Online Michigan Sports Betting Goes Live Friday After Long Wait

Posted on January 19, 2021 - Last Updated on January 20, 2021

At last, we have a definitive start time for the online sports betting and casino markets in Michigan: this Friday.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board made the formal announcement Tuesday that 10 of the state’s 15 online sportsbooks could launch three days later.

“The days between authorization and launch will give the operators and platform providers additional time for testing and adjustments before the gaming goes live,” MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm said.

Additional operators will be authorized to launch online sports betting in Michigan in the coming days and weeks, Kalm said.

MI sports betting initially launched retail-only last March. Now, the majority of the state’s licensed online operators will be up and running just in time for the NFL conference championships and Super Bowl betting.

Who’s launching online Michigan sports betting?

The 10 operators launching Friday at noon local time are all mostly well-known names:

Only Barstool Sportsbook and PointsBet are launching without an iGaming component.

Who’s still waiting?

That leaves FOX Bet as the best-known sportsbook not launching on Friday.

Others not going live Friday:

  • Gun Lake Indians, partnered with Parx
  • Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, partnered with Kambi
  • Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, partnered with Scientific Games 
  • Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Michigan launch will be closely watched

Aside from the expectations for the market – which PlayMichigan estimates could be $8 billion in handle and $500 million in operator revenue at maturity – there’s another good reason to watch this launch carefully.

This is the first time both iGaming and online sportsbooks will launch in a US jurisdiction at once.

That could mean much higher results out of the gate than operators are used to seeing in new markets. Most can cross-sell new customers to whichever vertical they didn’t initially register for.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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