Michigan Moves Forward With Online Gambling & Sports Betting

The general trend in the US sports betting industry points towards increased access of online betting platforms and mobile sports betting apps. In states with both retail and online sports betting, the majority of the wagers are being placed via the internet.

Another growing trend is adding online casino gambling to the mix. While earlier states rolled out each of these gambling options in phases, additional expansion is likely to address online casino games and sports betting apps in the same vein.

Tennessee online sports betting rolled out in November through mobile sportsbook apps. Virginia sports betting is expected to launch early next year. However, neither of these two states are offering online casino apps at this time.

You can now add the state of Michigan to the list of states with both retail and online casinos and sportsbooks. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) recently issued approval for 15 online betting and gaming licenses. These online platform providers are tied to existing commercial and tribal land-based casinos.

Pending some additional regulatory requirements, these online platforms are targeting a launch by mid-January. Play Gun Lake now has an online casino too. Other hurdles to clear include independent testing of these betting platforms. Online operators will also have to ensure the integrity of the gaming options offered.

The list of approved operators reads like a who’s who of the US gaming industry. Sign up at FanDuel and registering at BetMGM are already possible in the state through retail sportsbooks. Penn Sports is on the list with its popular Barstool Sportsbook app. In-state operators include MotorCity Casino and MGM Grand Detroit.

Other companies looking to launch their online platforms in Michigan include:

  • William Hill Sports Book
  • DraftKings via Crown MI Gaming
  • Gan Nevada
  • Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming- Twin Spires
  • Golden Nugget Online Gaming
  • Parx Interactive

Collectively, Michigan would form one of the strongest collection of US sports betting providers in the country.

Originally, the roll-out was expected to take place in 2020. Delays in the overall licensing process pushed everything back.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) is made up of both state House and Senate lawmakers. The JCAR helped move things along a bit by waiving the customary 15-day waiting period for final approval of the state’s online gaming rules.

Without the waiver, the launch would have been pushed back to early February due to the incoming set of new lawmakers determined by the November election.

The big push to be up and running in January is tied to the biggest sports betting event of the year. This year’s NFL Super Bowl is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7 in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Another delay is tied to in-state land-based casinos. Online wagering can begin once one of the state’s three commercial casinos receives its online license. One of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos must also have an online operator’s license in place.

The original bill legalizing sports betting and internet gambling was signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December of 2019. Retail sports betting was up and running by March 11 of this year.

Online casino gambling and sports betting are expected to add a huge boost to Michigan’s monthly betting handle and operator revenue.

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