Michigan’s online casino industry doesn’t appear to be hitting any speedbumps in the near future.
Some may have expected a summer lull for June, similar to what we saw in 2022.
However, Michigan put up another top-5 all-time month with $151 million in revenue. It even bested May’s total.
Just when we think Michigan online casinos are going to slow down or start to plateau, they hit us with another surprising number.
So, why is it all happening?
What have online casinos been able to do to continue to grow and build that sports betting seems to have lost in the later stages of 2022?
Well, that answer is a collection of answers that all sum up just why the iGaming industry in the state continues to flourish.
Where Michigan online casinos stand
So far in 2023, Michigan is setting a torrid pace for online casino revenue.
Following June’s $151 million, the state sits at $934.6 million for the first six months of the year. That total is 24% greater than the first half of 2022 ($757 million).
If Michigan can duplicate that growth in the second half of the year, it would push the state to nearly $2 billion for the year.
That would be quite a jump after recording just $1.11 billion in revenue in the first year of 2021.
Five reasons Michigan online casinos are still growing
Online casinos have better Return-To-Player Ratios (RTP) on their slot games than retail casinos do.
RTP indicates the expected payout return from a slot for the money wagered over its lifetime.
Most RTP for online slots range in the 93-97%. That means that consumers will receive that collective percentage back over the lifetime of the game.
However, land-based casinos have slots that sit closer to 85%, with some even sitting in the high 70s. The reason for the difference is that operational costs are greater for retail slots. The lower RTP helps make up for that cost.
Time and efficiency
One of the obvious reasons consumers could be opting for an online casino is the ease in which they can gain access.
Instead of planning out a trip and carving out a chunk of time to visit a retail casino, they can sit in the comfort of their home and play on their phone, tablet or computer.
It also allows them to play these games in smaller increments, but could allow for multiple visits a day to their online casino of choice.
For table games, with live-dealer options now available at all of Michigan’s online casinos, it can save the player having to spend an unknown about of time away from home. Playing blackjack or poker from the comfort of home could provide an advantage in play to the minds of some.
People love their phones
Let’s be honest, mobile phones have become one of the most addictive, if not the most addictive, products most of us own.
That’s not changing with younger generations either.
The Baby Boomers and Gen X have long settled into the smartphone industry. They have become a must-have for each member of the of the family. According to Zippia, about 85% of Americans use a smartphone.
Millennials are only expanding on that, using their mobile devices in nearly every phase of their lives.
That includes all forms of gaming. For adults, online casino gaming is certainly starting to factor in in the states where it is legal.
Each day, a greater percentage of the population is getting more comfortable doing daily tasks from their phone. That includes things like work and grocery shopping. It certainly also includes gambling.
It may be sugarcoating it to say the Michigan weather hasn’t been great in 2023.
We are all well aware of how long winters can drag on in this state. That certainly was no different. The Upper Peninsula got 2 feet of snow in early May.
As things warmed up, we have seen some unique weather factor into our ability to be outdoors.
Canadian wildfires created poor air quality throughout many parts of the state for weeks. Cities were urged to avoid outdoor activity for stretches of time.
In June, 13 days of the month saw Detroit labeled with Moderate to Unhealthy air quality. Twice during the month, the IQAir Air Quality Index ranked Detroit as one of the worst cities in the world for air quality in that given day.
Like it or not, if people are indoors, they still are looking for entertainment and online casinos can satisfy that need.
Jumping on a trend
There’s a large part of the population that wants to be in on what is trendy.
It’s how social media has taken over many of our lives.
Well, online casinos are what’s trending over the last year and the more popular they become, the more new customers they will attract.
Online casino operators have a large presence on social media and are connecting with the young adult generations.
Operators share promotions and big wins on their accounts, which creates buzz. When someone sees a big win online, it’s hard not to think what they’d do with those winnings.
Similar to when Mega Millions gets more customers as jackpots get larger and start trending, more and more are going to turn to online casinos as they continue to succeed and offer larger payouts.
Don’t expect online casinos to slow down
The online casino industry is still very much in an infancy stage here in the United States.
Michigan is just one of six states with legalized iGaming. While online sports betting has hit nearly half of the country, online casinos have been a much greater challenge for legislators to piece together in their states.
As states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey continue to add sizable chunks of tax revenue through online casinos, you can bet legislators are going to find those missing pieces to get it brought to their state.
Worldwide, online gambling has a very bright future. According to Arizton, the global online gambling market is expected to be valued at $213.58 billion by 2028. It is currently valued at $105 billion.
Reasons behind the expected growth are the developments of virtual reality technology.
VR systems are growing in interest for gamers and likely will become part of the online gambling industry in time.
Imagine a VR casino experience where you can roam the gaming floor looking for your game of choice while interacting with other VR players and live dealers.
If you can’t get to the casino, the casino will be brought to you.