There was plenty of hope this year that gaming regulators in Michigan could get online sports betting and iGaming started at some point in late 2020.
According to the most recent Michigan Gaming Control Board meeting, though, that might not be the case.
The board submitted proposed rules for both Oct. 6, but that may not have been enough time to get online sports betting in Michigan live this year without the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules returning the rules early, according to Executive Director Richard Kalm.
“We’re counting session days and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get 15 session days in if we just let this run out to the end of the year,” Kalm said. “So conceivably, it would have to roll over to the next session in January and we would start another 15-day clock.”
The committee is still expected to waive those session days and return the rules this year, an MGCB spokesperson said.
Michigan online sports betting launch process
The fate of when online sports betting in Michigan launches is in the hands of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
The committee has 15 legislative session days to act on the rules or send them back to the regulator. JCAR has only had the rules for three session days so far with just a potential 10 left on the calendar.
The committee could also waive the remaining time and pass the rules back to the regulator early.
The board requested that early return Oct. 26, though it hasn’t happened yet.
Worst-case scenario pushes launch past Super Bowl
Only 11 session days were blocked off in January 2020, according to the session schedule. That means it could be February before Michigan’s gaming regulators even get the rules back.
The committee could return the rules early in January, of course. That most likely wouldn’t be enough time for a Super Bowl launch, though.
“Most all of the provisional licenses for platform providers we cannot issue for online gaming or online sports betting until the rules go into effect,” Kalm said. “So we’re gathering information trying to get ahead of it, but we can’t license until those rules go into effect.”
The regulator can at least license suppliers and vendors. There were 73 supplier applications for either sports betting or iGaming and 126 vendor applications.
PlayMichigan recently outlined 15 mobile sportsbooks that will eventually launch in the state.