Michigan Casinos and Sportsbooks Prepare to Offer Online Gambling from January 22
Online sports betting and casinos are set to go live in Michigan from Friday, January 22, and this commences a new chapter in the state’s gambling history. The Michigan Gaming Control Board authorized nine operators and their commercial and tribal partners to commence operations.
Punters in the state can now officially register on an online platform and wager at licensed sportsbooks and casinos. The MGCB offered provisional gaming licenses to fifteen operators in the state in late 2020 with the promise that once a commercial and tribal casino is ready for business, wagering would officially commence.
“The Michigan Gaming Control Board along with the tribal and commercial casinos will begin a new journey on January 22, 2021, with the launch of licensed online gambling and sports betting,” revealed Richard Kalm, the Executive Director of MGCB. “The citizens of Michigan love sports, and according to our estimates, the people are eagerly awaiting the launch of online casinos and sportsbooks.”
“online gambling will open up new avenues for the providers and allow operators to engage with patrons on a whole new level while the state and local communities benefit from the taxes generated by the industry,” Kalm added.
What is the Current State of Affairs?
The nine licensed gaming platforms are William Hill Sportsbook, Crown MI Gaming LLC, Penn Sports Interactive LLC, Golden Nugget Online gaming Inc, Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming LLC, Rush Street Interactive MI LLC, WSI US LLC, Betfair Interactive US LLC, and BetMGM LLC.
The operators are currently conducting last-minute testing before the service goes live on Friday. While eight of the platforms plan to offer both casino and sports betting, Penn Sports Interactive will offer sports betting only. The MGCB hopes to issue fresh licenses for the remaining six operators with interim licenses in the next few months.
“We want the public to wager confidently. Our current regulations require all operators to prove that they meet our stipulated guidelines, which are designed keeping the best interests of the punters in mind”, Kalm added.
A Prominent Market
Friday marks the eighth online release for New York-based FanDuel. Chief Marketing Officer Mike Raffensperger says the company is excited about establishing its foothold in the Michigan market. He further believes FanDuel has established the three crucial elements required to successfully penetrate a market. And the list includes a competitive and open market, sustainable tax rate, and the ability to sign up online as opposed to visiting a physical casino.
“Michigan is probably the most exciting marketplace as it’s a large state with a grand affinity for sports. We couldn’t be more excited”, added Raffensperger. The tax and payment rates were crucial points for concern as sports betting is generally a low-margin business.
FanDuel has teamed up with Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel and already operates a retail sportsbook on the premises. More surprisingly, despite concerns for COVID-19, the venue is FanDuel’s second-largest retail sportsbook in the country.