Which Sportsbook CEO Expects To Be ‘Dominant’ In Michigan Sports Betting?

Posted on January 22, 2021
Michigan sports betting
Posted By on January 22, 2021

A new battleground for US sports betting opens Friday as the Michigan sports betting market goes live.

The usual suspects including FanDuel and DraftKings will be going live today as MI sports betting launches. And challengers like Barstool Sportsbook will be starting on even footing for the first time.

An outgoing executive with BetMGM thinks it has them all beat.

In a trading update on Thursday, BetMGM co-parent Entain said it expected the brand to lead the Michigan sports betting market.

“We clearly expect to be a dominant player in this market,” Entain CEO Shay Segev said. “I’ll be very surprised if it’s not a very strong state for BetMGM. I would expect us even to lead there.”

Strong retail presence in Detroit for BetMGM

Segev gave two reasons for his bullishness.

First, MGM has a powerful retail presence in Detroit. MGM Grand Detroit is one of just three commercial casinos in MI. MGM opened the BetMGM Sports Lounge there last March.

Secondly, BetMGM thinks it has landed on a winning formula for new state launches. Segev said the company had perfected which marketing tactics and customer propositions were most successful from launch in Colorado and most recently Tennessee.

“In the last 12 months, we learned a lot through launches,” Segev said. “We started exceptionally well in Tennessee, where we have a very high market share.”

Tennessee inly reported a single month of revenue thus far, though, making any claims about share hard to make with confidence.

Is there momentum for MI sports betting?

As part of the trading update, Entain upgraded BetMGM’s 2020 NGR forecast to $175 million to $180 million.

That’s up from the $150 million to $160 million guided to in October.

The brand has an 18% market share in sports betting and igaming in the states where it is live. That includes a 21% online betting share in states launched January to November 2020.  

Hot competition for sports betting in Michigan

Of course, BetMGM is far from the only firm expecting to lead the Michigan market.

Barstool has an interesting claim, with Penn National operating one of the other two commercial properties Greekstown.

Barstool personalities will be appearing at that casino throughout the month to support the launch. And founder Dave Portnoy has predicted Barstool to lead the way once all operators start from a level playing field.

FanDuel is partnered with the third commercial property, Motor City Casino.

Elsewhere, Michigan will also be an interesting testing ground for Churchill Downs. The company will be using the TwinSpires brand for the first time for sportsbook and casino. The operator has also signed up Brett Favre to promote the product, Can it improve upon the performance of BetAmerica?

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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