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Breaking Down the Numbers: How Michigan’s Online Gambling Revenue Could Serve as a Model for Chicago’s Economic Growth

Michigan’s online sports betting and online casino gambling platforms have seen steady growth, propelling it to the top of the US iGaming market. Chicago is thinking about legalizing online gambling, and Michigan’s success could serve as a model for the city’s future economic growth. This article will examine the iGaming market in Michigan, including the numbers and factors that contributed to its success, as well as the potential benefits and challenges for Chicago if it follows suit.

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Michigan’s sportsbooks and online casinos experienced significant growth in 2022, establishing the state as a market leader in the iGaming industry. Michigan’s sportsbook handle was 30-50% higher in 2022 than it was in 2021. Furthermore, the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) of sportsbooks in April 2022 was 53% higher than the previous year, and the AGR in May 2022 was 127% higher than the AGR in May 2021. However, sportsbook AGR decreased in November 2022 compared to November 2021.

In 2022, Michigan’s sportsbooks paid 181% of the state and city taxes they paid in 2021, making it a profitable year for the industry. Online casinos also saw significant growth, making just over $1 billion in 2021 and exceeding $1.4 billion in 2022.

Retail casinos in Detroit, such as MGM Grand Detroit (BetMGM), MotorCity Casino (FanDuel), and Greektown Casino (Barstool), brought in a total of $1.257 billion in revenue for 2022. Although this was slightly less than in 2021, the numbers were realistically nearly identical.

Most of Michigan’s internet gambling tax revenue comes from online casinos, a pattern that continued through 2022. This balance offsets the seasonality of sports betting and maintains a steady revenue stream.

Chicago’s Economic Situation

Chicago has long been known as a hub for various industries, with the manufacturing industry playing a vital role in the city’s economy. This sector accounts for over $92 billion in annual economic activity. However, despite the immense contribution of manufacturing, Chicago’s economy has experienced two consecutive quarterly dips in economic activity in 2022, sparking fears of a possible recession.

In light of this unsettling trend, it’s crucial that Chicago takes action to identify and develop new revenue streams. This is where Michigan casinos online come into the picture, serving as a great example of how online gambling could boost the local economy.

As we’ve seen, the current economic situation in Chicago calls for innovative solutions that can help generate additional income for the city. Being home to various sports teams and the increasing popularity of online activities, online gambling could be just the ticket to help boost Chicago’s economy.

Revenue Generation Opportunities Presented by Online Gambling

The legalization of online gambling has proven to be a major driver of economic growth in many states. Michigan online casinos are a prime example of this, having experienced a significant increase in tax revenue since the introduction of online gambling. This increase in revenue has provided vital funds for various public services, infrastructure projects, and education. In fact, within the first six months of its launch, online gambling in Michigan generated over $90 million in tax revenue, demonstrating its potential as a reliable source of revenue.

Chicago can look to Michigan’s success as a blueprint for implementing online gambling in the city. By legalizing and regulating online gambling, Chicago could tap into a new source of income that can be used to support its public services, infrastructure, and education system.

Moreover, online gambling can also create numerous job opportunities in the technology, customer service, and marketing sectors, further boosting the local economy. This, in turn, will help alleviate some of the economic challenges currently facing the city.

Potential Benefits for Chicago’s Economy

Chicago, the bustling heart of the Midwest, has always been a city of innovation, determination, and opportunity. As we explore new ways to stimulate economic growth, we can look to our neighbors in Michigan for inspiration. Their recent success with online gambling has proven to be a valuable model that could work wonders for Windy City. Let’s take a closer look at some of the potential benefits that could come with embracing online gambling in Chicago.

Increased Tax Revenue for the City and State 

MichiganSource: Image by Drazen on Freepik 

One of the most significant advantages of adopting online gambling is the increased tax revenue it could generate. In 2020 alone, Michigan collected over $90 million in taxes from online gambling and sports betting, a number that continues to grow as the industry expands. With these additional funds, Chicago could invest in much-needed infrastructure projects, educational initiatives, and public services, benefiting residents and businesses.

Job Creation in the Gambling Industry and Associated Sectors

Online gambling is a lucrative source of revenue and a job creator. The industry has generated over 3,000 direct and indirect jobs in Michigan since its inception. This is a conservative estimate as the industry continues to grow. With its larger population and workforce, Chicago could see even greater job growth in this sector. From software developers to customer service representatives, the online gambling industry offers many opportunities for Chicagoans to find stable and well-paying jobs.

Boost to Tourism and Hospitality Industries

With its stunning architecture, Chicago is already a popular tourist destination, it has world-class museums and a vibrant food scene. Embracing online gambling could further enhance the city’s appeal as a vacation hotspot. Drawing inspiration from Michigan’s recent success, we expect an uptick in tourism-related spending on accommodations, restaurants, and local attractions. This would create a ripple effect in the hospitality industry, fostering job growth and benefiting local businesses.

Opportunities for Local Businesses and Partnerships

Beyond the direct benefits of tax revenue and job creation, online gambling can spur many opportunities for local businesses and partnerships. From advertising and marketing services to software development and data analytics, businesses in various industries can find a niche in this thriving market. Moreover, local brick-and-mortar casinos could partner with online gambling platforms to offer their patrons an integrated experience, further solidifying Chicago’s reputation as an entertainment hub.


As we look to the future, it’s evident that Chicago has much to gain by following Michigan’s successful model for online gambling. The potential for economic growth, job creation, and increased tax revenue cannot be ignored, especially as the city faces the challenges of a potential recession. By embracing this thriving industry, Chicago can stimulate innovation, support local businesses, and improve the overall quality of life for its residents.

The lessons learned from Michigan’s iGaming market can serve as a guiding light for Chicago as it considers the legalization of online gambling. A carefully crafted and regulated approach, combined with public and private sector support, can transform Chicago’s economy and secure its place as a leader in the world of online gambling. 

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