Michigan Online Sports Betting Pushed Off Until 2021Published December 16, 2020 by Elana K
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced that online sports betting should be up and running by mid-January, a few weeks before the Superbowl.
The story of Michigan online gambling has been changing from week to week, but it seems now that state officials have finally settled on the outcome of their endeavors: online sports betting will not launch in 2020.
A week and a half ago, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) decided to waive the 15-day waiting period to approve the final online sports betting legislation. Committee Chairman Senator Pete Lucido had commented at the time that everyone was eager to get online sports betting up and running, and there was a good chance they would do so before the end of the year.
Now the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is predicting that it will take approximately 5 more weeks before operators are ready to launch. The JCAR’s waiving of the rules essentially bumped up the launch of online sports betting by 15 days, not much more than that. Now the hope is that online sports betting will launch before the Superbowl.
What’s left to do at this point is for operators and platform providers to get final approval from the MGCB. One of the steps includes providing a letter from an independent testing lab to certify that the operator meets the state’s fairness requirements. Another requires occupational licensing for certain employees.
As of now, 15 distinct companies have been approved to launch online sportsbooks and online gambling.
Sports betting and online gambling were legalized by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, but Michigan regulators have been slow in getting things moving. In-person sports betting launched in March, right before COVID-19 struck and pro leagues stopped playing. Even though pro sports has resumed, the MGCB expects most of the state’s gambling revenue to come from its online avenues.