Michigan’s gaming control board reported Tuesday that the state’s Internet gaming revenue reached record levels in January. Internet gaming revenue for January amounted to $153.7 million beating the previous record set in December at $152.8 million.
Anticipated January revenue:
The $900,000 higher January revenue seems mainly generated by online casino games, as online sports betting generated only $33.6 million of the total revenue in the jurisdiction during the month. This sum represents only around 22% percent of the total month’s Internet gaming score in Michigan, as well as a 31.1% drop in comparison to the December sports wagering performance.
The Detroit News reports that the analysts from the industry consider the launch of internet sports betting across the border in Ohio as another factor that might have impacted the result of sports betting result in Michigan for the month. “The January revenue release was highly anticipated, particularly regarding sports betting. It was the first month with Ohio in the mix, and we have a comparison to a year ago when January set the state record for sports betting handle,” said Play Michigan lead analyst Paul Costanzo.
The impact from Ohio:
“The 7% year-over-year drop in the total handle is somewhat in line with recent trends, but Ohio being a factor certainly can’t be ruled out,” Constanzo added. Indeed, after legal sports betting was launched in Ohio on January 1, the software company Geo Comply recorded 11.3 million geolocation transactions in the state over the New Year’s weekend, which was more than any other monitored state, including New York with about eight million larger population.
Ohio led the US market after the launch:
The successful Ohio start-up was marked by the involvement of 16 online sportsbook operators accommodating 234,000 geolocation transactions already during the first hour of New Year’s Day. Over the first two days of January, around 784,000 unique accounts were created in the newly-regulated state. The extent of the sports wagering traffic in the jurisdiction after the launch resulted in its leading US market position at the end of the New Year’s weekend. New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan followed in the top five states.
Almost half of the American population can place their wagers online with legal operators competing to win customers. The growing number of regulated states in the US allows for more responsible gaming, but also creates a wider operator base from domicile or other jurisdictions to be referred to according to players’ preferences. While Michigan hit record levels in Internet gaming revenue in January to continue the strong trend, the months ahead will show whether the sports bettors from Michigan flocked to the Ohio online sports betting in January to take a look at the new market or pay a longer virtual visit.