The wait is nearly over: Michigan online sports betting is finally close to launching.
A drawn-out rules process eventually wrapped in December. While there were hopes the market would launch last month, it now sounds like operators will definitely be prepared to take Super Bowl bets online.
“We could have an announcement this week,” Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm said at this week’s board meeting.
“We’re very close,” he added later. “I wish I could give an exact date and time but each day that changes, so we’re gathering information daily. We’re very, very close.”
What will online Michigan sports betting launch look like?
We don’t yet know who will launch first in Michigan. The Gaming Control Board’s green light apparently will be rolling as operators become ready..
The approval from the board also doesn’t mean bets will be taken that day. Operators will still have various tests to complete before officially going live to the public.
Kalm suggested there could be four or five days between when the board launches the market and the first operator can accept bets.
In the public’s mind, that can’t come soon enough. Questions during the meeting included asking Kalm why the process has taken so long.
“You can see by the questions that everybody’s anxious,” Kalm said.
Who is launching Michigan sports betting?
There will be 15 online sports betting sites in Michigan:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Churchill Downs (will launch using the TwinSpires brand)
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- FOX Bet
- Golden Nugget
- Scientific Games
- William Hill
All already received their provisional licenses.
Retail results lacking with shutdown
Michigan’s sports betting results were a bit lacking in December after the state shut down Detroit‘s three commercial casinos for about a month to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Handle was just $9.7 million for the month with $1.9 million in sports betting revenue.
Since launch, Michigan’s three retail sportsbooks took $130.8 million in bets with $18.3 million in revenue.
Pooled online poker not coming soon
Another question Kalm received from the public concerned when online poker would include players from other states.
“We have a lot of work to do on that,” Kalm said.
Michigan recently passed a law that will allow operators to pool poker players with its poker operations in other states.
But those operations might not launch in the state until the end of the year, Kalm said. He’s already had preliminary discussions with New Jersey concerning pooled poker players.