Virtual Public Hearing Set for Michigan Online Gaming Rules
The next major step in the launch of Michigan’s iGaming and online sports betting is set to take place Wednesday. The Michigan Gaming Control Board will hold a public hearing to receive comments from the public on rules for both.
The hearing in Michigan will highlight the ways in which the proposed rules will offer protections to the public:
- Set forth responsible gaming measures.
- Provide integrity monitoring.
- Provide the gaming board with oversight capabilities.
- Provide protections for authorized participants when setting up an account or placing an internet wager.
- Set qualifications, standards and procedures for approval and licensure of operators, suppliers and occupational licensees.
- Set technical and security standards.
- Set internal control standards for operators and platform providers.
According to the MGCB, “these measures are designed to protect the public interest in secure, responsible, fair and legal systems of internet gaming and internet sports betting while at the same time promoting a regulatory environment that is the least burdensome alternative for those required to comply.”
Michigan is looking to join New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia as states that have iGaming up and running. Those four states and Nevada also legalized online poker. Online gaming has produced revenue for those states during the coronvirus pandemic and provided gamblers with a safe way to play while brick-and-mortar casinos were closed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social-distancing measures, the public meeting will be held virtually on Microsoft Teams. Those interested in the meeting can click here to join at 1 p.m., or dial in at 248-509-0316. When prompted, users who call in can enter the conference ID: 740 797 607 #.
Written comments may also be submitted to the Michigan Gaming Control Board at PO Box 307896, Lansing, MI, 49808, Attention: Wendy Harris. Written comments may also be emailed electronically at MGCB-Rules@michigan.com.
Next Step for Online Gaming
Richard Kalm, the executive director of the MGCB, recently told Gambling.com that a late fall launch would be possible for online gaming in Michigan.
“We might have the rules done by the end of October, but we won’t have the licensing done,” he said in an interview. “But I think a November launch is possible, or early December.”
According to the state’s rulemaking process, there is an approximate 40-day period following the public hearing for the agency to submit the final draft of rules to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules.
With the certificate of adoption estimated to be a 25-day process, the launch would line up with Kalm’s prediction of November.
Michigan Hopes for Boost from Mobile Sports Betting
State officials hope that Michigan mobile sports betting and online gaming will provide a similar boost seen in other states that have launched their mobile platforms.
In its first full month of sports betting, Illinois in July took in $52.5 million in wagers even with professional sports sidelined and casinos limited in their capacity. About 92% of the bets were placed online. Retail sports betting was only open for a few days before the casinos there had to shut down because of the coronavirus.
New Jersey recently broke a national record for monthly mobile sports betting handle with $601,942,486 in August. The new record was a 103.5% increase over July’s $295,804,327 and up 141% from August 2019. According to state figures, mobile made up 90% of the New Jersey total sports handle in August.
With Detroit casinos reporting revenue dips in August while operating only at 15% capacity, the launch of Michigan mobile gaming and online sports wagering could be a welcome addition.
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