As expected, Michiganders are now officially able to wager on the internet through licensed online sportsbooks and online casinos.
Many Michigan’s online sportsbooks and online casinos began taking bets around noon ET from their websites and branded mobile apps. By the end of the day, all of the operators that had been authorized to take bets were live, including Wynn, which went live late Friday.
The wait is over: we have arrived in Michigan!
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) January 22, 2021
In addition, PointsBet, which had not previously been on the original list, was also given the greenlight and was among those offering better on Friday afternoon.
A look at who launched on Friday:
- Barstool (Sportsbook)
- BetMGM (Casino and Sportsbook)
- BetRivers (Casino and Sportsbook)
- DraftKings (Casino and Sportsbook)
- FanDuel (Casino and Sportsbook)
- Golden Nugget (Casino and Sportsbook)
- PointsBet (Sportsbook)
- Twins Spires (Casino and Sportsbook)
- William Hill (Casino and Sportsbook)
- Wynn (Casino and Sportsbook)
At launch, nearly all of MI online sportsbooks are offering betting lines on over a dozen sports, including all major sports. This weekend will undoubtedly be huge with four NFL playoff games on the docket, and the NBA and NHL seasons in full swing. On the casino front, many operators have been available in other states for months or years, so you will be able to enjoy dozens of games — notably slots — right out of the gate.
With the amount of competition already in the Michigan online gambling market, operators have been trying to woo sportsbettors with some attractive welcome bonuses. At the BetMGM sportsbook, new users can take advantage of a 100% up to $500 deposit bonus.
At DraftKings, the first deposit bonus even doubles that to 100% up to $1,000. PointsBet went live with a “Make it Rain” and “Win-Win” offers. You can read more about them here.
What about online poker?
While online casinos and online sportsbooks had the focus on Friday, don’t worry — online poker is also still on the radar. A variety of operators including partypoker, PokerStars and WSOP.com are expected to get in the action, but will likely be put on the back-burners for operators to focus on the more popular, and lucrative online casino and online sportsbook products.
More reason to be excited about online poker in Michigan? The state has authorized itself to enter in multi-state liquidity agreements, which soon would allow operators to merge their player pools across state lines. This is will be a huge boon for players in participating states, as the number of games and tournament sizes will drastically increase. Curently only Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey
Michigan will likely lead to further momentum in online gambling
It was not only a busy day for Michigan online gambling but an exciting day for online gambling in the United States, as the state became the fourth state to bring both online sports betting and online casinos to their borders, joining Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia.
Many agree that the launch of comprehensive online gambling in another large state is only a good thing for growth in the rest of the United States as it becomes more widely accepted and surrounding states undoubtedly become eager to piece of the action (and tax dollars).
Thus far, states have moved relatively quickly to legalize online sports betting — over a dozen now live — versus the four that have launched online gambling. The difference? In 2017, the United States Supreme Court overturned the biggest law standing in the way of legal online gambling on a state level.
Online casinos, which are not as palatable for states, first went live in New Jersey in 2013, but are viewed as more complex with more concerns over problem gambling.
Sights and sounds from Day 1
One of the first bets of the day came from State Senator Curtis Hertel, a representative at the forefront of the legalization of sportsbetting in Michigan.
Proud to place the first ceremonial online sports bet in Michigan. My wager was placed on MSU to win the national championship. Showing my undying loyalty to my alma mater and the 23rd district. Go Spartans! Have fun Michigan and gamble responsibly! pic.twitter.com/x7EuhWpTIV
— Senator Curtis Hertel (@CurtisHertelJr) January 22, 2021
In a sign that online gambling is gaining mainstream acceptance, the Detroit Tigers even tweeted about the launch of online sports betting:
Online betting is officially LIVE in Michigan!
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) January 22, 2021
Some sportsbooks went down for a brief time after launch, likely due to the huge infux of traffic after going live:
We've been overwhelmed with new customers in Michigan today.
As a result, some of you may have experienced issues this afternoon.
We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Please get in touch with us at [email protected] if you're having on-going issues.
— BetMGM 🦁 (@BetMGM) January 22, 2021
Tribes are a big part of Michigan’s online gambling market, which has not been applicable in other states:
Big launch day for iGaming and online #sportsbetting in Michigan. A major $1bn+ market, but also a pivotal moment in US gaming as tribes participate in state-regulated online gambling under new regulatory model. @tbattdc reports for @GamblingComp https://t.co/WjKxACYZC8
— James Kilsby (@JKilsbyDC) January 22, 2021
Online sportsbettors were also keen to share their thoughts about the new chance to bet:
First day of legal online betting in Michigan. Think the universe is telling me something pic.twitter.com/mYhwr4dYzs
— Wings Fan (@ZadinaSzn) January 22, 2021
It’s a good day for online sports betting in MICHIGAN!#FanDuelFriday
— STB yeah you know me (@stbiggar) January 22, 2021
— Name Cannot Be Blank (@777Wheatley777) January 22, 2021
— Talkin’ ‘bout games (@games_talkin) January 22, 2021