The Michigan Gaming Control Board expects to put mobile betting and iGaming on fast forward. Executive director Richard S. Kalm discussed proposed mobile gaming laws in a public hearing this week, and expect to submit the final proposal to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules and the Legislative Service Bureau by the end of the month.
This year, Michigan was expected to launch mobile gaming and betting in the early part of 2021. Experts believed that a mobile launch in 2020 was a longshot. Now, there is a chance to make that a reality.
Michigan already has retail sports betting available, but now Michigan has been looking to go online, and the chances of that are becoming a reality.
Michigan Mobile Betting
With Kalm ready to submit the final proposals, once he does that, the proposal goes to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Once they go through, a decision will be made in October.
“The licensing timetable also depends on the applicants and their delivery of complete and timely applications to us,” Kalm said. Kalm is hoping this whole process goes quicker to be able to launch mobile betting and iGaming officially.
Once the rules are approved, then the final process will be acquiring applications from casinos across Michigan. The goal of this would be happening in November. Tribal casinos are 23 of the 26 casinos in the state.
The three non-tribal casinos are in Detroit, Greektown, and Motor City. MGM Grand runs all three casinos and retail sportsbooks at their locations. However, the launch of them happened a few days before the coronavirus broke out in Michigan and had to shut everything down.
The timing was unfortunate as the state lost millions in revenue form casinos closing, and no sports betting allowed to take place. When casinos were finally allowed to reopen, only 15 percent capacity was allowed along with a limited amount of slots and games to be played due to social distancing.
Sports Betting Going Online
Some of the biggest names are ready for mobile betting, as sports betting operators have their retail locations set up. Names like BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel are operating in the state throughout Michigan. Barstool Sportsbook is planning on launching with Greektown Casino in early 2021.
Sports betting has been limited to retail only and trying to place bets in a pandemic. Some casinos have been closed, while others are only operating at 15 percent capacity. Online wagering and iGaming would change the game.
Similar to Illinois, once Michigan legalizes online betting, then that state should see an explosion of growth in the new industry. Sportsbooks would find relief in attracting customers to their mobile platforms instead of hoping for people to come in and place bets.
A sportsbook like DraftKings brick and mortar location is in the Upper Peninsula near the U.S.-Canada border. The only chance for them to attract customers into their sportsbook is from people heading up during the summer months on vacation.
Now, with mobile betting on the brink of legalization, DraftKings and others can see a huge increase in their Michigan operations.