Michigan Sports Betting Operators Can Apply for Licenses

Michigan Sports Betting Operators Can Apply for Licenses
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The Michigan Gaming Control Board is accepting internet gaming and sports betting operator license applications from commercial casinos and tribes in the state.

It's another step Michigan is taking to have mobile sports betting in place by the end of this year or in early 2021. Sportsbooks operators have recently been announcing partnership deals with casinos.

RELATED: More on Michigan gaming and sports betting

“We expect to launch internet gaming and online sports betting by late 2020 or early 2021,” Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director, said in a news release. “The MGCB continues to make progress toward the launch of online gaming by adding forms for operators and vendors.”

The MGCB is also accepting vendor registration applications from firms supporting operators and suppliers. The application forms and related information are on the agency’s website.

“Operators should file applications soon so we can conduct investigations and work with them on internal controls, technical standards, lab certifications and other requirements,” Kalm said. “In addition, the operators and suppliers should encourage their vendors to complete and submit registration forms.

“It’s more likely all participants will be prepared and qualified for launch if the MGCB receives timely applications.”

The board began accepting online gaming supplier licensing forms on May 15.

The Michigan gaming market includes mobile sports betting and online casino and poker, in addition to retail sportsbooks at three commercial casinos in Detroit. The first sports bets were placed in March. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the gambling bills into law in late December.

RELATED: Michigan’s top sportsbooks

Busy Time in Michigan

Though Whitmer has delayed implementing phase five of the state’s reopening plan because of a spike in coronavirus cases, there has been a lot of recent activity on the gambling front:

  • Global sports betting supplier Kambi has entered into a partnership with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi’s Four Winds Casinos to bring on-site and online sports betting products to three casinos in the state — New Buffalo, Dowagiac and Hartford — according to a July 1 news release. An online launch will follow. "We look forward to announcing the details of the sports betting options we will offer at our Michigan locations in the near future,” Frank Kennedy, Four Winds' senior vice president of gaming operations, said in the release.
  • Rush Street Interactive announced in a news release on June 22 that it was partnering with the Little River Casino Resort in Manistee to be the service provider for its retail sportsbook. The partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians also allows Rush Street to co-brand for online sports betting and online casino as soon as Michigan regulations allow. Little River plans to open its new retail sportsbook early third quarter.
  • A partnership deal between DraftKings and Bay Mills Resort & Casino was announced in early June. The deal will not only allow mobile and online access, bets can be placed in person at a sportsbook in the casino. The partnership is subject to licensing and approval by the MGCB.
  • Northville Downs, the only horse racing track in Michigan, can now conduct advance deposit wagering under an order from the MGCB, the governing body confirmed on July 1. Kalm issued the order June 26 along with a second order granting a conditional 30-day license to TVG, the first applicant to be approved.

In addition to getting sports betting operational by the end of the year, the state is also looking to get online slots, table games and poker up and running sooner than expected.

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