Michigan Sports Betting and iGaming Could Launch in 2021

Bettors and sports betting operators had high hopes that sports betting would start at some point late in the year. However, the outcome of the most recent meeting of the Michigan Gaming Control Board suggests that this is unlikely.

Proposed rules have been submitted by the board since October 6 but the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules is yet to return the rules. An early return would have increased the chance of iGaming and sports betting kicking off this year’s end.

According to the Executive Director, Richard Kalm, “we are counting session days and it does not look like we are going to get 15 session days in if we just let this run out to the end of the year. So conceivably, it would have to roll over to the next session in January and we would start another 15-day clock.” Chances are that these session days might be waved and that the rules will be returned this year. However, there is no guarantee as to that happening.

Worst Case Scenario for the Launch

The Gaming Control Board has handed over the proposed rules and now, the fate of online sports betting launch rests solely on the back of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. With 10 potential session days left for the committee to sit in the year, and having only addressed the situation of the rules in 3, the rules might be sent back next year. The early return date that was requested by the board was October 26 but that has still not happened.

With this new information, it is possible that the betting on the NFL regular season is going to be a stretch, along with the Super Bowl. According to the session days schedule of January, the issue of the rules might be concluded in February 2021. Even if the rules are returned sometime in January, it is still not enough to get ready in time for the Super Bowl.

Before an operator can be licensed, the rules have to first be returned. This means that no online gaming or sports betting can launch in the state. The Gaming Control Board has however been proactive and has outlined 15 sportsbooks that will eventually launch in the state. These 15 were chosen out of a pool of 73 supplier applications for sports betting or online gaming, and 126 vendor applications.

Approved Operators

Michigan is the 20th state in the US to legalize sports betting as all debate concerning the issue ended in December 2019. Betting is already existent in the state as there are three commercial casinos in the Detroit area and 24 Tribal casinos scattered all over the state. However, the license for online gaming is different.

Some of these operators that are awaiting their license to function in the state are;

FanDuel

This is one of the first sportsbooks to open registration to voters. Registration on the platform is currently ongoing and some bonuses come with. After the creation of a new account, you get a free $50 bonus for sports betting as a pre-launch promotion offer. This is currently ongoing until the official licenses are handed out and mobile sports betting in the country goes live.

In March, they launched their brick and mortar sportsbook in the state via a partnership with Motor City Casino in Detroit. The timing was bad based on the fact that businesses were shutdown days after their opening because of the covid-19 pandemic. They did not have the opportunity to take advantage of the surge that was surrounding sports betting at the time. Pending legalization, they have enough time to build a customer base.

DraftKings

DraftKings sealed a partnership deal with Bay Mills Resort and Casino to launch their on-ground sportsbook in Michigan. DraftKings is popular in the US as they are operating in several states in the US. They offer a deposit bonus of 20% up to $1,000 i.e. a deposit of $5,000 will earn you a $1,000 bonus that can be used to bet on real money games.

William Hill

This is another sportsbook that will launch in Michigan when the rules get back to the Gaming Control Board. They have partnered with Turtle Creek Casino to have a presence in the state. They offer a free bet bonus of $500 that you will get if you deposit $250 or more. Deposits below $250 will earn you a $250 bonus with deposits that fall in the range of $50 – $99.99 will get you $100 as a bonus.

In the meantime, interested bettors in the state of Michigan have to continue traveling to nearby states like Indiana to place their bets. This is because your physical presence and confirmation of your geo-location are necessary before you are allowed to place an online bet.

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Jackson
Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.