GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Officials with the Michigan Gaming Control Board expect online gambling to launch sometime in the middle of next month.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill legalizing sports gambling in Michigan into law in December 2019, allowing casinos to open sportsbooks. But online gaming needed its own set of regulations and licenses.
The legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules approved those regulations on Dec. 1 and waived the 15-day waiting period, allowing casinos and the MGCB to get to work immediately on licensing. So far 15 casinos and their vendors have been approved, including Gun Lake Casino in Wayland and the Four Winds Casinos across southwest Michigan. Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek is still waiting for its license.
Experts forecast online gambling will generate more than $90 million in revenue in its first year. The commercial casinos — MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City and Greektown — will pay an 8.4% tax on online gambling revenues: 4.62% goes to their local jurisdiction (Detroit) and 3.78% goes to the state, which is allocated to the School Aid Fund.
Currently, all three commercial casinos have sportsbooks up and running. Twenty of Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos have deals in place for sportsbooks and have either opened or are in the process of opening.