Michigan’s Online Launch Just in Time for Key NFL Games
After months of speculation and delays, mobile sports betting and online casino gaming is finally coming to Michigan on Friday. And the mobile sports betting debut comes right in time for one of the NFL’s biggest days of the season — Championship Sunday.
Since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of gaming bills in December 2019, Michigan bettors have been left to speculate when online gaming would go live in their state. There was hope for the fall of 2020, then the projected launch moved to Thanksgiving before that date became December. Eventually, the timeline moved to early 2021 with a January launch the new most optimistic estimate.
But after all the obstacles and delays, the Michigan Gaming Control Board announced the official launch date after the licensing and regulatory requirements were met by the prospective providers. The reaction was positive online, with people commenting “FINALLY” and “Bout time” in regards to the MGCB’s announcement.
What Operators will be Live?
Nine operators have been authorized to launch at noon Friday. Here is the list of operators and who they are partnered with in the state:
- DraftKings (Bay Mills Indian Community)
- William Hill (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
- Barstool Sportsbook (Greektown Casino)
- TwinSpires (Hannahville Indian Community)
- Golden Nugget (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community)
- Rush Street (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians)
- BetMGM (MGM Grand Detroit)
- FanDuel (MotorCity Casino)
- Wynn (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
Each of the operators will launch with sports betting. All but Barstool will also offer online casino gaming.
Big NFL Weekends Left to Bet On
Players in Michigan will be able to wager on each of the NFL conference title games. In the NFC, the Green Bay Packers are currently -3.5 point favorites at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 3:05 p.m. EST kickoff. The total sits at 51, while Green Bay is -180 on the moneyline and Tampa Bay is at +155.
At 6:40 p.m. EST, the Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City is currently a -2.5 point favorite, and the total is at 53.5. The Chiefs’ moneyline is at -143, and the Bills are moneyline underdogs at +125 as Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ status is still unknown. The reigning MVP is currently going through concussion protocol after suffering an injury in his team's 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in the divisional round.
Michigan’s launch also means its citizens will be able to take part in one of the biggest betting events in the world, the Super Bowl. The American Gaming Association projected an estimate of $6.8 billion to be wagered on the 2020 Super Bowl. In addition to the typical game spreads, totals and player props were a huge draw on numerous sportsbooks with some offering as many as 600 additional prop bets. The Chiefs managed to earn a thrilling 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Super Bowl 55 is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Tampa. For this year’s game, online bettors in Michigan can take part.
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