The MI online gambling market is nearing launch in the Great Lakes State.
There is still not much clarity around the question every gambler has on their mind: When will Michigan online gambling launch?
The latest estimates set the online gambling start date somewhere between October and November 2020. We’ll be keeping tabs on all the latest rumored launch dates for every type of new gaming in Michigan, so bookmark this page and check back for the latest news and projected dates that Michigan residents have online access to sports gambling apps, casino gambling, and online poker.
Now that we’ve got regulations in Lansing, the next step is to finalize those regulations and for the Michigan Gaming Control Board to draft a regulatory impact statement, hold a public hearing on it for comments, and approve that statement. Only then can the licensing process begin. The public hearing can’t happen any sooner than 28 days after the statement is drafted, so the proposed October launch is looking more and more likely to happen in November at the earliest.
With four major professional sports teams and two Big Ten college sports programs, Michigan should be fertile ground for online sports betting.
Michigan should be a hotly contested sports betting market, both because of the sheer number of people living there and because of the incredibly favorable 8.4% tax rate. Moreover, with three commercial casinos and over a dozen tribal gaming groups, there are plenty of licenses to ensure all the major players have means to get into the state.
In fact, when you look at the deals in place, just about every major brand is already accounted for in MI, with 11 operator collaborations in place. Some of the names who have not inked Michigan sportsbook deals include Unibet, Circa, TheScore, SuperBook, and Wynn. The biggest question mark of all is Caesars, which does not have a Michigan property and would need to partner with a tribe to gain market access.
Here are the sports betting apps we’re expecting in the Great Lakes State and our best guess at when they will launch:
|Brand||Partner||Projected Online Launch||Retail Launch|
|Barstool||Greektown Casino||Late 2020||Opened March 11, 2020 (temporary)|
|BetAmerica||Hannahville Indian Community||Late 2020||Opened Sept. 10, 2020|
|BetMGM||MGM Grand Detroit||November 2020||Opened March 11, 2020|
|BetRivers||Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians||When permitted||Opened July 17, 2020|
|DraftKings||Bay Mills Indian Community||Late 2020||Expected by fall 2020|
|FanDuel||MotorCity Casino||Late 2020||Opened March 12, 2020|
|FOX Bet||Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians||Late 2020||Expected in fall 2020|
|Golden Nugget||Keweenaw Bay Indian Community||Early 2021||Expected in early 2021|
|Parx Casino||Gun Lake Tribe||Late 2020||Expected by fall 2020|
|PointsBet||Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians||Late 2020||Expected by fall 2020|
|TBD/FireKeepers Casino||Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians||Late 2020||Opened June 22, 2020|
|TBD/Four Winds Casino||Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians||Late 2020||Opened July 13, 2020|
|TBD/Kewadin||Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians||Late 2020||Expected by fall 2020|
|TBD/Soaring Eagle Casino||Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe||Late 2020||Expected by fall 2020|
|William Hill||Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians||When permitted||Opened Sept. 18, 2020|
Playing blackjack, slot machines and other casino games figure to be a big draw in Michigan.
Some of the sticking points during legislative fights about online gambling centered around online casinos and the impact they could have on online lottery revenue. Each of the 11 casino operators in the state can offer a single-skin online casino.
Most of the partnerships between operators and casinos are comprehensive, including both online sportsbooks and online casino sites. Expect those that already operate successful online casinos in other states to arrive first, while those who are still new to the table games and slots side of the business, like PointsBet and William Hill, will likely come later.
Meanwhile, Caesars is one big player still on the outside looking in at the MI online casino space. It is also worth keeping an eye on some New Jersey online casino operators who did not get into Pennsylvania but could be eyeing Michigan, like Tropicana, Virgin, and 888. While the Michigan tiered tax rate on online gambling is not insubstantial, running from 20-28%, it is still markedly lower than the 54% slot tax in PA, making the state more viable to operators.
Here are some of the online casino apps we’re expecting in the Great Lakes State and their projected launch dates:
|Brand||License holder||Tech partner||Projected launch|
|Hollywood||Greektown Casino||Kambi||Late 2020|
|BetAmerica||Hannahville Indian Community||GAN/Kambi||Late 2020|
|BetMGM||MGM Grand Detroit||GVC||November 2020|
|BetRivers||Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians||N/A||When permitted|
|DraftKings||Bay Mills Indian Community||N/A||Late 2020|
|FanDuel||MotorCity Casino||Scientific Games||Late 2020|
|PokerStars||Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians||N/A||Late 2020|
|Golden Nugget||Keweenaw Bay Indian Community||Scientific Games||Early 2021|
|Parx Casino||Gun Lake Tribe||N/A||Late 2020|
|PointsBet||Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians||N/A||Late 2020|
|TBD/FireKeepers Casino||Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians||Scientific Games||Late 2020|
|TBD/Four Winds Casino||Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians||Kambi||Late 2020|
|TBD/Kewadin||Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians||GAN||Late 2020|
|TBD/Soaring Eagle Casino||Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe||N/A||Late 2020|
|William Hill||Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians||N/A||When permitted|
Online poker has not been a priority in Michigan, as online gambling companies have touted their sports betting and online casinos in market access announcements first. In general, online poker brings in the smallest amount of revenue for both operators and the state. Until Michigan can potentially get shared liquidity with other online poker states like New Jersey and Nevada, the MI online poker market won’t generate more than $3-$4 million a month.
Right now there are two operators set to go into Michigan, partypoker and PokerStars. The latter currently enjoys a complete online poker monopoly in Pennsylvania. The operator with the Nevada monopoly. WSOP.com, still doesn’t have a clear path into Michigan since its parent company, Caesars Entertainment, doesn’t own a casino in the state.
Considering WSOP.com is arguably the best known US online poker brand, it is really a matter of if not when they will find a way into Michigan. Other brand to keep an eye on regarding the state are WSOP.com’s partner, 888Poker.
For now, here’s the brands we know about coming to Michigan:
|PartyPoker||MGM Grand Detroit||N/A|
|PokerStars||Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians||N/A|
Online gambling is legal in Michigan with the passage of expanded gambling laws by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Dec. 20, 2019. The package included the Lawful Internet Gaming Act and the Lawful Sports Betting Act.
However, the Michigan Gaming Control Board is still going through the rule-making process for online gambling, alongside the Michigan Legislature.
Michigan’s 12 federally recognized Native American tribes and three commercial casinos in Detroit will be allowed to serve as online gambling operators.
Once enacted, Michigan’s 15 casino operators will be allowed to partner with one brand apiece for interactive poker, online sports betting, and casino-style games.
Unlike some other states, in-person registration for apps is not required.
Shortly after Jan. 1, 2020, Michigan casino operators and online gambling companies started announcing partnerships, which will be subject to MGCB approval.
The gambling expansion laws also legalized: