Sports Betting One Year Anniversary

  • Since Michigan launched state-regulated online sportsbooks on January 22, 2021, the state has grown into one of the top sports betting markets in the United States.
  • Virginia first launched sports betting on January 21, 2021 – since, the state became the quickest in the United States to reach $2 billion in sports betting handle.

LANSING, Mich. – Two major American sports betting markets – Michigan and Virginia – are approaching their one-year anniversary of launching regulated sports betting. Both states’ sports betting industries enjoyed very good fortune during their first year at market.

Michigan – One Year Anniversary Of Sports Betting Launch

2021 was an absolutely monumental year for Michigan’s legal sports betting industry (and the state’s regulated gaming industry at large). On March 11, 2020, Michigan’s first in-person sportsbooks launched in Detroit – nearly a year later, on January 22, 2021, a total of ten mobile sports betting apps launched in Michigan, completing the industry’s launch. Since then, the number of sportsbooks available in Michigan has grown to 14.

The launch of Michigan’s mobile sportsbooks came at an ideal time for sports bettors. On January 23, UFC stars Connor McGregor and Dustin Poirier squared off in their first rematch bout, while a day later, the NFL’s AFC and NFC Championship games were played. As a result, over 400,000 accounts participated in sports betting during the weekend of launch. This helped Michigan’s sportsbooks hit the ground running and establish a strong user base, which set the table for the solid figures that Michigan enjoyed for the remainder of the year.

A week after Michigan’s mobile sportsbook launch, the state launched its first state-regulated online poker site – PokerStarsMI – becoming just the fifth state in the U.S. (behind Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) to offer real-money online poker games. In the first week after PokerStarsMI, over 1,000 virtual seats were filled.

On July 22, Michigan began offering live-dealer online casino games, including blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. This proved to be a boon for online casino gaming revenues, as the live dealer removed suspicion of automated games and rekindled the social aspect of casino gaming. As a result, Michigan’s online casino gaming revenue spiked 3.5% in July, an increase that the industry has maintained since.

In February, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians became the first tribal entity in Michigan to offer online sports betting and casino gaming. Later in 2021, several other tribal entities joined the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians in offering online sports betting, including three casinos operated by Four Winds.

By October, Michigan’s legal sports betting industry had grown exponentially. In October, Michigan’s sportsbooks brought in a record-setting $109.7 million in revenue. October was no isolated success, either – barring an unlikely slump in December (December’s revenue figures have not been released yet), Michigan will end the year on an incredibly strong note, bringing in over $100 million in revenue for four consecutive months.

Virginia Approaches One-Year Anniversary Of Sports Betting Launch

Virginia officially launched their state-regulated sports betting industry on January 21, 2021. FanDuel was the first sportsbook available in the state with an exclusive partnership with the Washington Football Team, with 10 others launching in the subsequent year. Since launch, Virginia’s sports betting industry has been one of the strongest in the U.S., reeling in over $3 billion in cumulative handle in the first 12 months after launch.

FanDuel, the first to market, were graced with a two-day head start over DraftKings and BetMGM, the next two sportsbooks to launch. This head start paid huge dividends for FanDuel – by March, FanDuel had handled 53% of all wagers placed in Virginia. In November, the most recent month with available data, that share had dropped to a still-strong 42.7%, comfortably the most-used sportsbook in Virginia.

As Virginia’s legal sports betting market currently stands, Virginia’s four largest operators are FanDuel (42.7% of market share), DraftKings (26.8% of market share), BetMGM (17.8% of market share), and Caesars (8.4% of market share). These market shares did not come cheaply, however – these four operators combined for a whopping $85.5 million in promotional spending.

Virginia, like Michigan, has grown into one of the premier sports betting markets in the U.S., consistently placing inside of the top ten states’ monthly sports betting handle figures. As a result of this consistent performance, Virginia became the quickest state to reach $2 billion in sports betting handle. Virginia’s solid performance has persisted into the winter – in November, Virginia posted a record $48.3 million in sports betting revenue. With momentum on their side, Virginia’s sportsbooks are set for another incredible year.

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