- FanDuel will be partnering with the Motor City Casino in Detroit.
- With the deal, all three non-tribal casinos in Michigan have sports betting deals.
- Competing companies now have an uphill battle to access Michigan’s potentially huge betting market.
DETROIT – New York-based sportsbook FanDuel is reportedly partnering with Detroit’s Motor City Casino to open a retail sportsbook on the property. FanDuel will also operate an online sportsbook for the casino as soon as state legislators finish drafting necessary regulations for online sports betting.
Motor City Casino was the last of Michigan’s three non-tribal casinos to secure a sports betting partnership. The other two Michigan sportsbooks are operated by MGM and Penn National—large corporations with experience operating sportsbook.
DraftKings, FanDuel’s biggest competitor, is notably still without a sports betting partnership in Michigan.
Other major corporations, including Fox Bet, PointsBet, and William Hill, have inked deals with tribal casinos to secure access to a potentially lucrative Michigan market. For DraftKings to access the Michigan market, they will likely need to go a similar route.
All three of Michigan’s non-tribal casinos are located in Detroit, meaning there will likely be fierce competition to attract the city’s 700,000 residents.
Now that the practice has been legalized, operators in Michigan are scrambling to launch sports betting prior to the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The tournament, known colloquially as March Madness, annually draws more betting action than any other event besides the Super Bowl.
Both the University of Michigan (six-seed) and Michigan State University (three-seed) are projected to make the tournament’s 68-team field in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology projections. This should ensure that local interest in betting on the event remains high.
Michigan’s legalization bill was only passed in December so the three-month projected turnaround is ambitious. The rewards would be sweet, however, as Michigan sports betting should be highly profitable.
Michigan Sports Betting Outlook – Huge Business Potential
Despite the fact that Detroit’s population has been steadily declining since 1990, Michigan’s total population is still close to 10 million—the tenth-highest state population total in the country.
Michigan also features a full range of major teams to bet on—two major Division I teams, franchises in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL. The combination of heavy sports interests and a high population should eventually transform Michigan into a premier legal sports betting market.
Using a projection method that utilizes per capita averages from other states that have legalized sports betting (but excludes betting tourism hotbeds like New Jersey and Nevada), Michigan projects to handle about $1.5 billion in bets every year. At the national average hold rate of 6.97%, this would generate sportsbooks $104.3 million in revenue annually.
If state and casino officials find a way to market betting tourism to sports fans in Wisconsin and Ohio, and if they can maximize the potential of online betting, those totals could be even higher.
Don’t expect Michigan to come anywhere near those totals in 2020 though. Aside from a mid-March projected launch, three casinos in the same city won’t be able to generate well over a billion dollars in wagers.
Online sports betting is expected to launch in 2021. If it proves popular, that could help Michigan reach these projected marks by 2021 or 2022.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.