Michigan on the Verge of Launching Online Gambling

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has said that an announcement to declare the official opening of the state’s online gaming and sports betting industry is imminent.

“We’re very close,” said the authority’s executive director, Richard Kalm. “I wish I could give an exact day and time, but each day that changes. We’re gathering information daily.”

Last month, the Board approved the provisional licenses for 15 gambling platform providers. They will only be allowed to start accepting real money bets once they receive final approval which could happen between now and January 19th.
Under Michigan’s online gambling and sports betting laws, which were signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, only licensed casinos in the state are allowed to offer these platforms. There are 24 tribal casinos across the state and another three commercial ones in Detroit.
One of the new licensees is DraftKings, which has partnered with Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley. The group expects to be one of the first to enter Michigan’s fledgling online gambling market.
According to DraftKing’s co-founder and president, Matt Kalish, the company has been working exceptionally hard to be ready for the official launch date. As a result, DraftKings will be ready to go as soon as the process is complete and “the boxes are checked on the Michigan Gaming Control Board side.”
“We’re really excited to hopefully a wrap up that process pretty quickly and get in market and start going,” he added.
In March last year, in-person sports betting launched, however the industry was soon affected by the pandemic with the closure of the Detroit casinos. Even when the properties were allowed to open (before closing again), they had to operate at reduced capacity. As a result, their year on year aggregate revenue in 2020 was 56% down.
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