The wait is finally over for sports fans and casino gamers in Michigan as they will legally be allowed to bet online starting on Friday, the 22nd of January at 11:59 am. This milestone for the state will throw a lifeline to the state’s gaming industry after taking a beating for the better part of last year due to the raging pandemic.
Sports betting in Michigan went live in March last year, but unlike states like New Jersey and more than a handful of others, the only way that residents could bet on their favorite sports and casino games in Michigan was in-person. Unfortunately, then owing to the Covid-19 crisis that followed almost immediately after the sports betting launch and rocked most of 2020, casinos in the Wolverine State suffered months of mandatory closures as authorities tried to control the spread of the virus.
The state’s gaming regulator, The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) announced the imminent launch on Tuesday as it continues reviewing additional operator applications. Disclosing the exciting news, Richard Kalm the Executive Director of the MGCB released a press statement saying that;
“The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting.
Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”
A Full-Slated Menu of Nine Operators Ready to Roll
Last month, the MGCB awarded provisional licenses to a total of 15 operators, but by Friday only nine of the fifteen will be ready to launch. For now, there’s still no word on whether the remaining six including FoxBet and PointsBet will be good to go by the 22nd. However, the MGCB revealed that more operators and platform providers will be given the green light in the coming days and weeks after reviewing their submissions to ensure that they abide by Michigan’s regulatory requirements.
The nine online operators that will be serving players in the Wolverine State, alongside their partnered land-based casinos are as follows;
- BetMGM/Roar Digital Sportsbook – MGM Grand Detroit
- BetRivers/Rush Street Interactive – Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
- DraftKings – Bay Mills Indian Community
- FanDuel – MotorCity Casino
- Golden Nugget Online Gaming – Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
- Penn Sports Interactive and Barstool Sportsbook – Greektown Casino
- TwinSpires – Hannahville Indian Community
- William Hill Casino & Sportsbook – Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- WynnBet – Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
All the operators above will be making their debut with a full slate of both online casino and sports betting offerings, except for Penn Sports Interactive and Barstool Sportsbook which will only have sports betting on its menu. However, Penn Sports announced that it is waiting for regulatory approval for its online casino services which will then launch shortly after.
On top of the lucrative bonuses that the online sportsbooks and gaming platforms have for gamblers in the Wolverine State at launch, four of the remaining NFL Teams will be facing off this weekend ahead of the February 7th Super Bowl LV clash. As such, it is going to be an eventful weekend for those who will jump into the iGaming bandwagon. Anyone who is over 21 years and is within state-lines will be allowed to register remotely and place wagers on sportsbooks and real money online casino games in Michigan.
iGaming Taxation Rates, Allocations, Fees, and Donations
Of course, taxes and other forms of payments are also involved in this launch. So, for online sports betting, the Wolverine state will charge operators 8.4%, whereas that of internet gaming will range from 20-28%. Moreover, casinos in Detroit may also face additional municipal service charges and development agreement payments to the city.
When it comes to the allocation of these taxes, the funds will be distributed differently depending on whether they come from Detroit casinos or the tribal operated gaming houses. For casinos in Detroit, 65% of the tax money collected will correspondingly go to Michigan’s Internet Sports Betting Fund or the Internet Gaming Fund, whereas 30% will go to the city. The remaining 5% will be channeled to the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund, capped at $3 million annually for each of the tax sources.
Furthermore, there’s a hold-harmless provision for internet gaming aimed at assisting the city in the recovery of lost tax revenue from gaming, in case the city of Detroit ends up collecting less than $183 million for an entire fiscal year.
For tribal gaming, on the other hand, 90% of the payments from online sports betting are assigned to the Internet Sports Betting Fund, while the other 10% will go to the Michigan Strategic Fund. Meanwhile, for internet gaming payments from the tribes, 70% is allocated to the Internet Gaming Fund for the state, 20% directed to the local jurisdiction governing body for services, and like online sports betting, 10% will be paid to the Michigan Strategic Fund.
Additionally, part of the money collected from online gaming and sports betting will be used for funding the MGCB, the Com Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund, and The First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. $500,000 every year after board expenditures will go to the Compulsive Gaming Prevention Fund whereas $2 million more after the said payments will be directed to The First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. Any other monies left after that will be donated to the State School Aid Fund.