Michigan Online Gambling One Step Closer to Launch

The state of Michigan has legalized online gambling and just has a few more hurdles to cross before services can go live. The Michigan Gaming Control Board has a public consultation scheduled for September 23, which puts the state one step closer to launching the new services. Players are ready to take part in casino, poker, and sports betting online.

Moving Forward

The meeting will be a chance for feedback to be provided on the latest draft of rules that operators must follow. The rules cover all three betting categories. The hearing will take place virtually due to the continued threat of Covid-19. The state will use Microsoft Teams to host the meeting and it should be about three hours long. Everyone is free to participate and can watch along via computer or call in on a telephone.

The drafted rules look to cover responsible gaming measures along with covering integrity of services, protections for users, technical standards, security standards, oversight capability of the Gaming Control Board and more. Every aspect must be considered to ensure the industry is regulated properly from the beginning.

The licensing process has already started so this is just one more step that the state must complete to move forward. The rules must be finalized before licensing can be issued, so this meeting is an important step. If the state moves quickly, licensing might begin around six weeks from the time the public hearing takes place.

A Little Struggle

Michigan has had a little difficulty in getting online gaming off the ground as quickly as they would like to. In the beginning, the goal was to offer services by the first half of next year. However, when the land-based casinos shut down due to the coronavirus, it became clear that online gambling was needed to provide a backup source of revenues.

It is expected that the virus will surge again in large numbers due to the cooler weather in the fall and winter. If this occurs, then the casinos could be shut down again. Lawmakers are seeing this as a way to keep revenues flowing if the closure were to happen again, so they pushing ahead as quickly as possible.

It is normal for the process to take about a year or even longer as there are steps to take for operations to begin in a regulated manner. For Michigan, they are now hoping to see sites go live by October. However, it does not look like that will be the case.

Based on the progress thus far and what has to happen in the future, it appears as though the new industry will not be live until November or possibly even December. Either way, the state is making progress and they should be the next in line to offer online gambling in the United States. We will wait and see how the meeting goes later on this month and hopefully will be able to provide a starting date for the industry in the future, before 2020 comes to an end.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.