Michigan Posts Most Successful Online Gambling Launch In US History

The first-month revenue numbers are in, and the debut of online sports betting and casino gaming in Michigan marks the most successful legal iGaming launch in US history.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board released online gambling revenue figures for January, including breakdowns by operator for both mobile sports betting and online casino revenue.

Michigan’s online sportsbooks took $115,165,703 in betting handle for January. Ten mobile sportsbooks launched in the Great Lakes State on Jan. 22.

Online casinos also went live on Jan. 22, with eight different platforms debuting on day one. Those eight mobile casinos combined to bring in $27,538,672, by far the most successful first month for an online casino launch in the legal US market.

The MGCB January figures cover a ten-day period from Jan. 22-31. February will mark the first full month of operations for Michigan’s iGaming industry.

Michigan Online Sports Betting Revenue January 2021*

Casino OperatorOnline SkinsOnline Betting HandleGross Sports Betting ReceiptsAdjusted Gross Sports Betting ReceiptsInternet Sports Betting State Tax**
MotorCity Casino HotelFanDuel Sportsbook$32,602,738$622,372-$5,679,061
Bay Mills Indian Community
DraftKings Sportsbook$28,190,634$3,377,189-$1,186,887
Greektown Casino HotelBarstool Sportsbook$27,482,238$3,330,772$1,698,246
$99,857
MGM Grand Detroit
BetMGM$22,789,889
$5,096,934-$53,435
Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
PointsBet$1,491,196
$388,380-$34,610
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
BetRivers$1,073,195
$191,261-$93,562
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
William Hill$692,319
$125,659$51,203$4,301
Hannahville Indian Community
TwinSpires$327,661
$39,792-$8,244
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa IndiansWynnBET$248,879$60,232$27,540$2,313
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
FOX Bet$160,052$70,737$50,472$4,240
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Golden Nugget Sportsbook$106,904
$29,698$11,726
$985
Totals$115,165,703
$13,333,027
-$5,216,612$111,696

*represents the period from Jan. 22-31, 2021

**tribal casinos pay 8.4% state tax; commercial casinos pay 5.88% state tax and 2.62% city tax

Big Names Dominate Michigan’s Mobile Sports Betting Market

The battle for Michigan market share includes four of sports betting biggest brands at the top. FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, Barstool Sportsbook, and BetMGM all posted big betting handle numbers in the first ten days of operations for mobile sports betting in Michigan.

Michigan’s online sportsbooks posted an overall loss of $5.26 million in Adjusted Gross Sports Betting Receipts. That figure subtracts welcome bonuses and all other promo credits from the Gross Sports Betting Receipts total.

The revenue figures from the early months of Michigan’s online sports betting industry will reflect a big customer acquisition push from the sportsbooks, with the welcome promotions and pre-launch bonuses offsetting early revenue numbers.

US Online Sports Betting First Month Handle Comparison

StateLaunch DateFirst Month Online Betting Handle
TennesseeNovember 2020$131.4 million
MichiganJanuary 2021$115.1 million*
IndianaOctober 2019$48 million
ColoradoMay 2020$25.6 million
IllinoisJune 2020$8.25 million
PennsylvaniaMay 2019$573,163

*represents the period from Jan. 22-31, 2021

Tennessee holds the first-month online betting handle record in the US ($131.4 million). Online sportsbooks went live in Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2020, with the first-month handle figures from the Volunteer State reflecting a full month of operations.

Michigan’s mobile sportsbooks nearly topped Tennessee’s $131.4 first-month handle in just ten days of business. Projecting a full month of operations would put Michigan in the top spot on the first-month handle comparison list, by far.

Michigan Online Casino Revenue January 2021*

Casino OperatorOnline SkinsAdjusted Gross ReceiptsInternet Gaming State Payment**
MGM Grand Detroit
BetMGM$11,075,980$1,707,828
Bay Mills Indian Community
DraftKings Casino$6,230,354
$1,032,542
MotorCity Casino HotelFanDuel Casino$5,970,361
$863,436
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
PokerStars Casino$1,777,519
$284,403
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
BetRivers$1,217,473
$194,796
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa IndiansWynnBET$649,725$103,956
Keweenaw Bay Indian CommunityGolden Nugget$440,668$70,507
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
William Hill Casino$122,014
$19,522
Hannahville Indian Community
TwinSpires$54,578
$8,733
Totals$27,538,672
$4,285,723

*represents the period from Jan. 22-31, 2021

**online casino revenue taxed at 20-28% based on earnings

US Online Casinos First Month Revenue Comparison

StateLaunch DateFirst Month Online Casino Revenue
MichiganJanuary 2021$27.5 million
New JerseyDecember 2013$7.38 million
PennsylvaniaJuly 2019$812,306
West VirginiaAugust 2020$763,065

Michigan Online Casinos Post Historic First Month Numbers

Eight different online casino platforms went live in Michigan on Jan. 22. Like the state’s online sportsbooks, Michigan’s mobile casino revenue numbers cover just ten days from Jan. 22 to the end of the month.

Even in that shortened period, Michigan’s online casinos posted far and away the best first-month revenue numbers in the history of the legal US market. The simultaneous debut of eight different casinos gave Michigan a big advantage over the other states on this list, each of which rolled out online casinos one brand at a time.

BetMGM takes the top spot in the January revenue figures, taking more than 40% of market share with $11,075,980 in Adjusted Gross Receipts.

DraftKings Casino ($6,230,354) and FanDuel Casino ($5,970,361) are both off to promising starts in Michigan, which shapes up as a major player in the US iGaming market based on the January numbers.

About the Author

Geoffrey Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.