Michigan Online Sports Betting Goes Live With 10 Sportsbooks

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Michigan online sports betting is now live.

More than a year after lawmakers legalized online wagering, eligible bettors within Michigan state lines can now register, deposit and wager with legal mobile sportsbooks, as of noon ET on Friday.

Michigan’s long-awaited launch comes days before the NFL’s conference championship games and a little more than two weeks before the Super Bowl, typically the single-most lucrative annual event for sportsbooks.

Retail sportsbooks opened in March 2020, but have faced repeated government-mandated closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, online sports betting was expected to make up 90% or more of total betting handle.

Michigan has roughly 10 million residents, making it is the 10th-largest state by population and the third-largest to accept legal online wagers, trailing only Pennsylvania and Illinois. Its population, high-profile professional and collegiate sports teams as well as its favorable tax rates and operator access make it one of the most anticipated U.S. sports betting launches.

Friday afternoon kicks off what could be one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the nation.

Live Michigan Sportsbooks

The Michigan Gaming Control Board approved 10 sportsbooks to launch Friday. Most sportsbook operators also have or plan to launch online casino and real money poker games, most of which are available within the same sportsbook apps.

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Five more sportsbooks have been conditionally approved by the MGCB and will launch in the coming days or weeks:

  • FOX Bet
  • GAN
  • Kambi
  • Parx
  • Scientific Games

Several more Native American casinos are expected to announce sports betting partners in the coming months. Michigan’s 2019 sports betting law permits the state’s three commercial casinos and two-dozen tribal casinos to partner with one sportsbook partner.

Michigan Sportsbook Registration

Michigan allows remote registration, deposit and wagering for any eligible bettor physically within state lines. There are no in-person sign-up requirements.

Most Michigan online sportsbook operators promoted pre-launch downloads for the weeks leading up to Friday. Bettors can download mobile apps from any of the aforementioned operators and begin betting today.

Bettors should also be aware that the Android and Apple app stores sometimes block sportsbook downloads and they may be redirected to the company’s website to complete the download. Michigan law allows multiple deposit and withdrawal options, though some banks limit or restrict certain transactions.

Michigan Sports Betting History

Michigan politicians considered legal sports betting shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal wagering ban in May 2018. It would be another 18 months until wagering was legalized and more than a year after that for online bets to begin.

At first skeptical about legal sports betting’s impact on the state’s lucrative lottery and its millions in annual tax dollars for education, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer worked with Republicans in the GOP-controlled legislature to pass a sweeping gaming package that included retail and online sports betting, iGaming, online poker and daily fantasy sports regulations. Michigan is the first state with all these games, online lottery ticket sales as well as both brick-and-mortar commercial and Native American casinos.

Retail betting began at the state’s three Detroit commercial casinos (MGM Grand Detroit, Greektown and MotorCity) and a handful of tribal casinos in March of last year, but these facilities were shuttered shortly there after due to the pandemic. The commercial casinos suffered several more closures in 2020, effectively banning the most accessible legal betting option for most Michiganders.

This built up even more excitement for Friday’s online launch. Regulators and lawmakers worked for the better part of a year crafting online sports betting rules and testing sportsbook operators.

That long journey ended Friday.

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