Skubick: Could online gambling threaten profits of the Michigan lottery?

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With the advent of online sports and casino gaming, there were huge concerns that money going into that would reduce the profits of the Michigan lottery.

SKUBICK: “On a scale of one to ten the michigan market is a…?”

“It’s a nine,” said Johnny Avello of DraftKings Gaming, a popular online gambling app.

Internet sports betting has been a hit in Michigan, and while the industry won’t disclose its profits suffice it to say…

“Michigan has been a big state for us,” said Avello.

Avello said he can’t give any definitive numbers, though.

But early in the debate to legalize sports betting, there were some who worried that betting dollars going in that would siphon away profits from the Michigan Lottery.

Governor Gretchen whitmer refused to sign off on State Rep. Brant Iden’s legislation because, as she knew, lottery dollars go into schools. Iden told her it would not be a problem.

And he was right.

The Lottery Bureau reports retail ticket sales rose from $582 million to $705 Million. A 21% increase.

Online wagering went from $29 million last year to $68 million this year. A 135% boost.

Avello was surprised to hear of the lottery’s success.

“That means they must be doing fantastic, ’cause we’re doing great up there.”

So it seems internet gambling isn’t impacting the lottery’s profits.

“it’s a whole different type of wagering,” said Avello. “[The lottery] has core players and continues to have its core players. We bring something new to the state.”

University of Michigan is set to play UCLA tonight, which is sure to be a winning night for internet bookies.

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