Figures released last week by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) showed that online casino revenue in the state grew by a steady 3.4% month over month in July.
These growth figures look even more impressive, given the overall decline of online gambling revenue for the month. Thanks to a drop of 21.6% in online sports betting for the period, the state saw an overall 2% drop in revenues from June to July.
The raw numbers show that July saw $92.3m generated by online casino, and a further $19.6m from sports betting.
This was the fourth consecutive monthly drop in internet gambling in Michigan, and there was an inevitable corresponding hit to tax revenues, with online casino sending $17.1m and sports betting just $762,220 to the state coffers.
Why has there been such a sharp drop in sports betting activity?
The sports betting vertical is notoriously seasonal in nature, and with no NFL in the spring and early summer, Michigan gamblers have had less events to bet on. The NHL wrapping up in early July also played a factor here, with just the NBA and MLB providing sports bettors with interesting action throughout the month.
The online casino vertical continues to show steady growth
Much of the low activity in sports betting seems to have been redirected towards the casino vetical, which is also at least partly explained by July seeing the launch of live Evolution casino games in the Wolverine state.
But the land-based casino scene continues to be the star in Michigan
Despite online casino showing strong growth, the 3 Detroit-based casinos continue to be the star attraction for Michigan’s gamblers, raising over $115m in revenue in the month of July. Summer weather, as well as the lifting of lockdowns and mask mandates in the state has given a boost to land-based venues such as the MGM Detroit. However, the autumn could be an interesting one, as Governor Whitmer might well come under increasing pressure to bring back restrictions that would inevitably end up affecting physical casinos.
The future of online casino in Michigan looks stronger than ever
Despite the doubts of many back in January, the future of online gaming looks very positive, as just 7 months after launching in the state, Michigan’s online casinos are challenging the land-based casino scene for revenues and tax receipts. The non-seasonal nature of the business also makes it an attractive cash cow for the state government. Moreover, the continuing expansion of the live casino vertical suggests there is plenty of room in Michigan for growth in terms of product lines.