Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the online gaming industry of Michigan has surpassed $175 million, the greatest level since the vertical’s inception in January 2021, according to an announcement by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). The current total tops the previous record set by the state in March 2023, when online casinos generated a GGR of $171.8 million, excluding the $37 million from online sports betting. Booming business for sportsbooks and the launch of ESPN Bet have both led to soaring revenue.
According to figures reported by officials at MGM Grand, BetMGM became the first operator in Michigan to rake in $46.7 million in GGR from online gaming alone over the course of one month alone. This belongs to a larger phenomenon, as online casinos have been growing steadily since last year. Compared to November 2022, when GGR stood at $145.4 million, this year’s figure represents a robust increase of 20.5%.
At this time, online gambling has become a significant source of tax revenue, with the City of Detroit anticipating that these funds will increase to over $81 million in a single year. The MGCB has also conducted more in-depth analyses of individual operators’ performance. MotorCity-managed FanDuel generated $43.9 million in revenue, while the online casino of DraftKings contributed an additional $34.7 million to the overall GGR.
A small part of this is the recent strikes in Detroit that shut down land-based casinos and sent many patrons to online versions.
However, the brick-and-mortar establishments of the internet-based casinos encountered challenges. Motor City, Greektown, and MGM Grand generated a combined revenue of $76 million from land-based casinos in November. This was a 24% decrease compared to the previous year. MGM Grand recorded a 34% decline in earnings to $30.6 million. Greektown’s earnings decreased by 11% to $20.7 million, while MotorCity’s revenues decreased by 18% to $24.7 million.
Despite these setbacks, there is still hope for land-based casinos since workers have begun to return following union negotiations. Councilmen have advised gamblers to stop gambling online and return to traditional casinos, but such requests appear to have fallen on deaf ears. The simplicity of connecting with dealers at any moment via a computer screen means that many people still prefer this option over actual physical visitation.
The changing face of gambling is seen in the fortunes of Michigan’s online and land-based gaming industries. Online platforms are breaking one record after another and accounting for an increasing proportion of tax receipts, while the labor issue is impacting traditional casinos that have been adapting to adjustments in consumer tastes. In the years to come, these two facets of the gaming industry will continue their dynamic relationship, which will profoundly impact Michigan’s gambling market.