Michigan’s online gambling industry continues to see a lot of activity over the last month.
We’ve already seen operators cease operations, sell operations and switch operations just in the last few weeks.
Now, WynnBet is closing its online operations in eight states while putting its operations in Michigan under review.
Will WynnBet become the latest Michigan online casino and online sportsbook to wave the white flag?
WynnBet Michigan under review for closing operations
On Friday, Wynn Resorts announced that it would be closing its online casino and online sportsbook markets in eight different states as soon as possible.
Not included in those eight states is Michigan. However, the company says it is reviewing operations here, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that it could close in the future.
“In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders,” Wynn Chief Financial Officer Julie Cameron-Doe said of the decision in a press release.
The eight states where WynnBet will end operations are:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
WynnBet Michigan online casino more successful than its sportsbook
WynnBet has struggled to make a big impact nationally with its sports betting handle, holding just under 1% of the market share.
In this state, WynnBet Michigan has even less of an impact, accounting for 0.66% of the sports betting market share.
Since launch, WynnBet has amassed just $73.4 million in handle and $4.1 million in revenue.
WynnBet Casino MI has had more success, which is why WynnBet could be leaving the door open to remain in the mitten.
WynnBet Michigan is sixth all-time in online casino revenue for the state at $131.8 million. That accounts for 3.63% of the state’s iGaming revenue market share.
In the release, WynnBet cited the slow process of online casino gaming expanding throughout the country as a factor in its decision.
Clearly, if it was able to duplicate the success of Michigan’s online casino revenue in other states, that might have helped supplement that lack of revenue from its online sports betting efforts.
What would WynnBet Michigan closing mean for the state?
If WynnBet concludes its review and decides to end operations in Michigan, that just leaves another pair of licenses open for a new online operator to take over.
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, which own and operate Kewadin Casinos, are the online partner of WynnBet here in Michigan.
We have already seen in recent weeks an opening of a new sportsbook license in the state with Fox Bet closing operations.
We also have seen Fanatics set to take over online operations of PointsBet, as well as Penn Entertainment switching its online platform from Bartstool to ESPN Bet/Hollywood Casino online in the near future.
Who could potentially replace WynnBet Michigan?
A lot of change is happening, but there should be no shortage of suitors to take over WynnBet’s licenses should they elect to leave.
Circa Sports is operated by Detroit native Derek Stevens and is establishing more of an online footprint in recent years.
Other operators like Tipico and Betfred are also established in neighboring states like Ohio and Iowa and would make sense to land here in Michigan if given the opportunity.
Unlike the Fox Bet opening, WynnBet leaving the state would give a new operator a chance to run an online casino as well as an online sportsbook. That added online casino revenue opportunity is hard to ignore and makes Michigan a more attractive landing spot.
It’s also not out of the possibility that Kewadin Casinos and the tribe could opt to go with a name-brand online casino and sportsbook.
We already have four tribes making a similar effort in the state, taking in a larger piece of the revenue pie than if it used a national brand to run operations.
Already having its first partner leave could sour the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians from wanting to work with another national brand.
Time will tell, but any Michigan online license that becomes available isn’t likely to be available for very long.