Mobile sports betting can’t launch soon enough for Michigan’s casino industry. Detroit’s trio of commercial casinos spent much of 2020 shut down due to COVID-19.
The three properties (MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino Hotel, Greektown Casino Hotel) were allowed to operate at just 15% capacity from August through mid-November. Another month-long shutdown went into effect from Nov. 18-Dec. 21.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board hopes for a launch of online sports betting sometime in January. Each day that goes by without online sports betting means more lost revenue for Michigan’s commercial casinos.
When mobile sportsbooks do go live, Michigan stands to take a spot among the top sports betting markets in the US. In each of the top six US sports betting markets, online wagering produces the overwhelming majority of overall betting handle.
October 2020 Sports Betting Handle (Top Six US Markets)
|Overall Betting Handle||Mobile Betting Handle||% Handle From Mobile||MTM Handle Change|
|New Jersey||$803,096,172 ||$743,899,049||92.6%||+7.3%|
Online Sports Betting Will Make Michigan A Top US Sports Betting Market
Mobile sportsbooks produce 90% or more of overall handle in three of the top four sports betting states. New Jersey launched online sports betting in August 2018 and topped the charts in sports betting handle among US states in every month of 2020.
New Jersey’s emergence as the nation’s biggest sports betting market is bolstered by online wagering. The Garden State set a new US record with more than $803 million in betting handle generated in October. Mobile sportsbooks took 92.6% of those bets.
Pennsylvania and the surging Illinois market see similar trends, with online sportsbooks producing the vast majority of betting activity. Illinois launched online sports betting in June, and in just five months the state has vaulted into the nation’s No. 4 sports betting state.
Both Pennsylvania (89.8% from mobile) and Illinois (94.3%) set new highs in betting handle in October, with mobile sportsbooks dominating the market in each state.
Michigan’s Mobile Sportsbooks Will Generate 90% Of Handle
Michigan’s land-based casino landscape includes the three Detroit casinos, as well as more than 20 tribal casinos located throughout the state. Tribal casinos aren’t obligated to close when Michigan lawmakers issue COVID-19 emergency orders, but many of those properties did cease retail operations at times in 2020.
Looking ahead to 2021, both commercial and tribal casinos face challenges that will affect the bottom line as the uncertainty of the pandemic continues next year.
Mobile sports betting shattered expectations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois in 2020, with those three states taking $1.6 billion in combined online wagers through October. Michigan’s mobile versus retail betting handle projection will look a lot like those states.
Revenue 2021 Projections
MichiganSharp.com projects that 90% of bets will come from mobile in 2021. We project that Michigan’s sports betting industry could earn $400 million in revenue in the first full year of operations, but the state’s casinos can’t achieve that potential until online sports betting gets the green light.
Potential shutdowns and limited capacity requirements at land-based casinos could boost the mobile share even higher than 90% next year. Retail and tribal casinos can offer online sports betting under Michigan law.
No less than 15 online sportsbook brands are set to launch in Michigan in 2021. Industry leaders like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, BetRivers, and PointsBet all await the go-ahead to live in the Wolverine State.
If the state’s mobile wagering apps can get up and running early next year, 2021 stands to be a lucrative year for the nation’s next big sports betting market.
Learn more about Pre-Launch Bonus Offers at Michigan Sportsbooks.