PlayUSA Rewind: Michigan Online Gambling’s Impressive First-Month Revenue

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 24, 2021

We are in the thick of the legislative season. That special time of year where some lawmakers are returning to state capitals and others are turning into cats on zoom calls.

It’s a magical time of year where one can actually watch bills die and witness the very few rise to the top.

This week, Michigan online sports betting revenue figures debut to thunderous applause, Vermont lawmakers discuss sports betting, TopGolf and BetMGM strike a deal, and much more.

On the rewind:

Michigan online sports betting only needed 10 days to leave its mark

Michigan online gambling launched on Jan. 22 and it’s already turning heads. According to data from the state gaming board, in the first 10 days of operation, sports betting handle was $115.2 million. Combined with the retail handle, which was $35.7 million, and you get $150.8 million for the full month of January.

Michigan online casinos in Michigan also contributed to the 10-day effort by collecting $29.4 million in gross revenue.

The takeaway: People expected big things from MI online gambling, but I don’t think they expected this. Online P0ker Report writes if you extrapolate Michigan’s first 10 days based on a daily average of $2.94 million, in one full month of operation, Michigan online casino could have earned $91.1 million had they been in business beginning Jan. 1.

Vermont latest to discuss sports betting

After several defeats in 2020, lawmakers will once again try to legalize sports betting in Vermont.

A handful of state senators led by Sen. Dick Sears filed S 77, authorizing Vermont sports betting through the lottery. The bill would also allow up to six mobile sportsbooks.

The takeaway: This is still very early in the deliberation process. At only 15 pages, the bill is relatively short and doesn’t give many specifics. However, Vermont is noticing the changing landscape. The state borders Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, all of which either have sports betting or, are in advanced talks to authorize it.

Barstool sportsbook coming to New York, eventually

Twenty years is a long time. It’s just six short of the 14-year deal Fenando Tatis Jr. signed with the San Diego Padres.

But like the Padres, perhaps Penn National Gaming sees something we don’t. The company recently announced a 20-year partnership with Rivers Casino & Resorts, which could mean the start of New York sports betting apps and online casinos – subject to legislation being enacted.

Penn National currently operates online sports betting in Pennsylvania and Michigan and plans to be live in 10 states by the end of 2021.

The takeaway: New York is viewed by many as one of the top gaming markets should online gambling ever become a reality. Penn operates the widely popular Barstool Sportsbook, so it’s a smart business move to get in on the ground floor.

BetMGM partners with TopGolf

Nothing like golf, beers, and sports betting.

BetMGM recently announced a multi-year deal with TopGolf, which will include branding and rewards program integration between the two companies.

The deal only affects locations where BetMGM operates and a TopGolf driving range is located. That means the list is limited to Las Vegas, Nashville, Detroit, and Denver.

To be clear, this is not a physical sportsbook inside TopGolf locations. This is, for now, a way for customers to possibly earn TopGolf rewards by placing a bet on the BetMGM app.

The takeaway: TopGolf, much like online sports betting, tends to cater to a younger generation. It’s only smart that BetMGM looks to capitalize on this shift in dynamics as more states attempt to legalize sports betting.

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Illinois sports betting market still No.4 in US

Our last story once again brings us to The Land of Lincoln.

Illinois once again set another monthly record by collecting $491.7 million in sports betting handle for December. A large portion of this was via online sports betting in Illinois.

The numbers keep Illinois locked in as the No.4 sports betting market in the US, right behind Pennsylvania, which recorded $548.6 million in handle for December.

Is there a chance the state moves up in the rankings? Maybe, but several other online operators would have to launch, and a full return to land-based casinos would be needed.

The takeaway: For now, it appears Illinois has hit its ceiling. The market grew by only $42.5 million from November to December. But, we are still in the thick of a global pandemic. There is still lots of ground to make up.

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Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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