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FanDuel Poised To Overtake BetMGM In Michigan As Online Casinos See Strong Start To 2024

Written By Alex Weldon on March 21, 2024 - Last Updated on April 17, 2024
Two horses with jockeys in a tight race.

In February, the US online casino industry posted its biggest single-month gains in three years, with daily average gross gaming revenue (GGR) rising almost 13%. The biggest beneficiaries varied by state, but for Michigan online casinos, FanDuel rode the wave to close much of the distance between itself and BetMGM, which has held the lion’s share of the market since it opened in January 2021.

The Rhode Island online casino market opened at the beginning of March, so we have yet to see its revenue performance. However, the other six states with legal online casinos have been off to a tremendous start to the year. In February, regulated US online casino and poker sites brought in a combined total of nearly $650 million — a national record and far more than the $610 million called for by the PlayUSA market forecast.

The last time the US saw such a sharp uptick in iGaming revenue was also during February — back in 2021. That September, the growth rate once again crept north of 10%. But for all of 2022 and 2023, it never again ventured into the double-digits.

Without many new operators launching or large state markets opening, the industry’s growth rate has generally been slowing down. This sudden acceleration could be an anomaly that will correct itself in the coming months, but it could also reflect improvements in consumer sentiment and the larger economy.

Will Michigan See A New Market Leader?

At the height of its dominance, BetMGM held 41% of the Michigan market. However, it has fallen to 27% and within one percentage point of losing the market lead to FanDuel Casino.
Credit: Alex Weldon / PlayUSA

Michigan is unique among the larger online casino markets, allowing only one online brand per land-based partner. That makes it easier to track market share battles there than in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, where the revenue numbers for most licenses combine those for several individual brands, with no way to separate them.

Since the first dozen online casino brands launched in Michigan in January 2021, BetMGM Casino has been the market leader. Its dominance has been weakening for a little over a year, however. Having held a steady share of between 35% and 40% through most of 2021 and 2022, it began a slow but steady slide in 2023.

Almost all of that lost market share appears to have gone to its closest competitors, FanDuel and DraftKings. Although the state’s smaller brands have been jockeying for position amongst themselves, Michigan’s 70/30 split between the “Big Three” and everyone else has remained almost unchanged.

In February, FanDuel cut the remaining gap between itself at BetMGM by two-thirds. We may see a marketing push by BetMGM to stay in the lead a while longer. However, longer-term trends suggest that FanDuel will be the marketing leader soon — if not when the numbers for March come in, then within a few months.

FanDuel Gaining vs. Both DraftKings & BetMGM

A second, more recent trend began in Q4 2023. Before then, those two long-time DFS rivals had been in lockstep in the Michigan online casino market. When BetMGM was gaining in share, DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino were both losing. When BetMGM’s decline began, its rivals both benefitted.

But now DraftKings has flatlined at about 20% market share since October. FanDuel has broken away and now sits at 25.8%, just one percentage point away from catching BetMGM.

At the height of BetMGM’s dominance, in August 2021, it held 40.9% of the market’s revenue. Two years later, it dropped below 30% for the first time and held just 26.8% in February.

Nationally, DraftKings Casino began claiming to have overtaken BetMGM as the market leader last year. It’s unclear why FanDuel is faring better in Michigan, though it might help to have one of the three Detroit commercial casinos as its partner. FanDuel operates on the MotorCity Casino license, while DraftKings partnered with Bay Mills Indian Community.

Online Gambling Revenue Highlights — Feb. 2024

Pennsylvania

  • PA online casino sites won $215.3 million in February 2024, up 32.6% year-over-year. That’s a massive rebound from a slower-than-expected 18.1% in January and the fastest rate the Keystone State has seen since September.
  • Daily average revenue jumped to $7.4 million, up 21.6% month-over-month.
  • Pennsylvania outperformed the PlayUSA forecast by 6.0% in February. Since it had underperformed by a slightly smaller margin in January, it is now just about in line with the projection for the year to date.
  • Penn Entertainment’s poor performance in January proved to be a temporary anomaly. It had seen a 15.5% drop in revenue then but bounced back and then some with a 38.8% increase in February. Table games revenue had fallen 34.3% in January but jumped 148% in February. (The Penn license hosts BetMGM, DraftKings, and its own Hollywood Casino and PointsBet.) 

New Jersey

  • New Jersey online gambling sites won $183.2 million in February 2024, up 22.9% year-over-year. That’s its fastest annual growth rate in two years.
  • Although the total for the month was similar to January, it took two fewer days to get there. Daily average revenue for New Jersey was up 6.0% to $6.3 million.
  • New Jersey online casinos have been off to a booming start to the year, beating the PlayUSA forecast by a substantial margin in both months. In February, it exceeded expectations by 7.5% and is ahead of the year-to-date estimate by 5.6%.
  • February was a particularly good month for the state’s smaller licenses. Bally’s, Hard Rock, Ocean, and Tropicana all saw double-digit percentage gains for the month. The brand-new Harrah’s license quadrupled its revenue, albeit only from $210,039 to $802,840.

Michigan

  • Michigan online gambling sites won $188.0 million in February 2024, up 22.5% year-over-year. That’s a rebound to September levels following a slower stretch over the winter.
  • The daily average revenue was $6.5 million, up 10.5% from January. The last time the state saw a double-digit percentage increase was November 2023.
  • PlayUSA’s forecast called for only a 4.4% increase in February, so the actual total beat the projection by 5.6%. Year-to-date, Michigan is now 2.6% ahead of the forecast.
  • It has been a rocky few months for Golden Nugget Michigan, whose market share has been yo-yoing. February was another bad month, with daily average revenue down 27.1% and market share at an all-time low of 2.5%, having been north of 4% as recently as October.

Connecticut

  • Connecticut online casinos won $43.7 million in February 2024, up 50.2% year-over-year. The Nutmeg State has managed to keep this growth rate above 50% in half of the last 12 months.
  • The daily average revenue was $1.5 million. That’s a monthly growth rate of 12.6%, the highest since the state’s record performance in September 2023.
  • Like other states, Connecticut is currently ahead of the PlayUSA projection but by a smaller margin. It beat the forecast by 4.2% in February, putting it up 0.6% year-to-date.
  • Both operators reduced the share of revenue they spent on promotions slightly in February. DraftKings continued to expand its market share to 58.6%. This may just boil down to natural fluctuation, however. Its share has risen and fallen over time but typically stays within a range of about 55% to 60%.

West Virginia

  • WV online casinos won $17.5 million in February 2024, up 33.2% year-over-year. That’s a bit of a drop from the unusually high growth rate in January, but still better than four of the previous six months.
  • The daily average revenue for the Mountaineer State was $602,175. That’s a 14.1% month-over-month growth rate, the best since October.
  • West Virginia was still ahead of the PlayUSA forecast for February, but not as much as in January. It beat the February projection by 3.2% and is 5.5% ahead year-to-date.
  • Mountaineer Casino, which hosts BetRivers and Caesars, was the hot performer for the month in West Virginia. Its daily average revenue jumped over 60%, though its market share remains a modest 18.8%. The race for market leadership is very tight now, between Charles Town (39.1%) and Greenbrier (38.7%). Greenbrier dominated the market for two years, from Feb. 2021 to March 2023, but the two have been trading the lead back and forth since then.

Delaware

  • BetRivers has continued to perform well as the new operator partner for the Delaware Lottery. Its February revenue in the state was $3.9 million, up from $3.4 million in its first month.
  • That makes for a month-on-month growth rate of 21.3% in daily average revenue, slightly better than most other states, in keeping with a new operator getting up to speed.
  • The annual growth rate continues to be staggering, now at 232.7%. This is due to the change in product from 888’s, which held the monopoly in the state since 2013 and was unpopular with players.
  • Slots grew about twice as fast as table games in February, with a monthly growth rate of 25.1% vs. 12.7%.

US Online Gambling Revenue Summary Table

StateGGR - February 2024Monthly ChangeAnnual ChangeMonth vs. ForecastFull Year TotalYear vs. Forecast
Pennsylvania$215,288,755+21.6%+28.1%+6.0%$404,591,315+0.2%
Michigan$188,032,274+10.5%+22.5%+5.6%$369,914,023+2.6%
New Jersey$181,531,956+6.0%+22.9%+7.5%$364,603,303+5.6%
Connecticut$43,710,131+12.6%+45.1%+4.2%$85,205,472+0.6%
West Virginia$17,463,082+14.1%+28.6%+3.2%$33,827,315+5.5%
Delaware$3,869,853+21.3%+232.7%+158.0%$7,278,797+142.6%
US Total$649,896,051+12.9%+26.4%+6.5% $1,265,420,225+3.0%

Notes on the Data

  • Raw data for this article comes from reports issued by the state regulators: the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Michigan Gaming Control Board, West Virginia Lottery, Delaware Lottery, and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
  • 2024 online gambling revenue projections are original calculations performed by Alex Weldon as a collaboration between Bonus.com and PlayUSA. Please cite PlayUSA and Alex Weldon if reporting projected numbers or market performance compared to the projections.
  • Monthly growth figures are adjusted for the number of days in the month. That is, they represent the change in daily average revenue, not full-month gross revenue.
  • West Virginia reports revenue weekly, not monthly. Its monthly totals are an estimate, assuming that revenue for partial weeks is distributed evenly between the seven days.
  • Pennsylvania only reports adjusted revenue (gross revenue, less promotional spending). Gross slots revenue is calculated by subtracting payouts from coin in, but no such data is available for table games and poker. Therefore, actual gross revenue is probably somewhat higher than what we report.

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