February Takeaways: 3 Things from Michigan Online Gaming Report

GreatLakesStakes.com

By Bryce Derouin

On Tuesday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board released the latest numbers from the state’s February online gaming report.

Michigan online casino gaming and sports betting operators reported $89.2 million in gross receipts for the month, with online casino gaming accounting for $79.7 million and mobile sports betting total $9.5 million in sports betting receipts with a total handle of $301.9 million during that span.

Here are three takeaways from the report:

Sportsbooks Taking a Loss

Despite the high handle, sportsbooks managed just over $9.4 million in gross sports betting receipts. But when taking into account the promotional money being handed out by the operators, the sportsbooks took a collective loss of $10.8 million.

Part of the losses can be attributed to the Michigan basketball team. The Wolverines were 5-1 against the spread and 6-0 straight up during the month, helping plenty of fans within the state who chose to back them. The Michigan State Spartans also covered and won straight up against Illinois, Ohio State and twice versus Indiana, making it a profitable month for MSU backers, too.

It also likely didn’t help sportsbooks that Michigan alum Tom Brady led the underdog Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’ll be interesting to monitor how the sports betting revenues will add up in March with the expected increase in action on the men’s basketball tournament. And whether a successful run from either Michigan or MSU will translate into another costly month for online sportsbooks.

Barstool Slips a Bit

Barstool was right there in the upper echelon of sportsbooks for Michigan in the month of January. Barstool had the third-highest sports betting handle at $27.4 million, was close to eclipsing DraftKings ($28.2 million) and well ahead of BetMGM ($22.8 million). All four trailed FanDuel, who recorded a leading handle of $32.6 million.

In February, FanDuel once again claimed the top spot at $87.2 million and was followed by BetMGM ($75.6 million) and DraftKings ($72.9 million), while Barstool was a distant fourth at $40.3 million.

Personally, BetMGM is my least favorite of the four. The app on my iPhone 11 Pro Max runs slow and laggy, as if it’s a web browser posing as an application, whereas FanDuel, DraftKings and Barstool have more intuitive user interfaces and has less lag when scrolling and searching for markets. Regardless, BetMGM is obviously doing something right with the numbers it pulled in the first two months.

It’ll be interesting to see if Barstool will rally in the coming months, or it will slide further behind the Big 3. There’s no questioning the presence it has in the online community, but we’ll have to see if it translates into more sports bets from its passionate fan base.

BetMGM is Top Casino

BetMGM is dominating the Michigan online casino marketplace and it isn’t even close. BetMGM recorded $26.9 million in revenue, making it the only operator to eclipse the $20-million mark. FanDuel ($16.5 million) and DraftKings ($14.5 million) rounded out the top three.

February was a similar revenue discrepancy as January. During the first 10 days, BetMGM tallied $11.1 million in revenue from its online casino, while DraftKings recorded $7 million and FanDuel had $6.7 million.

BetMGM has name recognition and familiarity from players in the state with its MGM Grand Detroit Casino location. It has also been one of the prominent advertisers in the state, with Jamie Foxx regularly boasting about BetMGM’s products.

Between the advertising, brand recognition and wide range of games BetMGM offers, it remains the top online casino in the state.

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WRITTEN BY
GreatLakesStakes.com
Bryce Derouin
Bryce joined GreatLakesStakes.com after spending the last nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. He’s served as the primary Division II beat writer for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech. Along with his newspaper background, he's worked in marketing and has experience covering casinos and gambling.
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Bryce joined GreatLakesStakes.com after spending the last nine years covering high school and college sports throughout Michigan. He’s served as the primary Division II beat writer for Grand Valley State and Michigan Tech. Along with his newspaper background, he's worked in marketing and has experience covering casinos and gambling.
... Read More