Michigan OK 15 sports providers for possible Jan 2021 launch

Michigan is another step closer to legal online sports betting becoming a reality with state’s gaming regulatory oversight authority, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) granting 15 online sports betting licenses.

According to the MGCB, the platform providers still must meet other regulatory requirements before online gaming and sports betting can launch in Michigan. “The launch date will depend on how quickly they can fulfill the requirements,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB Executive Director.

Those 15 providers will support the state’s land-based sports betting options. Michigan began its bricks-and-mortar sports betting industry back in the spring, with the state’s land-based sportsbooks opening their collective doors on March 11, just a few days before Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s unfortunate, but timely shut down to the state’s gaming market in response to the global health pandemic.

Yes, retail sportsbook operations did reopen at 15% capacity for some time, however, with revenues still struggling, Michigan’s state regulators are now expediting the launch of online sportsbooks and casinos as quickly and as effectively and safely possible.

When will the Michigan Online Sports Betting launch date come exactly?

At best guess at this stage, we can expect those 15 operators to be in operation before the biggest sports betting event of the year, the Super Bowl on February 1 2021. Which means we are looking at a January online sports betting launch date.

According to the MGCB’s Richard Kalm there are still some bureaucratic hurdles to overcome firs;

“The MGCB now can approve provisional licenses following the filing of the administrative rules for online gaming and sports betting December 2 with the Office of the Great Seal. The platform providers still must meet other regulatory requirements before online gaming and sports betting can launch in Michigan”, Kalm expressed cautiously.

Who will Launch in Michigan?

15 Provisional online betting operator licenses were issued to the following providers:

  • American Wagering, Inc. d/b/a William Hill Sports Book
  • Betfair Interactive US LLC d/b/a FanDuel Sportsbook
  • BetMGM, LLC d/b/a Roar Digital
  • Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming, LLC d/b/a TwinSpires
  • Crown MI Gaming LLC d/b/a DraftKings
  • GAN Nevada Inc.
  • Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc.
  • NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC
  • Parx Interactive Inc.
  • Penn Sports Interactive, LLC – Barstool Sportsbook
  • PointsBet Michigan LLC
  • Rush Street Interactive MI, LLC – SugarHouse Sports
  • Sports Information Services Limited d/b/a Kambi – Unibet
  • TSG Interactive US Services Limited d/b/a Fox Bet
  • WSI US, LLC d/b/a Wynn Sports

Being up and running before February 1 would give Michigan sports betting operators the opportunity to accept bets for the two biggest sporting events on the U.S. calendar — the signature NFL event, the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, more commonly known as “March Madness” leading to College Basketball’s Final Four. The three Detroit casinos opened only a matter of days before the NCAA Tournament last March, only to have the doors closed by the pandemic just a few days later.

This impending online sports betting launch could be the perfect antidote to future-proof the Michigan sports wagering industry from suffering any similar calamities later on.

However, before any launch, the operators must prove that they have got their collective houses in order. Since mid-May, the MGCB has processed applications, announced licensing requirements, and reviewed internal controls and platform providers running the gaming technology, suppliers, and vendors. Operators must also secure background checks and all occupational licenses for key employees before any prospective launch.

In the meantime, the Michigan authorities have allowed bettors to create accounts and download apps at the various operators ahead of launch, however placing wagers online will not be possible until the official green light is given.

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