Sports bettors in Michigan will have to take the good news with the bad, as the state readies in-person wagering for casinos to open this spring, but the state’s Gaming Board has updated lawmakers with the news that online betting won’t open in the state until next year.
Mary Kay Bean, the spokesperson for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, told news outlets that the state will need roughly 12 months to create the rules that will govern the three commercial Detroit casinos and the 24 tribal casinos for online betting.
Bean also said the same 12-month time frame includes the rollout of daily fantasy sports as well.
The Michigan Gaming Board hopes to open on-site betting in the casinos’ sportsbooks sometime in the spring. The board wants to authorize licenses in the next several weeks, so casinos can open the doors to their sportsbooks by the start of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
“We are at a very early stage of this process,” Bean said. “The agency must establish several sets of administrative rules, which pass through many levels of review. The timing of implementation depends not only on our agency but also on decisions other departments, agencies, and the Legislature make along the way.”
The Detroit casinos may be the first to offer sports betting in the state as each facility has done the groundwork to get sports betting ready for the rollout.
The MGM Grand in Detroit has spent $6 million to open a sports lounge that you would commonly find in Vegas to welcome sports betting to the facility. Management for the MGM Grand plans to add windows and self-service kiosks to the lounge once the license is granted by the Gaming Board.
The Greektown Casino has plans to spend millions to create a 5,000-6,000 square foot sportsbook in the center of their gaming floor. The sportsbook will replace the operator’s electronic gaming section of the casino, marking its importance to the health of the casino.
Greektown Casino hopes that the sportsbook will boost its revenue as they routinely have the lowest revenue of any of the three Detroit casinos. Last year, Greektown made $337.2 million compared to the $623.5 million that the MGM Grand brought into their coffers.
The other casino, MotorCity has 34 percent of the market with a total of $493.6 million in revenue.
Greektown’s vice president, Marvin Beatty, believes that sports betting will bring in clientele that will infuse other areas of the casino with cash. “Being right here in the middle of the central business district, you got thousands of people and probably thousands of them are making some kind of sports bet somewhere,” Beatty said.
Operators and lawmakers are resigned to the fact that the lack of online betting will hamper early numbers, but legislators like Rep. Brandt Iden, the co-sponsor of the passed wagering bill, understand that the goal is to build a solid marketplace rather than grab a quick buck.
Over the next several weeks, Michigan casinos will continue to implement their blueprint for offering sports betting to customers as they wait on the Gaming Board to grant licenses and give the final approval.
Check out our various betting guides to get ready for when legal sports betting comes to your state! Also, check out our Michigan state page to get the latest updates on the current situation of legal sports betting in Michigan.
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