Online sports betting in Michigan is officially set to launch this week, more than a year after the vertical was legalised in the state.
The first nine operators have been cleared to launch by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), with the market set to go live at midday local time on Friday.
Sports betting has already launched in the Great Lake State at land-based casinos, but the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted much of its progress so far.
Which operators have been approved so far?
The list of sportsbooks given the green light to launch in Michigan so far are as follows.
- FanDuel, under a partnership with Motor City Casino;
- BetMGM/Roar Digital, via a partnership with MGM Grand Detroit;
- Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook, launched in collaboration with Greektown Casino;
- DraftKings, which has partnered with the Bay Mills Indian Community;
- William Hill, in partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians;
- Twin Spires, via its agreement with the Hannahville Indian Community;
- Golden Nugget Online Gaming, in conjunction with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community;
- Rush Street, in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians;
- Wynn, in agreement with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Some of the sportsbooks already approved for launch have been allowing players to sign up for a while now. However, those individuals are not yet able to place bets for another few days.
The MGCB has also said that it will approve more online sportsbook launches before Friday’s go-live date.
How has sports betting in Michigan fared since its approval?
Michigan sports betting launched in March 2020, just weeks before the pandemic caused a statewide shutdown of all venues.
Since going live last year, regulated operators have generated $14.1 million in revenue between them. Meanwhile, players have wagered $96 million altogether.
“New ways to engage”
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, MGCB Executive Director Richard S. Kalm spoke about the incoming launch of sports betting in Michigan. He said:
“Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”
FanDuel Chief Marketing Officer Mike Raffensperger also welcomed the launch of the vertical. He said that players had been wagering already, but with unregulated operators. So now, the state will at least make money from these activities and player protection will also be stricter.
“Frankly speaking, [sports betting] is a marketplace that existed prior to us launching legally. It just happened in the black market and the gray market with offshore accounts where maybe you’ll get your money out, maybe you won’t.”