Michigan Takes Another Step Forward for Potential 2020 Online Betting

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Photo credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images. Pictured: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

May 21, 2020, 03:00 PM EDT

Michigan originally planned on launching online sports betting in 2021. Now, there’s a chance it may be coming sooner.

The Michigan Gaming and Control Board has started to accept online gaming supplier licensing forms, as it hopes to jump-start the campaign for online betting as live sports begin to return.

“We’ve taken another step toward the launch of online gaming by beginning the licensing process,” MGCB executive director Richard S. Kalm said in a release. “The MGCB encourages suppliers to file applications soon so we can conduct investigations and issue provisional licenses, which are allowed under state law.”

The MGBC has the ability to give out provisional licenses for all suppliers other than platform providers. Platform providers can still complete their applications and be ready for licensure when the rules for online betting are finalized.

Other forms will be added to the MGCB’s website after the agency processes feedback from stakeholders on the proposed rules.

“We continue to make progress on rule promulgation for internet gaming and online sports betting,” Kalm said. “While we expect to launch these forms of betting by early 2021, we hope it can happen sooner.”

Sports betting in the state launched less than a week before casinos were ordered to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the prospect of online betting would be well received.

That’s especially true in a large market such as Detroit, which houses three state casinos that remain temporarily closed.

Michigan’s commercial casinos garnered just $105,548 in its short stint with sports and without online betting.

While Governor Gretchen Whitmer has started to allow some parts of the state to reopen, there’s no update as to when Detroit’s commercial casinos can open back up.

Rep. Brandt Iden, a key driver of legalized sports betting in Michigan, told Gambling.com the process of drafting the rules for mobile betting should wrap up in the next two weeks or so. After that, he said it’s on to the promulgation process, including stops in the Michigan house and senate.

When that concludes, he hopes to have online betting operational by the end of 2020.

“All that said, licensure, getting people up and running, we believe that by sometime close to the end of the year, a November-December timeline is reasonable for us to be fully up online with mobile sports, internet gaming and internet poker at our tribal casinos and our commercial casinos,” Iden said.

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