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Michigan Online Gambling and Sports Markets Launches for First Time

The Michigan Gaming Control Board allowed the launch of nine online operators on Friday 22nd January. The opening of these casinos marks a big moment in Michigan, as the state authorizes online sports betting for the first time.

Nine Operators Approved

The nine operators that were authorized to operate in the state were DraftKings, William Hill, Penn National Gaming's Barstool Sportsbook, Churchill Downs Inc's TwinSpires, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Rush Street Interactive's BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Wynn. Many of these are considered major players in the iGaming industry and will view Michigan as a potentially big market. 

Michigan has a population of 9.9 million people, which makes it the tenth most populous state in the USA. The local government has predicted that mobile gaming, in particular, will prove to be very popular among the state’s residents. The launch of the online gambling market in Michigan also coincided with the NFL Conference Finals which determined which teams would be competing in this year’s Superbowl. This is seen as a big weekend for sports betting, so opening figures are expected to be very good. 

Talking about the launch of the operators, MGCB executive director Richard Kalm. “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.”

Many of the operators that have been granted a license in the state will offer online casino games alongside the big selection of sports betting markets that they have on offer. 

American football

Plans for the Future

This looks as it is only the beginning though, as the State of Michigan looks to continue to embrace online gambling and sports betting. They have confirmed that they will be granting operating licenses to more operators in the coming weeks and months. These companies will have to ensure that they meet the standards laid out by the commission. 

The majority of the companies that launched on January 22nd allowed an online sport betting app to be downloaded by Michiganians. These apps are all available to download in either the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or both. 

The state had already allowed companies to offer in-house sports betting in March 2020. This was bad-timing as this was at the start of the pandemic. As a result, casinos in the state were forced to close down. Last year, retail sports betting at the Detroit casinos took just under $845,000 for the city and more than $690,000 for the state, according to official statistics. Detroit is by far the biggest market for the state, with a population of over 670,000. It is also home to the majority of the casinos in the state.

The state wants to remind people of the potential risks associated with gambling. They operate a help-line for gamblers which is available 24/7 and is run by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. To gamble legally in the state, residents must be aged 21 or over.

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Liam Hoofe
Liam Hoofe
Published: 01 Feb 2021
Updated: 26 May 2023
Liam is a skilled writer and journalist, highly regarded for his perceptive examination of the gambling industry. He specializes in online casinos and sports betting, and his work has been published in top-tier publications. Here at GoodLuckMate, Liam covers the latest industry news and has also authored various gambling guides, offering both beginners and experienced players in-depth analyses of games and strategies.

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