Michigan Online Gambling Delayed Until Early 2021
There’s good news and bad news regarding the launch of online gambling in Michigan. The good news is that 15 operator licenses have been issued. Unfortunately, the bad news is that online gambling will not launch in December.
It now appears Michigan online gambling will launch sometime in January. That’s assuming that operators meet necessary benchmarks from the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
15 Licenses Granted by MGCB
On Thursday, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a press release announcing that they have awarded 15 provisional licenses. Licensed were approved for the following:
- American Wagering, Inc. d/b/a William Hill Sports Book
- Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook
- BetMGM, LLC d/b/a Roar Digital
- Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming, LLC d/b/a TwinSpires
- Crown MI Gaming LLC d/b/a DraftKings
- GAN Nevada Inc.
- Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc.
- NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC
- Parx Interactive Inc.
- Penn Sports Interactive, LLC
- PointsBet Michigan LLC
- Rush Street Interactive MI, LLC
- Sports Information Services Limited d/b/a Kambi
- TSG Interactive US Services Limited d/b/a Fox Bet
- WSI US, LLC d/b/a Wynn Sports
The MGCB started accepting applications for licenses back in May. However, the rules and regulations for online gambling were still being crafted. The final rules for both sports betting and online gambling were officially filed on December 2nd with the Office of the Great Seal.
Launch Will Not Happen Until at Least Mid-January
While licenses have been approved, that does not mean that legal online casinos or sports betting can launch immediately. According to MGCB executive director Richard S. Kalm, “The platform providers still must meet other regulatory requirements before online gaming and sports betting can launch in Michigan. The launch date will depend on how quickly they can fulfill the requirements.”
Before any casinos or sportsbooks can launch, providers must complete regulatory requirements. Those include independent testing of both games and platforms, the approval of internal controls by the MGCB, and the securing of occupational licenses for certain employees of those companies.
Kalm stated that “The platform providers’ ability to meet the requirements of the laws and rules will determine which entities can be licensed for launch first.” Licensees will be allowed to launch apps in various app stores before the official launch. Michigan players will be able to install apps and create their online gambling accounts. However, players will not be able to place bets until final approval to launch is given.
What Are Some of the Brands Michigan Players Can Expect?
Based on the licenses issued, we can give you a general idea of the providers that will be available. Here is a quick list:
- Four Winds
- Fox Bet
- Golden Nugget
- Hollywood Casino
- Barstool Sportsbook
- William Hill
DraftKings, FanDuel, and William Hill will be among the leaders in sportsbooks in the state from the start. Golden Nugget and BetMGM will likely have a solid lead on the rest of the state in terms of online casinos. Granted, all brands should draw solid revenue.
You’ll probably notice that the only online poker site presently listed is PokerStars. That was to be expected as PokerStars has been the most aggressive in legal online gambling states. However, we do expect that partypoker and WSOP.com will eventually launch. However, that may come later in the year.
For now, the big question is when online casino gambling will launch in Michigan. The date has changed several times. However, it looks like mid to late January is the next expected launch date. It is unclear how many casinos will launch in the beginning, but we expect that most if not all providers will be live by Spring 2021.