Michigan Fast Tracks Online Gambling and Sports BettingPublished October 7, 2020 by Elana K
Michigan online gambling was originally supposed to launch in early 2021, but the Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced that it now seeks to launch in late November 2020.
Michigan online gambling was originally supposed to launch in early 2021, but the Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced that it now seeks to launch in late November 2020. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4311 in December 2019 and the bill then turned into the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. At the time, there was no rush to launch online gambling or sports betting, since land-based sports betting was approved in March 2020. Then COVID-19 struck, casinos were shut down, and the state faced major revenue shortages.
The new launch date of November 2020 will provide the gambling and sports betting industries and the state with much-needed revenue.
Michigan Gaming Control Board Director Richard Kalm reported that the board has been working at “warp speed” to develop regulations and create a workable framework for Michigan online gambling and sports betting.
“We put together a rule set that we met it through the 12 tribes with three commercial casinos, and we’re very close,” he said. “We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We found rules from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Indiana. Most of these operators are licensed there and operated there now. So there wasn’t a big learning curve.”
The board will submit the newly-drafted rules to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules within a week. If they are approved, the next step is to move on to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in October. The legislature will need to approve the rules in order for online gambling operators to launch. State Senator Curtis Hertel says it’s likely that the legislature will approve the rules as they are and allow gambling to go live.
The final step will be for tribal and commercial casinos to apply and get approved for licenses. Michigan has 26 casinos, 23 of which are tribal-run, which means the application and approval process will need to go quickly to get operations up and running by November.