenue from online casino revenue, the contribution of poker to the final total is unknown.

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BetMGM Market Share Hits Record Low

All three of Michigan’s top igaming operators — BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel — saw revenue decline for the second consecutive month.

BetMGM Casino MI has been the perennial market leader, but in May, its market share dropped to 31.5%, a record low. By comparison, it held 38.7% of the market one year earlier. MGCB data doesn’t indicate that BetMGM lost market share to any one rival in particular, rather, the other 14 operators have incrementally made in-roads into the market.

Revenue at BetMGM, which operates under the land-based casino license of MGM Grand Detroit, totaled $47.4 million in May, down 7.5% sequentially ($51.2 million) and down 3.7% from a year ago ($49.2 million).

FanDuel Casino MI and DraftKings Casino MI continued to fight for second place, and for the ninth consecutive month, FanDuel came out on top. It grossed $30 million in May, down 4.3% from April ($31.3 million) but up a solid 49.2% from May 2022 ($20.1 million). FanDuel, partnered with MotorCity Casino, held 19.9% of the market in May 2023, up from 15.8% one year earlier.

DraftKings, which is on the land-based casino license of Bay Mills Resort & Casino, saw $27 million in revenue in May, down 3.8% month-over-month ($28.1 million) but up an impressive 51.4% year-over-year ($17.8 million).

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Four Smaller Operators All Post Gains

May wasn’t a summer bummer for everyone — four online casinos in Michigan saw increased revenue.

PokerStars Casino MI (Odawa Casino) made $3 million from online poker and casino in May, up 7.6% from April ($2.8 million). Meanwhile, FourWinds, the online casino for tribal properties located in Dowagiac, Hartford, and New Buffalo, grossed $3.7 million in May, up 7.2% from April ($3.4 million). FourWinds was just 3% off its March record ($3.8 million).

BetRivers Casino MI (Little River Casino Resort) saw revenue hit $8.7 million in May, up 4.6% from April ($8.3 million). Golden Nugget Casino MI (Ojibwa Casinos) grossed $7 million in May, up 1.3% month-over-month ($6.9 million).

MGCB data show PointsBet Casino MI (Northern Waters Casino Resort) remains one of the state’s smallest online casinos, posting just $1.4 million in revenue in May, or less than one percent of the market.

But PointsBet appears poised to be replaced by Fanatics, which offered $225 million for the US assets of PointsBet, including its market access in Michigan, earlier this week.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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