Michigan is but one signature away from having legal online gambling and sports betting.
On Wednesday morning, Michigan’s state senators approved the latest drafts of their online gambling, sports betting and daily fantasy sports bills. From there, the bills – which underwent significant revision on Tuesday – traveled back to the state House of Representatives for concurrence, which they duly obtained.
All that’s required now is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature, and unlike last year, which saw then-Gov. Rick Snyder veto online gambling legislation after everyone had gone home for the holidays, Whitmer (pictured) has strongly signalled that she’s ready to put pen to paper and make this online dream a reality.
Once Whitmer’s signature is dry – possibly as early as next week – the Michigan Gaming Control Board will need to craft the necessary regulations, process license applications for both the state’s casino operators – 23 tribal venues, three commercial casinos in Detroit – as well as approve their gambling technology partners.
Sports betting could conceivably be up and running in time for March Madness, while the online casino and poker operations likely won’t receive technical approval until much later next year.
Each casino operator will be allowed to operate a single online sports betting site, while the online casino/poker legislation allows each casino to operate a maximum of two different online brands, “1 for each of interactive poker and other casino style games.”
Michigan becomes only the fifth US state to permit online casino gambling, following Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Michigan is now the 20th state to approve some form of sports betting – although only 13 of these states have actually launched their legal betting markets – and the 13th to offer statewide digital wagering.
Detroit’s casinos have been itching to add betting to their gaming palette, as evidenced by MGM Resorts’ MGM Grand Detroit recently opening its new Moneyline sportsbook-in-waiting within its walls. The ‘sports lounge’ is currently only a place to watch sports and have a drink but that should change early in 2020.
Speaking of, Detroit’s casinos generated gaming revenue of $124.2m in November, a 5.6% improvement from the same month last year. MGM’s venue ruled the roost with $53.9m (+2.8%), while Motorcity ranked second with $39.3m (+3.2%) and Greektown brought up the rear with $29.5m (flat).