After a strong showing in 2022, Caesars Sportsbook and Online Casino is looking to make a push as Michigan’s fourth biggest operator.
While BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings have created distance from the rest of the online operators in Michigan, Caesars is starting to heat up.
Getting into Michigan midway through 2021, Caesars has shown consistent growth over the past 17 months and ended 2022 on a high note.
Caesars took over William Hill midway through 2021
Caesars didn’t join the fray in Michigan until August of 2021.
That previous spring, it finalized a $3.7 billion purchase of William Hill. With William Hill running an online operation in Michigan upon launch, Caesars rebranded the platform with its name and was off and running.
The Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians originally struck the partnership with William Hill as its online platform. They run Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, as well as Leelanau Sands Casino.
Success with William Hill was minimal.
The Michigan online sportsbook never surpassed more than 4% of the online handle market share in any month. The online casino in Michigan never generated more than $600,000 in revenue for a given month.
Caesars finished 2021 on the rise in Michigan
Timing certainly was on Caesars’ side for a strong start in Michigan. It launched just prior to the start of the football season and used heavy ad promotion to get its name out there.
It had immediate payoff for Caesars Sportsbook MI, which grew in online handle market share in each of its first fourth months. Caesars topped out in November of 2021 with 7.99%.
In Q4, Caesars tallied $112.8 million in online handle, more than the previous nine months combined between itself and William Hill. The Q4 total only put it behind the Big 3, as well as Barstool Sportsbook ($127.2 million).
The William Hill online casino never generated more than 1% of the monthly online revenue share in the state. By the end of 2021, Caesars Casino MI climbed to a 3.28% share. That December, it posted a record-high of just under $4 million in revenue.
While it landed Caesars just eighth of the 14 operators at the time, it was still a far cry from the $822,343 it did in its first full month of operation in August of 2021.
Caesars cut back on advertising in 2022
While you may have noticed a lot of Caesars sportsbook commercials during the 2021 NFL season, odds are you saw far fewer throughout 2022.
This past February, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg indicated that Caesars would be cutting back on their advertising this past year.
“You are going to see us dramatically curtail our traditional media spend, effective immediately,” Reeg said during a Caesars investors’ call. “We have accomplished what we set out to do. We set out to become a significant player, and it’s happened significantly quicker than we thought.”
With new user acquisition not as big a concern in a mature market like Michigan, Caesars cut back on its ads throughout the state.
That didn’t stop it from having a strong year. No collective online operation saw bigger gains in 2022 than Caesars.
Caesars Sportsbook Michigan climbs market share ladder in 2022
While Caesars/William Hill finished a distant fifth in online sports betting handle for 2021 ($192.6 million) in Michigan, it finished fourth in 2022.
The past 12 months saw Caesars Sportsbook bring in $341.3 million. That edged Barstool ($339.8 million) for the fourth spot in the state.
Caesars 77.16% growth in handle year-over-year from 2021’s combined effort with William Hill was the second-most of any online operation that was available at Michigan’s initial launch. Only BetRivers Sportsbook MI (78.02%) was better.
Caesars consistently recorded more than 7% of the online handle market share each month, topping out with 8.86% in February.
In Q1 of 2022, Caesars recorded $109.6 million in online handle. In Q4, it recorded $106.8 million. By comparison, Barstool posted $109.9 million in Q1, but dropped to $91 million by Q4.
Caesars Casino Michigan had massive growth in 2022
Caesars Online Casino continued to build in the early months of 2022, but it really took off starting in the spring.
With the announcement of World Series of Poker MI launching at the end of March, it gave Caesars an additional boost.
Michigan online poker revenue is mixed in with the overall online casino revenue reports in the state.
Starting in April, Caesars would set a new monthly revenue high at $5.9 million. It would go on to surpass that mark five different times throughout the rest of 2022.
Things peaked in December with $7.2 million in revenue, a new monthly record by 12.1% ($6.5 million in May).
Altogether, Caesars brought in $66.2 million in iGaming revenue for 2022. That finished fifth in the state.
Even more eye-opening is it was a 429.6% jump from the 2021 combined efforts of Caesars and William Hill. Last year the two generated just $12.5 million in yearly revenue.
What 2023 has in store for Caesars in Michigan
As good as 2022 was for Caesars, 2023 could see the online operator continue to make waves.
While Michigan sportsbooks have hit a plateau collectively, Caesars will look to build on its status as fourth in the state of Michigan.
For the online casino, we could see even further gains for Caesars.
Already coming off a record month in December, Caesars appears to be running with the trend of Michigan’s collective growth.
In 2023, WSOP MI will look to get its software up to standard to allow for interstate play. That would allow Michigan poker players to use the WSOP platform to compete against players from other WSOP-licensed states.
It would also lead to Michigan players being involved in larger WSOP Tournaments during bracelet season.
As of Thursday morning, Caesars Entertainment stock price sits at $51.85. While that is down 26% from a year ago, the price has been on the climb in recent weeks.
Caesars stock has grown 25% over the last month and 14% over the last five days.