First bets, promotions and odds boosts filled the opening weekend for Michigan’s mobile sports betting and online casino gaming platforms.
Based on a report from Conscious Gaming, Michigan established itself as one of the busiest legal sports betting states in its first weekend, based on geolocation transaction data. Combined with Virginia, which debuted mobile betting on Thursday, the two states added more than 400,000 new accounts in their first weekend, the report said.
“Hundreds of thousands of people in Michigan and Virginia placed legal online bets for the first time this past weekend,” Seth Palansky, Conscious Gaming’s vice president of corporate social responsibility, said in a news release. “This demonstrates that Americans will abandon illegal websites and the street corner bookie to place their trust in companies that are accountable, provide robust consumer protections and responsible gaming measures.”
Michigan’s launch came during a marquee sports weekend, with the NFL Championship games taking place on Sunday after UFC 257 on Saturday. Both professional teams, the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings, were also in action, in addition to the University of Michigan men’s basketball team playing Purdue on Friday.
According to data from GeoGomply, this year’s NFL Conference Championship weekend saw more than 30 million geolocation transactions recorded in 17 U.S. online betting states, including the District of Columbia. That number is a 260% increase from the same weekend in 2020.
Of those 30 million transactions, 7.5 million came from Michigan and Virginia, making up 25% of the overall betting volume across the U.S. market.
“As the industry grows, it is important for it to remain firmly committed to protecting problem bettors and putting additional processes in place to ensure the growth can be managed effectively and responsibly,” Palansky said.
Some First Bets Across the State
Ceremonial first bets took place across Michigan as the launch went live.
On DraftKings, Sen. Curtis Hertel placed a $10 wager on Michigan State’s men’s basketball team to win the national title at +5000 odds.
Detroit radio host and Pistons public address announcer, John Mason, placed the first-ever legal bet at BetRivers.
Jeff Riger, a co-host on 97.1 The Ticket, parlayed Pistons -2.5, Michigan -4 and Red Wings +1.5 on Friday for the first official wager in Michigan on PointsBet.