We’re very close. I wish I could you an exact day and time, but each day that changes. We’re gathering information daily.
In other comments, Kalm said that he is cautiously optimistic that he could have something more concrete to share by the end of the week or next.
The path to online gambling
It has been over a year since Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation to authorize various forms of online gambling. Some optimistically suggested that online casinos and sportsbooks could go open as soon as March of 2020, but that timeline came and went, possibly complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a case of unfortunate timing, brick and mortar online casinos began to open retail sportsbooks on March 11th, just before the pandemic shut down all casinos in the state.
The state has used the time to draft rules, regulations and a licensing structure to operate the new market. “I know it seems slow to the public, but from our perspective, the regulatory perspective, we just cannot launch new types of gaming until we have rules in place to protect the integrity of that gaming,” said Kalm.
The one-year timeline would be consistent with what other states have done. Michigan would join New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as states that have went live with a comprehensive form of online gambling that includes online casinos and online sportsbooks. Online poker will also be coming to the state, with interstate poker — online poker between states — could be available by the summer.
After the MGCB gives online casino companies the green light, it is estimated to be four or days before casinos and sportsbooks can officially go live after further testing.
What sportsbooks and casinos will be available?
There are 15 brands that have been approved to accept bets once the market is given the go-ahead. This includes some of the biggest names in the online gaming industry, including many sportsbooks and casinos that will be familiar including DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM.
To be given the authorization to operate in the state, these platforms were required to partner with one of Michigan’s 27 casinos — 3 in Detriot and 24 tribal casinos — to allow access to the market.
In just a few days, the wait will be over and Michigan residents will be able to begin placing their bets, very likely in time for the Super Bowl and March Madness over the next few weeks and months.