Michigan regulator issues 15 provisional online sports betting licenses

The Michigan Gaming Control Board has awarded licenses to 15 online gambling platform providers.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has awarded licenses to 15 online gambling platform providers to become approved sportsbook or online casino operators in the state of Michigan.

This comes after the state regulator launched the online gaming supplier licensing process in May.

Who received approval?

The list of approved platform providers contains some of the largest operators on the national US betting scene.

The MGCB issued approval to Betfair Interactive (FanDuel), Crown MI Gaming (DraftKings), Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers), Roar Digital (BetMGM), American Wagering (William Hill), PointsBet and Penn Sports Interactive.

Of the seven above, FanDuel, BetMGM and Penn Sports currently offer land-based sports betting at the three land-based casinos in Detroit. However, these venues are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

William Hill, BetRivers, DraftKings and PointsBet have opted to enter the Michigan betting market via partnerships with tribal gambling operators. Fortunately, Michigan’s legal betting framework is the first of its kind to incorporate tribes and the state government when it comes to sports betting regulation.

Other applicants included Churchill Downs’ TwinSpires, The Stars Group’s Fox Bet product, Wynn Sports, GAN, Golden Nugget, Scientific Games’ NYX Digital Gaming arm and Parx Interactive.

When will online sports betting go live

Before launching, all platform providers must complete additional regulatory requirements, which includes the independent testing of their games and platforms. Operators must also secure approval from MGCB for their internal controls.

Key employees for gambling providers must also secure occupational licenses.

The Joint Committee on Legislative Rules passed rules regarding online betting and online casino gambling on 2 December which was the final piece of the puzzle some operators needed to fulfil requirements of the application process.

In a statement released by the regulator, MGCB executive director, Richard S. Kalm said: “The MGCB now can approve provisional licenses following the filing of the administrative rules for online gaming and sports betting Dec. 2 with the Office of the Great Seal. 

“The platform providers still must meet other regulatory requirements before online gaming and sports betting can launch in Michigan. The launch date will depend on how quickly they can fulfill the requirements.”

It is still not entirely clear when online betting will launch in the Wolverine State, however, it has been indicated that there is a four to six week turnaround time from license to launch. Therefore, with the first set of approvals in place, Michigan’s online betting market could go live as early as mid-January.

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