With Public Hearing Sept. 23, Online Betting Launch Could Come In November

Posted on August 27, 2020 - Last Updated on August 28, 2020

The public has a chance to voice their thoughts on the forthcoming Michigan launch of internet gambling next month.

A public hearing has been scheduled by the Michigan Gaming Control Board for Sept. 23 as part of the rule-making process for online sports betting and online casino gaming.

The 1 p.m. virtual hearing is scheduled for three hours. The hearing will take place after two NFL regular-season weekends are in the books. About half the 2020 season should be complete before any realistic hope for launch.

Meeting puts launch at around Thanksgiving

A set of draft rules were published in July as part of the rulemaking process.

The rules used elements from several other states where online gambling is already live, such as Indiana, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

According to the state’s rulemaking process, there is an estimated 40-day period after the public hearing for the agency to submit a final report to the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules.

There is then an estimated 25-day process for the certificate of adoption.

That combined estimate of 65 days would put launch at right near Thanksgiving, the most visible annual day on the Detroit Lions schedule.

However, stakeholders and legislators have said some of those steps can be completed faster than the estimated time frames.

How to participate in MGCB virtual hearing

The Wednesday afternoon hearing will be hosted on Microsoft Teams.

The link for the meeting can be found here, or you can dial 248-509-0316. When prompted, enter the following conference ID: 740 797 607#.

People with disabilities or those who have further questions about the meeting can contact Karen Finch of the Michigan Gaming Control Board at 313-456-4205. The public hearing announcement asks you contact Finch at least one week prior to the meeting.

You can also submit written comments by emailing them to [email protected]. Or, you can mail them to:

Michigan Gaming Control Board
Attn: Wendy Harns
P.O. Box 30786
Lansing, MI, 48090

The deadline for comments is 5 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Michigan still planning on fall online gambling launch

The public hearing is another step in the rulemaking process for online gambling, which in Michigan will include internet sports betting, online casinos, and online poker.

As reported by PlayMichigan, another possible hiccup relates to the FBI.

Earlier this month, MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm briefed the board that the FBI was not accepting fingerprints at the time for federal background checks from the board.

PlayMichigan reached out to the MGCB to follow-up this week. An update is expected soon.

The latest estimates for launch are sometime in October or November.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed expanded gambling bills into law in December, and retail sports betting launched in March.

There are 15 casino operators in Michigan and each is expected to have their own online sports betting brand, including the industry’s big names such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others, including large tribal casinos who plan to brand their own products.

Matt Schoch Avatar
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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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