Michigan Has Opened Up for Online Sports Betting

If you are 21 years old or older, and physically located in the state of Michigan, even if not a permanent resident, since December 2019, you can legally participate in Michigan sports betting.

However, the only option has been to go to one of the retail sportsbooks located in the three Michigan Casinos. That means that, although legal, there haven’t been many options for placing sports bets in the state.

This is at odds with the very rich and developed sports industry in the state. The NBA features the Pistons, the “Bad Boys” of Detroit. In college football, Michigan made the NCAA Tournament two years ago and the Michigan State Spartans are an annual Final Four contender. In MLB, even though they haven’t won a World Series since 1984, the Detroit Tigers have been in town since that year. And, of course, with the Detroit Red Wings, who won the most Stanley Cup titles (11), Detroit is considered the “Hockeytown”.

All of this means that there could be many options for Michigan sports betting in this state.

When, as wsn.com reported, legal sports betting arrived in the State of Michigan with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the Lawful Sports Betting Act into law in December 2019 and with the first bets being taken in-person March 2020, many expected that sports betting apps will be allowed very soon after that.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened. For now, you still need to visit one of the licensed brick-and-mortar casinos to partake in it legally.

As mentioned, sports bettors were able to place wagers at land-based casinos beginning spring 2020. But mobile sports betting, internet poker, and other online games will need to wait until the commercial casinos in Detroit, 24 tribal casinos and FanDuel and Barstool receive licenses.

The fate of exactly when online sports betting in Michigan will launch is in the hands of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. Online sports betting and gambling games are, currently, planned to launch before the end of 2020, as Detroit Free Press reports, as the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will bless the new regulations at a meeting Tuesday, the chairman Sen. Pete Lucido said. The original proposed date was November or December 2020. In the worst-case scenario, it will be pushed past the Super Bowl. But there is still hope for an earlier option that won’t put in jeopardy neither Super Bowl betting nor betting on the NFL regular season. Hopefully, those plans won’t be pushed further to 2021 due to the pandemic.

In the four months since the legalization, in-person Michigan sportsbooks have seen revenue of $14 million, with $531.000 going to the State of Michigan and $649.000 going to the city of Detroit, where the three commercial casinos are situated. However, this is only from physical sports betting during a pandemic, a period during which many sporting events have been canceled. Most experts expect these numbers to grow exponentially once mobile and online betting is launched.

It is anticipated that the state will start seeing millions in tax revenue quickly after the launch as the betting handle skyrockets and more sportsbooks are available. In time the hope is that Michigan online sports betting can become a significant revenue flow for the state.

The previous states to go with online sports betting are a good indicator of what is to come: New Jersey, Illinois, Colorado, and Pennsylvania are already reaping the benefits of large betting handles, massive betting revenue, and huge amounts of tax revenue for their states. If we consider that this is happening during one of the worst times for sports betting due to the pandemic, we can only conclude that Michigan has made a very smart choice for its balance books.

, IPS, Wire, English


Bruce Miles