Sports Betting Available in Michigan by March
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Sports Betting Available in Michigan by March

Sports Betting Available in Michigan by March

The residents of Michigan might be very close to being able to place legal sports bets in the state, commencing with in-person betting and later rolling out to online services too.

No doubt the latter is especially great news for many bettors who would love to add sports bets to their gameplay of online slots, roulette, and many other online casino games. As soon as Governor Whitmer signed the gambling expansion bills recently, state regulators began hammering out the details of how to bring sports betting to Michigan.

Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 8.4%, although the commercial casinos in Detroit will pay an additional 1.25% city tax.

As mentioned, the new laws do allow for online casino-based sports betting as well as sports betting at the physical locations of commercial and tribal casinos throughout the state, though this comes with some delay. However, online gaming has also been legalized.

Rick Kalm, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director, recently stated that Michigan would be similar to New Jersey, in that you’d need to be in the state to place your bets.

Kalm made this observation about New Jersey; “You can have people trying to place a bet from the other side of the river in New York City, but unless they cross over that bridge into the geographic area of New Jersey, that bet will not be accepted.”

Retail Sports Betting Goes Live Before March Madness


People in Michigan will likely be able to place bets as soon as the state hashes out the legal issues, which, of course, always come first when it comes to matters of gambling; this is a highly regulated sector using all manner of tools to keep abreast of gaming standards and ethics, and Michigan won’t be treated any differently.

However, in Detroit, Marvin Beatty of the Greektown Casino indicated that they were prepared to go live with their sportsbook before March Madness, sometime between March 4th and 10th, planning to get in as early as possible.


Other casinos are proving a little more reserved, with the Four Winds Casinos in both New Buffalo and Dowagiac not announcing any plans to add sportsbooks at this stage.

Representatives of the Four Winds Casinos declined to comment on the change.

Online Sports Betting in Michigan Will Take an Additional Year


The slight dampener on the news is that while sports bettors will be able to place bets in person at casinos by the time March Madness rolls around, they’ll have to wait until 2021 to place bets online.


Mary Kay Bean, the spokesperson for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, estimates it will take an additional year to write and finalize the regulations for online sports betting. When finalized, the three commercial casinos in Detroit will be able to obtain mobile sports bettor operating licenses. Likewise, the regulations for daily fantasy sports and online gaming websites will also take a year to work out.


"We are in the very early stages of the process," Bean said. "The agency needs to establish various sets of administrative rules, which, in turn, must pass through several levels of review. The timing of the implementation not only depends on our agency, but also on decisions made by other departments and agencies, as well as the Legislature."


"The timing will depend on how quickly we get the applications, and can approve the casinos' internal controls before we are able to issue any licenses," Bean said.


Bean also made it clear that the board is not involved with in-person sports betting at the tribal casinos dotted around northern and western Michigan. The tribes can obtain a license for mobile sports betting now; however, the platform providers, such as, FanDuel, and DraftKing, will need to get a license after the new regulations are in place.


Many in the gambling technology business estimate that ninety percent of sports betting in the United States will be conducted over the internet or on mobile phones over the next five to ten years, a trend that is certainly borne out by what’s happening in some states. Currently, in New Jersey, more than eighty percent of sports wagers are placed online. Online sportsbooks were legalized in New Jersey in 2018, and since then, they’ve brought more than $6 billion in revenue to the state.

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