Legal sports betting goes live in Michigan

Michigan is the latest state to launch legal and regulated sports betting operations.

Sports betting is officially live in the state of Michigan after Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino and the MGM Grand Detroit opened their land-based sportsbooks yesterday (March 11).

Earlier this week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board gave the city’s commercial casinos approval to launch sports betting operations.

Sports betting launch

Greektown completed the launch of its Kambi-powered sportsbook yesterday and marked Kambi’s entry into a tenth US state with legal sports betting, just days after securing entry into Illinois’ sports betting market. In Michigan, the first legal sports wager was placed at the Kambi sportsbook at Greektown.

Kambi and its partner in Illinois, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, which is operated by Rush Street Gaming was also the first sportsbook in Illinois to take legal wagers.

Chief commercial officer Max Meltzer said: “Kambi’s record for quality and swift delivery is central to our ongoing US progress, and we are delighted to have powered two more market firsts for our partners. When people look back at this historic period of legalising sports wagering across the US, they will see Kambi was the supplier powering the most firsts and our partners becoming the market leaders in their respective states.”

The MGM Grand features a BetMGM-branded sports betting lounge which is powered by Roar Digital, the joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM. This sportsbook opened just after Greektown’s book and features several betting windows, video poker machines, wall-to-wall video screen and self-service betting kiosks.

MGM Grand president and chief operating officer David Tsai said: “Twenty years ago, MGM Resorts bet on the great City of Detroit with an $800m commitment to create the city’s first and only integrated luxury casino resort built from the ground up.

“We’ve been able to help stimulate the local and state economy by creating thousands of jobs, making substantial infrastructure investments, and contributing over $2.8 billion in tax revenue to the city and state since opening. As the market leader in Detroit, we’re proud to be part of this groundbreaking moment for Michigan gaming and to bring a world-class sports betting and entertainment experience to our guests.”

The MotorCity Casino will join the MGM and Greentown venues in offering sports betting later today when it opens its FanDuel-branded sportsbook.

Sports betting in Michigan

On 20 December 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4311 into law, creating the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Under this law, mobile and online casino gambling is now legal in the state of Michigan. Under the law, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) will be granted the power to issue licenses for online and mobile casino gambling.

The state’s governor also approved HB 916, creating the Lawful Sports Betting Act. Under this law, commercial and tribal casinos can offer land-based and online sports betting in Michigan. Governor Whitmer also signed HB 4308 into law, legalizing fantasy sports contests in the state of Michigan.

Several operators have secured entry to the market including FanDuel,  William Hill, PointsBet and The Stars Group have secured entry into the state’s sports betting market.

Sports betting in the US

Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, and now with the launch of sports betting in Michigan yesterday, and Illinois on Monday,  a total of 16 US states offer legal and regulated sports wagering.

Of the states that offer legal sports betting only a handful offer online or mobile betting, which includes Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Indiana, Iowa, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Several other states have legalized sports wagering but have yet to launch the activity. These states include Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Tennessee. The AGA expects these states, and Washington DC, to launch legal sports betting operations in 2020.

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