Michigan legalized online sports betting in December 2019 and began the process of creating rules and regulations to have the new industry go live officially. The original timetable was set for the start of the NFL season. When COVID-19 hit, everything was pushed back, and the new hope was to get online gaming started by Thanksgiving. Again, the timeline was pushed back to the end of 2020.
Experts now believe that it will not be until 2021 when the Great Lake State sees mobile sports betting. Michigan cannot catch a break after launching in-person sports betting five days before the state had to shut down due to COVID-19. Now, sports bettors in Michigan will continue to wait until online betting officially goes live.
Michigan Online Gaming
The state has another 15-day stretch of hearings where the Michigan Gaming Control Board will continue to go over mobile betting rules and regulations. The coronavirus pandemic has not helped the state with legal sports betting as Michigan had to close casinos shortly after the official launch of in-person betting.
Casinos have also recently closed casinos for a second time, as the positive COVID numbers escalate in Michigan. The issues with the mobile betting delays are because the chambers in the state Congress are out and can only get things done when both chambers are in session.
There are sportsbooks already itching for online betting to launch, like FanDuel and DraftKings. Both major U.S. sportsbooks have launched pre-registration offers to allow Michiganders to sign-up for accounts before the official launch of online Michigan betting.
However, those bonuses might be delayed until 2021 if the state is not optimistic about launching sports betting shortly. Hopefully, Michigan lawmakers can get back into session to hammer out the final details of online sports betting and casino gaming.
What Could Sports Betting in Michigan Look Like?
Michigan could become a huge sports betting state if it can figure out its issues with mobile betting. Some estimates see the sports betting market hit between $4 billion to $6 billion once the market fully matures. There are three commercial casinos and 23 tribal casinos, which could all launch an online sportsbook.
What is also nice is that casinos can partner with multiple sports betting operators, which allows any sportsbook to operate in the Great Lake State. With four professional sports teams out of the Detroit area and seven Division I universities in Michigan, the state will have a lot of potential with sports betting going live.
Michigan has the 10th largest population in the U.S., and have seven cities with over 100,000 residents. Detroit is the largest city and a passionate sports town, and the city also has three commercial casinos in the heart of the downtown area.
This is huge as all three casinos already have sportsbooks operated by BetMGM, FanDuel, and Penn National, so those will be three big drives in the state’s sports betting industry. Michigan needs to get the issues resolved with the delay in mobile betting. Once it does, it will be a fierce industry.