Michigan Online Sports Betting Launches One Year After LegalizationPublished February 2, 2021 by Elana K
Online sports betting in Michigan was legalized by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, but due to COVID-19 and other setbacks, it took over a year to launch. On January 22, 2021, 10 online sports betting operators finally went live.
After a year-long process that was full of ups and downs, Michigan mobile sports betting finally launched. On Friday, January 22, 10 licensed sports betting operators went live at the same time, with State Senator Curtis Hertel placing the ceremonial first bet. Hertel was one of the key drivers in legalizing online gaming in Michigan.
Online sports betting had been legalized by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, but due to COVID-19 and other setbacks, it took over a year to launch.
The Potential of Michigan Sports Betting
Michigan has a population of about 10 million people, making it the third-largest state to legalize mobile sports betting, following Pennsylvania and Illinois. The size of the population and scale of the launch make Michigan poised to earn a top position among the states that have legalized online sports betting.
In many states that offer sports betting, the launch of operator apps has been gradual, and the first ones to launch are usually the market leaders. It will be interesting to see how Michigan’s simultaneous launch will affect competition and revenue.
Online Sports Betting Operators
Among the operators that received licenses were Detroit’s 3 retail casinos and several Native American tribal casinos. Michigan is the first state to launch state-licensed casinos and tribal casinos at the same time. Like almost all other states, each land-based casino has partnered with an online operator.
To participate in Michigan online sports betting, bettors must be 21 or older and found within state borders. This makes sports betting open to Michigan residents and to those who travel to Michigan from neighboring states.