Online gambling has made an impressive start in Michigan. And the mainstream media in the Great Lakes State has taken notice.
The weekly news program Michigan Matters on CBS 62 in Detroit delved into online sports betting and internet gaming for its Easter Sunday episode. Host Carol Cain, who also writes for the Detroit Free Press, handled the interviews. She also composed a piece for the newspaper over the weekend.
PlayMichigan’s Matt Schoch provided perspective on the topic, along with Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm and Elisa Richardson of BetMGM.
Michigan Gaming Control Board’s Richard Kalm details early results
The executive director of the MGCB opened the show, detailing the efforts the board made to get online gambling up and running Jan. 22.
Part of the process was moving MGCB staff around to get online gambling launched during the pandemic, while the retail casinos were mostly closed throughout 2020 because of the pandemic.
“We really had to rob Peter to pay Paul,” Kalm said.
Kalm also detailed the licensing process, including the laboratory testing of products and monitoring internal controls of operators.
He also shared how online gambling helped revenue for physical casinos in New Jersey.
“New people are coming in to the industry,” he said. “This allows casino to market to that new demographic.”
BetMGM’s Richardson: Michigan was set up for success
BetMGM has been one of the leaders during the impressive online gambling start in Michigan.
The operator is third over the first 38 days with $98.5 million of sports bets in January and February. For internet gaming, BetMGM leads competitors with $38.0 million in adjusted gross receipts.
Richardson credited state legislators and regulators for setting up a roadmap for success.
“I think the way that Michigan approached sports betting was just phenomenal,” said Richardson, a spokesperson for the operator. “So because of that, the launch of online gaming and sports betting in Michigan has gone so incredibly well.”
PlayMichigan joined the show for perspective on how the launch has gone.
It’s been a positive rollout here, Schoch said, as preparations for launch were thorough and consumers were ready.
“It was all kind of set up for a petri dish of things to come together and for this to work out pretty well,” Schoch said.
We also talked about what’s next, as the online poker rollout and growth should continue as 2021 continues.
“That’s one of the big issues we’re keeping an eye on,” Schoch said.