Online sports betting in Michigan is about a month old, with many brands vying for market share. According to a survey conducted around the time betting began, there’s a lot of room for brands to make their mark.
A Westwood One survey conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 1 of 700 Michigan adults 21 and over found that 55% of respondents couldn’t name a sports betting brand. FanDuel led the way with 22%, followed by DraftKings (16%), BetMGM (11%), BetRivers (4%), and FOX Bet (3%). Barstool Sportsbook only received 1%, along with others. No brand has a commanding lead, per the survey, and initial betting handle data confirms this.
FanDuel and DraftKings are still enjoying the residual benefit of existing for years as popular DFS sites, which is an adjacent product to traditional sports betting. BetMGM is a strong brand in the market due in large part to MGM Resorts owning Detroit’s flagship casino.
Just about a 50-50 split here in terms of being able to name a brand arguably isn’t surprising considering the newness of the market. The percentage of Michiganders who can name a brand in the sports betting space will only increase as advertising in various forms continues to penetrate the state.
Overall, 72% of those surveyed were aware that sports betting had been legalized in the state. Interestingly, that awareness skews older. Recognition of the change was more than 80% among those 55+, compared with 71% for the 35-54 age group, and 57% of people aged 21-34.
That awareness breakdown by age group could be due in large part to retail sports betting, which began in Michigan in March 2020. Online betting didn’t kick off until nearly a year later. Visitors to retail casinos skew older. A survey question about interest in online betting seems to back this up.
Likelihood of dabbling with sports betting
Just 11% of respondents aged 55 and over deemed themselves “very” or “somewhat” interested in betting on sports via the internet, with the interest growing to 38% for 35-to-54-year-olds and 43% among younger adults.
There could be another dynamic at play. Typically, older folks pay more attention to general public policy news. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to legalize online sports wagering in late 2019, but it’s common for people to erroneously (but understandably) assume legalization arrived when the first apps launched. The same survey question in the near future could yield quite different results.
The first 10 days of sports wagering in Michigan generated more than $115 million in handle, according to figures from the state. The survey found 7% of Michiganders 21+ placed an online bet during that period. The survey also found that 25% of self-identified sports fans did so.