Online Gaming and Sports Betting is Expected to Launch in Michigan

Michigan is very close to launching online casino gaming and sports betting. This announced the executive director of Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), Richard Kalm, during the board’s monthly meeting.

In his statement, he pointed out that the approved operators, such as DraftKings and FanDuel are soon to be announced this month.

Kalm could not say a specific date or time, but he mentioned that it would happen any time before the date January 19. According to him, once the board gives it final approval, the providers will have a period of four or five days before they begin to accept wagers. This waiting period allows for additional testing.

Licensed Casinos Will Offer Online Gaming and Sports Betting

Michigan’s licensed casinos will be allowed by, to provide online gaming and sports betting. According to state’s law, wagers cannot be placed until one or more of the state’s casinos and one of the 24 tribal casinos, earn their online wagering licenses.

In December last year, MGCB approved provisional licenses for 15 platform providers, but bets cannot be placed, even if the providers have launched their applications, until a final approval from the Board.

DraftKinds is one of the providers expecting to go live in Michigan. Last year the company expanded its partnership with NetEnt that debuted in West Virginia. DraftKings is currently in partnership with Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

DraftKings’ mobile betting products are available in several states including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and others. If the company is allowed to operate in Michigan, it will be the 8th state where DraftKings provide premium online gaming experience.

Matt Kalish, DraftKings co-founder and president, stated that his company is expecting the process to be completed any time soon. He added: “We’re really excited to hopefully a wrap up that process pretty quickly and get in market and start going.”

The process of launching legal sports betting and internet gambling started at the end of 2019 when Michigan Goy, Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill. She started the process, which turned out to be long and painstaking.

In-person sports betting launched in March last year but it met some significant restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the Detroit’s casinos had to shut down and others had to operate with reduced capacity.

The commercial Michigan’s casinos earned $18.3 million in revenue. The three Detroit casinos together reported about $639 million in aggregated revenue for 2020, which is 56% down from the previous year. The significant loses are expected to be compensated by the online gaming and sports betting, as well as general millions in taxes both for Detroit and for the whole state. This is the major rationale behind the launch of online gaming and sports betting in Michigan.

Source: “Michigan online gaming, sports betting on verge of launch”, MLive, January 13, 2021

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