Michigan set to flip the switch on mobile sports gambling
By Bob Garcia
The state is expected to start accepting online sports wagers at any minute
There was a chance that Michigan was going to finally get its online sports gambling market up and running yesterday, but it appears that it didn’t happen. However, that shouldn’t put gamblers off, because the state is still determined to flip the switch to the on position sometime this week. It couldn’t come at a better time, either, as gaming revenue for the state is in the tank due to ongoing COVID-19 issues.
Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) had expected to be able to see mobile sports gambling go live last month, but certain issues got in the way. Notably, getting the regulatory framework in place proved to be challenging and Kalm asserts, “I know [the mobile sports gambling launch] 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.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed off on a sports gambling and online casino bill just over a year ago, and 2020 gave the state’s leaders too much to deal with at once. Land-based sportsbooks started to appear in March, just in time for the state to see its first coronavirus wave, and work then began to get the mobile segment in place. While a launch didn’t happen yesterday, mobile sports gambling is still expected to be introduced ahead of the Super Bowl next month, which should prove advantageous to Michigan.
Kalm has been “issuing licenses daily” to try to get ready for the launch and confirmed that the foundation is now in place. He added following a meeting of the MGCB yesterday, “I’m cautiously optimistic we’re going to have something either this week or the very first part of next week.”