Will Strike Boost Michigan Online Casinos To Revenue Record In October?

Written By Drew Ellis on November 6, 2023
Edited image of a spooky-themed record for a story on whether Michigan online casinos will set a revenue record in October 2023

The month of October was certainly a newsworthy one for Michigan in terms of gambling.

Detroit casino workers went on their first strike, severely impacting the three Detroit commercial casinos.

October also saw the online casino revenue report for September, which was one of the highest totals the state has seen.

With Michigan online casinos continuing to expand on revenue, combined with the Detroit casino strike, will October’s online casino revenue report set a new record in the state?

Why Michigan could set a new online casino record in October

It doesn’t feel out of the question that Michigan online casinos could see a record revenue total in October.

There’s a lot that factors into it potentially happening.

September revenue growth jumped nearly 30%

Last month saw Michigan’s online casinos record $166.4 million in September revenue.

That was a big jump from August’s $152.2 million (9.3%), but an even bigger jump from September of 2022. A year ago, Michigan had just $128.7 million, meaning it grew 29.3% year-over-year.

The $166.4 million is the second-largest monthly total in the state’s history. The current record is $171.8 million, which came in March.

Michigan online casinos up 23% on the year

With September’s big month, Michigan online casinos are now up 23% in revenue through the first nine months of 2023 when compared to 2022 over the same span.

Michigan sits at $1.41 billion in online casino revenue right now through three quarters of the year. In 2022, it had $1.14 billion through the first nine months of the year.

Seasonal online casino growth?

Last year, Q4 is when the Michigan online casino revenue started jumping to another level. October 2022 had $141 million, which started a streak of four consecutive months with record revenue.

The fourth quarter of each year is a big boost for online sports betting as well. While online casinos don’t directly tie to sporting seasons, the football season does allow for stronger cross promotions between the online sportsbooks and online casinos.

Detroit casino strike started mid-October

The Detroit casino workers’ strike began on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

A total of 3,700 union casino workers began picketing the MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Hollywood Casino at Greektown.

The three Detroit casinos are operating well below 100%, which could be driving customers to their online casinos. An urge to avoid crossing a picket line could also see more players turning to the online product in October.

MGM Grand Detroit is partnered with BetMGM Michigan. They are lone tie that could still see retail customers earn MGM Rewards by playing the online product.

The same can’t be said for MotorCity Casino (FanDuel) and Greektown (Barstool).

What could Michigan’s October online casino revenue be?

With all the underlying factors, just what could we see for online casino revenue in Michigan for October?

Two of Detroit’s three partners are the biggest online casinos in Michigan in terms of revenue.

BetMGM’s previous record is $56.2 million (March), while FanDuel’s best came in September with $35.2 million.

Should those two alone see new high marks, that is over $90 million on its own.

If looking at the October 2022 number of $141 million, another 29.3% jump would see that come in at $182.3 million.

If sticking with the average growth of 23% for the year, that would see October’s 2023 revenue come in at $173.4 million.

With 31 days in the month of October, 14 of which saw commercial casinos severely hampered, I would expect October to produce a new record revenue. Look for it to be closer to $172 million than $182 million, but still get over that mark.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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