Could Wider Application of MSIGA Benefit Michigan Online Poker Market?

The Wolverine State’s status of number one iGaming state in the US is being threatened, with wider use of MSIGA provisions one of the more promising paths to increasing revenue and more competitive status in the future.
Could Wider Application of MSIGA Benefit Michigan Online Poker Market?
December 04, 2023

Ever since the launch of legalized igaming in Michigan, the state has become a serious contender for the number one spot nationwide. Over the course of 2023, Michigan and New Jersey have been locked into a close fight for the number one spot, with the top operator changing as many as five times on a month-to-month basis.

While Michigan online poker did manage to take the top spot once again in October this year according to data by both state’s regulators, the Garden State has been making serious strides towards locking it up for good.

In big part this is due to New Jersey online poker apps taking full advantage of the MSIGA, with both WSOP and PokerStars offering multi-state poker in the state, creating a significant advantage over Michigan on the poker side of things.

While Michigan can still compete thanks to its online casino traffic and it is not completely clear how big the impact of MSIGA is, one thing that’s for sure is that the Mitten State could benefit from operators other than PokerStars MI taking advantage of the compact and including Michigan in their multi-state player pools.

Michigan and New Jersey Trading Blows

It’s been a relatively close battle between New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan for the number one spot when it comes to revenues from iGaming ever since the latter launched the market early 2021.

Early on, Michigan and Pennsylvania were contending for the second place, with New Jersey clearly ahead, but it did not take long for the newly minted Michigan market to catch up and start contending for the number one slot.

In fact, it took only a few months for Michigan to firmly establish itself as the second biggest iGaming market in the country, with Pennsylvania trailing in third since June 2021.

Ever since then, the Wolverine State has been locked in a close battle with New Jersey, overtaking the number one spot for a single month a couple of times before finally managing to keep it throughout early 2023.

Now, however, the Michigan online poker and casino market is once again competing very closely with that of New Jersey, as the impacts of MSIGA and other factors have brought the two markets to very similar levels.

The healthy competition continues to force operators in both states to innovate and provide players with even more lucrative deals, as iGaming continues to thrive in the legal US markets.

BetMGM Leads the Stagnant Market

While the Michigan iGaming market has continued to grow since its launch in January 2021, that growth has been somewhat slowed down this year, with year-over-year increases in monthly revenues dropping to new lows.

The Michigan market was able to generate $160.3 million in revenue in October, a slight decrease compared to September’s numbers and a mere 13.7% increase compared to October of 2022.
BetMGM has remained the number one operator in the state for the time being, but the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings are not trailing far behind anymore, as their popular sports betting products continue to dominate the market.

Michigan’s regulators and operators will need to push for a wider application of MSIGA and other innovations if the market is to continue growing and rivaling that of New Jersey and other states in the coming months and years.

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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