Despite heavy promo spend, BetMGM fends off ESPN Bet in Michigan

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Image: Shutterstock / Tomasz Szymanski

In many states, ESPN Bet had such a big debut that they managed to jump past both Caesars Sportsbook and BetMGM, but that was not the case in Michigan.

BetMGM, which is the market leader in the state for online casino and buoyed by the presence of land-based venue MGM Grand Detroit, managed to hold off the opening weeks of ESPN Bet to maintain its third-place position in the sports betting market.

Of the $568.8 million in online sports betting handle across the state, FanDuel led the way with $213 million followed by DraftKings with $151 million. BetMGM held on to third with $77.8 million, while ESPN Bet jumped to fourth with nearly $50 million in bets.

It is important to note that the first month of numbers for the Penn Entertainment rebrand do only include two weeks of the app as ESPN Bet. The first full month of revenue under the new brand could produce a very different result.

In order to hit that number though, ESPN Bet spent over $16 million in promotional credit. The app posted $6 million in gross gaming revenue, but AGR amounted to nearly $10.1 million in losses after promotional spending.

By comparison, FanDuel spent nearly $7 million in promo credit and DraftKings posted a little less than $6 million in spending. BetMGM, on the other hand, was very conservative in that category, giving out just $2.5 million in credit.

On the online casino side, BetMGM held its lead with $46.7 million in revenue, but FanDuel was hot on its heels with $43.9 million in GGR. DraftKings rounded out the top three with $34.7 million.

Combined online casino operators had its best month of the year so far with $175.3 million in GGR and $157.8 million in AGR.

Between $32.9 million in contributions from online casinos and $740,000 from sports betting, online gambling generated $33.6 million in tax revenue for the state.