BetMGM Casino Could Owe Its Michigan Dominance To Simple Recognition

Written By Derek Helling on January 26, 2023
BetMGM Michigan online casino dominates market

BetMGM dominates the Michigan online casino market for revenue production. While many factors play a part in BetMGM’s success in the state, the familiarity and simplicity of the branding trigger human psychology in an effective way.

Psychology shows that repetition and simplicity are two surefire memory strategies. BetMGM Casino employs somewhat of a different vehicle for familiarity.

BetMGM Michigan online casino is more than winning

When it comes to the breakdown of Michigan’s online casino revenue, BetMGM’s share is like the defense budget of the United States of America compared with the rest of the world’s nations. There’s no comparison.

Over the first two calendar years of legal online casino play in Michigan, BetMGM is the only licensee to collect over a billion dollars in hold (the amount of money gambled minus winnings paid out). The total hold for all Michigan online casino apps during those two years comes to $2.7 billion.

Another way to look at it is out of every $10 that Michigan online casinos collected from players during that time, BetMGM won about $3.70 of that amount. That left around $6.30 of every $10 for all the other operators in the state.

With such a strong performance, it’s fair to question what’s behind BetMGM’s market dominance. There are some fairly obvious but important factors.

Game variety and a high pay-out rate make a good product

What makes a good online casino app? Among those factors are variety and a high return-to-player rate. With over 1,800 different slot titles and 100 table games, BetMGM can keep the most avid players interested.

For example, between December and November of 2022, BetMGM added DWG Games, Play’n Go titles, and its Lions-themed games to its Michigan menu.

BetMGM also has an exclusive studio for live dealer games in Michigan. That complements its high payout rate with frequent lucrative jackpots.

In 2022, BetMGM says it paid out over $100 million in such wins with $38.3 million of that going to Michigan players according to Paul Costanzo of PlayMichigan.

Additionally, BetMGM has a strong reputation as a dependable and user-friendly app with deposit and withdrawal options that are as easy as the law allows. However, the competition also has solid app experiences.

There’s another element that hits at the core of why certain brands are more successful than others. While it might be simple, overlooking human psychology is a path to ineffective marketing.

Brand recognition is the “mane thing” behind BetMGM’s success in Michigan

BetMGM has an advantage over other online casino brands in Michigan in one way. It’s the only such app in Michigan to share its branding and name with a Detroit commercial casino.

The MGM Grand Casino opened in Detroit in 1999 and continues offering a variety of entertainment today.

While Penn National does operate a Hollywood Casino website that offers free-to-play promotional online games, it is not an advanced deposit, real-money online casino. For that reason, that website doesn’t count in this discussion.

Michiganders became familiar with the MGM name and that iconic lion’s head with a full mane over decades before the legalization of online casino play. For that reason, when BetMGM took its online casino app live in Michigan, it had somewhat of a “head start.”

But how powerful is such brand familiarity? Some research points out why companies should never dismiss the impact of recognition.

How brand power impacts our spending decisions

There is a wealth of research on the psychology of spending. Two prominent studies speak to the power of brand recognition specifically.

A 2020 study from researchers in four countries found that consumers’ familiarity with brand logos and names had a strong correlation with cognitive process efficiency. That just means the more frequently people have been exposed to brand trademarks, the less energy and time they have to expend figuring out what those brands are about.

A 2021 study takes that further. It confirms that consumers in the study group had a bias toward the path of least resistance in selecting brands. When you combine these two effects, the explanation for why brand familiarity is so important is very simple.

The more familiar a consumer is with a brand, the easier it is to recall what that brand is about and how they feel about it. That, in turn, makes selecting that product or service more likely. For the sole reason that making such a choice is easier.

Combine that brand familiarity with BetMGM’s highly competitive product and it’s clear why BetMGM is the dominant player among Michigan online casinos. You could argue that MGM started laying the groundwork for winning Michigan in this way when it broke ground in Detroit.

Photo by PlayUSA
Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

View all posts by Derek Helling
Privacy Policy