PointsBet Launches Its First US Online Casino in Michigan

  • The Michigan Gaming Control Board gave its approval for the iGaming offering rollout
  • PointsBet is also planning to launch an online casino in New Jersey next month
  • The operator already has an online sportsbook live in Michigan and five other states
  • Betting handle for PointsBet’s US operations rose 431% y-o-y to US$372.6m in Q1 2020
red launch button on computer keyboard
PointsBet has launched its first online casino in the US market, going live in Michigan where it already has a sportsbook offering. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A landmark moment

PointsBet Holdings Limited has announced that its first US online casino is now up and running in Michigan. The Australia-based company revealed on May 5 that its PointsBet Michigan LLC subsidiary has gotten the green light to launch from the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The new offering includes slots, table games, and video poker.

The operator already has an online sportsbook live in Michigan through an agreement with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. The new online casino also comes through this partnership.

slots, table games, and video poker

PointsBet managing director and group CEO Sam Swanell spoke about how the process of building a team and developing the in-house proprietary online casino platform has been taking place over the past 18 months. He noted that the online casino launch in Michigan will complement the operator’s existing sports betting offering and “removes the disadvantage we have had with customer acquisition, retention and cross sell compared to those operators with iGaming.”

Further expansion plans

Michigan’s regulated online gambling market launched on January 22. Now, with the addition of PointsBet’s iGaming offering, there are 12 operators with both an online casino and sportsbook live in Michigan.

PointsBet plans to launch an online casino next month in New Jersey. It also has online sportsbooks operational in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, and New Jersey. The company previously stated its aim to have a market presence in 18 states by the end of 2022. Some regions where it currently has access include Pennsylvania, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Tennessee. It is also optimistic about the chances of Canada legalizing single-event sports betting in the near future. The operator is targeting a sports betting market share of at least 10% in each state where it launches.

market presence in 18 states by the end of 2022

PointsBet also believes in-play wagering will become hugely popular in the US sports betting market in the coming years. It estimates that in three years’ time, about 75% of all bets will be for in-play markets compared to the current proportion of approximately 50%. This is a reason why PointsBet acquired sports betting solutions provider Banach Technology for US$43m in March.

Cashing in on the US gambling boom

Online gambling in the US has been growing significantly in recent years. Revenues in the first quarter of 2021 across West Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey amounted to more than US$770m. Bank of America Securities has estimated that iGaming revenue in North America could hit US$7.6bn by 2025.

Online casino margins are a lot better than those from sports betting, which is why many sportsbook operators are also launching these types of platforms.

PointsBet recently reported its financial results for the first three months of 2021. In terms of its US offerings, total betting handle rose 431% year-on-year to AU$482m (US$372.6m) for the period. Its net win was AU$26.7m (US$20.6m) and its total active US users reached 127,470 in the first quarter, recording a 461% year-on-year increase.

By far its biggest US handle came from New Jersey and Illinois. Combined, these two states accounted for 40% of the operator’s global betting handle. According to the earnings report, PointsBet has a 7.5% online market share in Illinois and a 6.9% online market share in New Jersey.  

PointsBet’s Australian betting handle had a 47% share of the quarterly total.

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