New Regulations Put Online Casino And Sports Betting Closer To Launch

Posted on July 31, 2020 - Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The state of Michigan continues to move closer to online sports betting and online casinos.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) published draft rules for internet gaming (71 pages) and internet sports betting (79) last week.

Those rules were sent off to Lansing to move forward with the regulation process.

What are the next steps in regulation?

The next step in the rule-making timetable has the draft rules moving to the Administrative Rules Division.

MCGB spokesperson Mary Kay Bean indicated last week that the agency hopes to host a public hearing on the rules in September.

This process got underway prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan casinos closed in March, delaying the process.

The Administrative Rules Division now must review the rules before passing them on to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

A regulatory impact statement drafted by the MGCB will follow. A minimum of 28 days after approval of the statement, a public hearing will be held.

Current timetables have a fall 2020-early 2021 launch for online sports betting and iGaming in Michigan.

Servers a key focus for online gambling legalization

Taking the lead from other states that have approved online gambling, Michigan crafted its draft rules from its predecessors according to MCGB Executive Director Richard Kalm.

Servers for sports betting and online casinos must be located within the state. Operators and platforms provide their approved locations to the MCGB.

The submitted draft rules also require the major US leagues to notify the board in writing if a league wants sports betting operators to use official league data to settle in-hame betting wagers.

Digital record keeping and security protocols are also key focus points for the proposed rules.

Michigan joining the online gambling party

Sports betting around the country has picked up steam in recent years. Michigan jumped on board in December when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed laws to expand the state’s gambling market.

Official sports betting in the state began in March, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Five tribal casinos, operated by three different tribes, have opened retail sportsbooks this year.

Dacey’s Sportsbook at FireKeepers Casino & Hotel was the first tribal casino sportsbook in June. Four Winds Casinos opened a trio of sportsbooks in recent weeks.

Just recently, Little River Casino Resort in Manistee opened River Rock Sportsbook & Grill, giving the state a total of eight sportsbooks.

Commercial casino sportsbooks in Detroit opened briefly. In just six days of operation before being forced to close because of COVID-19, those casinos generated over $105,000 in adjusted gross receipts.

Michigan’s 12 federally recognized Native American tribes and the three commercial casinos in Detroit can deploy one skin apiece for online sports betting, casino, and poker.

Agreements with suppliers and operators have been announced this year for Michigan. Those agreements are still subject to approval.

Currently, four states in the US have online casinos. Those states are West Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Eleven different states have online sportsbooks. Illinois was the latest to do so.

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