It appears that online sports betting could be coming sooner to Michigan than originally planned. According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, this new timeline could have online sports betting live within a few months.
Currently, the casinos in Michigan are operating at a reduced capacity in order to create physical distance, so the online offering could really help to make up for lost revenue.
Rules Are Being Finalized
Just last week, a public hearing was held in order to talk about the proposed rules for mobile sports betting. Following the hearing, these proposed rules have now progressed to the stage where they are being finalized.
The goal is to have the final draft of proposed laws ready by the end of the month and submitted to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules. The proposed rules would also need to be submitted to the Legislative Service Bureau as well.
At that point, it’s up to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in the State Legislature to discuss those rules and come back with a decision. This step is expected to finish sometime in October if all goes according to plan.
The final step in the process would take place in November if things continue on the current path. This would be the point at which acquiring and approving licenses would take place. Both the commercial and tribal casinos in Michigan will have to seek online licenses at this point as well.
Richard S. Kalm, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director, commented on this final step:
“The licensing timetable also depends on the applicants and their delivery of completely and timely applications to us.”
What Was the Original Timeline?
While the fast-tracked approach is a good surprise for many, some are left scratching their heads over the original timeline.
The original plan had been to have mobile betting go live sometime in early 2021. Many state leaders felt that a 2020 push just wouldn’t be realistic or possible. It’s certainly a very different position from where things began to where they are now.
As it stands, the state does have retail sports betting available, but it’s the online offering that many within the industry have their eyes set on.
Big Names Already in the Game
As for the mobile sports betting operators who would be ready to apply for online betting licenses, companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM are expected to be at the forefront. All three of these entities are already operating in the state.
Additionally, Greektown Casino will offer Barstool Sportsbook sometime early next year. It’s all about staying competitive not just in the state, but competing with neighboring states as well. Michigan’s sports betting industry wants to keep its handle in the state and not allow it to go outside of its borders.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …