WynnBet is leaving Massachusetts, but its last remaining online casino site will stay open in Michigan, at least for the time being.
WynnBet Casino’s operations in Michigan remain “under review,” a company representative told Bonus. That statement comes as the online gambling operator plans to finalize WynnBet Sportsbook‘s exit from Massachusetts online sports betting on Feb. 1. The latter doesn’t bode well for the future of the Wynn Resorts iGaming platform, considering the operator had promised to remain active in the Bay State and Nevada.
Seth Medvin — assistant vice president and marketing and communications professional with Wynn Sports Interactive (WSI) — told Bonus on Jan. 31:
The Michigan market remains under review. Nothing further to add from the original comments released in August.
In August, Wynn Resorts (Wynn Resorts 104,16 +1,70%) announced regarding WynnBet:
Operations in Nevada and Massachusetts will continue unaffected and operations in New York and Michigan remain under review.
WynnBet operates one of the nine sportsbooks in the Empire State.
For now, WynnBet also operates one of the Bay State’s online sportsbooks. However, on Feb. 1, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) is scheduled to vote on the WynnBET Notice of Intent to Cease Operations.
WynnBet Explains Its Massachusetts Exit
Bonus requested clarification about the seeming discrepancy and received the following from Medvin on Jan. 31:
Wynn Resorts has made the decision to cease mobile sports betting operations in Massachusetts. This will have no impact on the WynnBET Sportsbook at Encore Boston Harbor, nor will there be interruption or change in sportsbook operations.
The Michigan and NY market[s] remain under review per the original statement.
Wynn’s statement regarding Encore Boston Harbor means that the retail sportsbook will remain in place.
Las Vegas-headquartered Wynn Resorts operates land-based casinos in Nevada, Massachusetts (Encore Boston Harbor), Cotai, and Macau.
Unlike Massachusetts and Nevada, Wynn has no physical presence in Michigan, where WynnBet Sportsbook and Casino partners with Sault Tribe Online Gaming (STOG).
STOG is a Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians brand. The tribe owns and operates Kewadin Casinos in Michigan. So, the partnership is the reason the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) allows WynnBet to accept bets in the state.
How Michigan WynnBet Casino Is Performing
Bonus News Managing Editor Alex Weldon said on Jan. 31 about Michigan WynnBet Casino:
Their market share has dropped from 3% at the time of the August announcement to 1.7% in December. That’s ahead of where TwinSpires and Unibet were when they made their decisions to throw in the towel, but does a national retail brand like Wynn want to be a one- or two-state online gambling operator?
Weldon was referencing national iGaming when he mentioned Unibet by Kindred Group. Unibet is shutting down its US sites this year but was never among the 15 operators the MGCB allows.
On Jan. 19, Weldon reported Michigan online casino and poker rooms brought in $1.92 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2023.
Comparatively, Wynn’s physical properties generated $1.67 billion in operating revenue during Q3 2023 alone. On Nov. 9, Wynn stated that the Q3 2023 operating revenues represented “an increase of $782.2 million from $889.7 million” in Q3 2022.
Michigan iGaming Licenses are Limited
Although WynnBet hasn’t yet made up its mind about Michigan, Weldon believes we could start seeing speculation about which operator would replace it if it does exit the state.
For instance, Bally Casino doesn’t yet have a Michigan online casino presence. However, the brand owned by Bally’s Corporation passed on the opportunity TwinSpires presented.
TwinSpires was a Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) brand that stopped offering online casino gambling in Michigan on Sept. 6, 2022. SI Sportsbook replaced TwinSpires.
Meanwhile, Michigan WynnBet Casino is about to have new competition. On Dec. 12, the MGCB approved Fanatics Betting and Gaming’s (FBG) license transfer request for the PointsBet sites. FBG bought the US PointsBet businesses in August.
Regarding Weldon’s brand reputation question, this comment on Nov. 9 by Wynn Resorts CEO Craig Billings seems to address it:
Our third-quarter results reflect continued strength across our property portfolio. Our teams at Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor delivered a new third-quarter record … as we continue to elevate our properties above those of our peers.
As did statements from Wynn Resorts CFO Julie Cameron-Doe on Aug. 11:
In light of the continued requirement for outsized marketing spend through user acquisition and promotions in online sports betting, we believe there are higher and better uses of capital deployment for Wynn Resorts shareholders. While we believe in the long-term prospects of iGaming, the dearth of iGaming legislation and the presence of numerous other investment opportunities available to us around the globe have led us to the decision to curtail our capital investment in WynnBET to focus primarily on those states where we maintain a physical presence.
Meanwhile, WynnBet says it “is closing operations immediately” in every planned state but Arizona. So, the online gamblers seeing “officially closed” notices from WynnBet reside in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.