PokerStars has some company in Michigan, as BetMGM’s online poker site launched somewhat unexpectedly on Monday in the Wolverine State. The poker platform, branded as BetMGM Poker, is already hyping a Tuesday evening $535 six-max Texas hold’em tournament to usher in the platform.
Only about 20 players were on the platform about an hour after launch on Monday morning, but traffic will pick up dramatically throughout the week.
Just under 20 players active on BetMGM Michigan online poker after about an hour of live play.
— Lance Bradley (@Lance_Bradley) March 22, 2021
BetMGM was sanctioned in late January by the Michigan Gaming Control Board to commence poker operations, and it was expected to launch its product not long after PokerStars, which debuted on Jan. 29. By mid-February, a late month launch looked likely, according to PokerFuse.
That timeline came and went, and, as a result, PokerStars has had nearly a seven-week running head start. By all accounts, it certainly seems PokerStars ran with it. The Michigan Gaming Control Board hasn’t released any revenue figures for online poker specifically, so it’s unknown what the rake has been so far.
However, for some proof, look no further than the inaugural Michigan Championship of Online Poker (MICOOP) series, which ended earlier this month. The main event of the series drew 1,284 entries at $300 a pop, with the winner taking home more than $56,000.
BetMGM’s entry into the poker world in Michigan should further solidify the online brand in the hearts, minds, and wallets of Michigan residents.
“The launch of BetMGM Poker in Michigan fully rounds out our premier gaming portfolio in the state,” said Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM’s chief executive officer, BetMGM. “BetMGM’s sports betting and casino offerings have been met with incredible early success in Michigan and we’re thrilled to provide players with another exciting gaming option.”
BetMGM strong showing thus far
Already, BetMGM’s online casino product is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, with the company booking some $26.9 million in gross receipts in February, the first full month of operation. To compare, second place was FanDuel at $16.6 million.
On the sportsbook side, BetMGM has acquitted itself very well against the purported big boys of FanDuel and DraftKings, finishing in a solid second place with a handle of $75.7 million, outpacing DraftKings, though lagging behind FanDuel’s $87.2 million.
Notable, however, was the fact that BetMGM was the only of the trio to score a profit, at $2.4 million.
Michigan marks the second state after New Jersey that BetMGM has launched its poker product.
To mark the debut of its product, BetMGM will be inviting all players in the state to a $50,000 Freeroll Invitational Tournament, scheduled Sunday, April 4.