Michigan Sees Revenue in First Month, Will Online Sports Betting Be Next?

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Michigan Sports Betting Cash

Although it wasn’t the launch that Michigan and its state lawmakers had dreamed of, “The Great Lakes State” was still able to generate a revenue of $105,548 through retail sports betting during the first part of March.

Michigan’s betting market officially launched on March 11th taking place at all of the state’s legal casinos. While people can’t go into the casino at the moment, it could be that sports wagering isn’t that far off after all.

Michigan Explores Potential Online Avenue

With the state’s casinos currently closed down, Michigan is starting to see that another avenue is needed in order to give people the chance to place sports wagers.

Taking a cue from other states, Michigan could move to legalize online sports betting this year. Originally, the plan was to introduce online betting sometime in early 2021, but now there is a real push to move the deadline up and get things going this year.

Michigan had already committed to iGaming and sports betting through an online platform in 2021, thanks to the bill brought forth by Representative Brandt Iden that was approved. So, in terms of the legalities there is nothing to hold the state back from moving up its timeline.

Rep. Brandt Iden commented further on the current status of online wagering via iGaming Business‘ Sports Betting Without Live Sports webinar:

“We’re working with regulators in hopes to have that mobile piece up and ready. And hopefully, very soon, given that people are at home and there’s a pent-up demand, as was articulated, and people are going to be playing. And the state needs to capture some of that revenue.”

Many proponents are seeing it as the perfect opportunity to tap into an eager marketplace of those itching to take part in some online wagering. It’s convenient, simple, and user-friendly.

Not Everyone is On-Board to Rush the Online Platform

With that said, not everyone seems to be on-board with speeding up the online avenue, as Govenor Gretchen Whitmer has instructed the state’s regulator not to enact the emergency rules that would in fact speed up the process.

Of course, it was Gov. Whitmer who signed into law HB 4311 which allowed for legalized sports betting back on Dec. 20, 2019. The law allowed for mobile and online casino gambling to take place with the Michigan Gaming Control Board being the entity that would grant the licenses for mobile and online casino gambling.

Additionally, bill HB 916 – the Lawful Sports Betting Act – also cleared the way for tribal and commercial casinos to go ahead and offer online and land-based sports betting in the state. It didn’t end there as HB 4308 rounded out the bills and legalized fantasy sports contests.

The first venues where sports wagering went live in the month of March were at the MGM Grand Detroit and Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino.

So while the framework and law is certainly on the side of online sports betting going live in the state, it’s just a matter of how quickly it can all be put into place.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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