Hard Rock’s Arrival Could Strengthen Online Casino Sector In Michigan

Written By Corey Sharp on April 25, 2024 - Last Updated on May 3, 2024
Woman stands in front of a way with a drawing of two huge arm muscles. On one bicep is the logo for Hard Rock online casino. On the other bicep is the out of the state of Michigan. The arrival of a Hard Rock online casino can make Michigan's market even stronger, based off the operator's performance in New Jersey.

Michigan can use New Jersey’s new revenue reporting style to make a rough determination of the impact Hard Rock could make in the Great Lakes State.

New Jersey recently joined Michigan as one of the only states to report online casino revenue by operator. The two states are neck-and-neck behind Pennsylvania, the leading US iGaming market, making them easily comparable.

Hard Rock has positioned itself to enter the Michigan market after acquiring 888 Holdings‘ US assets.

What could Hard Rock bring to Michigan based on New Jersey’s revenue report?

Hard Rock is not a FanDuel, DraftKings or even BetMGM. However, it is a strong operator that’s poised for success in the Great Lakes State.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently announced that it would start reporting revenue by operator starting this month, and include results from January and February, too.

Hard Rock has an online casino platform in the Garden State, which makes its performance easily detectable. In each of the first three months, the operator finished just outside the top five in revenue. However, it improved in each month:

  • January: $7.9 million
  • February: $8.8 million
  • March: $9 million

Hard Rock finished behind the usual market leaders, the aforementioned FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM. Borgata and Caesars rounded out the top five in the Garden State.

While there’s no shame placing behind those five operators, Hard Rock produced more revenue than respected platforms such as BetRivers and Golden Nugget, both of which operate in Michigan.

Hard Rock does have a retail casino located in Atlantic City, NJ, which certainly doesn’t hurt online revenue totals in the Garden State.

The Michigan online casino market recorded a state record $215.2 million in revenue in March.

Especially after acquiring 888 — whose platform Sports Illustrated announced a departure from the state — there’s no doubt Hard Rock would make the state’s online casino sector even stronger.

How Hard Rock must enter the Michigan iGaming market

Since buying 888’s US assets, Hard Rock does not have a free pass into the Great Lakes State. Michigan Gaming Control Board public information officer, Lisa Keith, told PlayMichigan earlier this month:

“They will need to apply for a license independently from 888/SI’s license and receive Board approval once the application process is completed.”

Should Hard Rock enter the market, it is assumed it will partner with the Hannahville tribe’s open license.

PlayMichigan reached out to the operator earlier this month on potential plans to the Great Lakes State. A spokesperson did not provide a timeline or information on a Michigan launch.

Despite the operator not being forthcoming, it’s extremely likely for Hard Rock online casino MI to be the next operator to enter the Great Lakes State.

Photo by PlayMichigan
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp joined Catena Media in 2022 and is the go-to expert for Michigan gambling. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, he previously worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia as a sports journalist and content producer. In Corey’s role as Lead Writer for PlayMichigan, he works alongside a talented team of expert journalists and analysts to bring you the most comprehensive and accurate coverage of gambling news in Michigan. Corey’s contacts around the industry makes him a trusted source. Corey produces daily stories and features about the gambling space. Corey graduated from Holy Family University in Philadelphia with a bachelor’s degree in sports management.

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