Michigan has approved provisional licenses for 15 online gaming platform providers a few weeks before online sports wagering and iGaming will be available in the state.

However, the launch date was not finalized by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) that approved the licenses on Thursday. The communications specialist for the MGCB Mary Kay Bean said the launch date could take four to six weeks but it would depend on various things, including “how quickly and completely applicants supply the MGCB with outstanding information.”

Operators and platform providers could not fulfil some of the Board’s requirements until December 2, when the rules were filed. The Wolverine State’s casinos, both tribal and commercial, are delving through the new rules to be prepared whenever they are given the go-ahead.

Michigan’s Next Steps

As the Board has approved provisional licenses, the platform providers are yet to meet other regulatory requirements before the eventual launch is expected in mid-January. While speaking on the development, Ohio-based expert Jim Kahler said, “the legislation had to pass, which it has, and then you’ve to work through compliance and get everything up and running.”

Kahler hailed it as a major initiative, saying that many states have brought on sports and then online casino gambling separately. He said that Michigan Gaming is rolling out some significant initiatives like sports and casinos, appreciating the state’s gaming authorities for tackling the increased workload, particularly because of all the tribal casinos, including their licensing and launching.

Who are the Lucky 15?

The following operators have been granted provisional licenses:

  • Betfair Interactive US LLC as FanDuel
  • American Wagering, Inc. as William Hill
  • BetMGM, LLC as Roar Digital
  • Crown MI Gaming LLC as DraftKings
  • Churchill Downs Interactive Gaming, LLC as TwinSpires
  • GAN Nevada Inc.
  • NYX Digital Gaming (USA), LLC
  • Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Inc.
  • Parx Interactive Inc.
  • Penn Sports Interactive, LLC
  • Rush Street Interactive MI, LLC
  • PointsBet Michigan LLC
  • Sports Information Services Limited as Kambi
  • WSI US, LLC as Wynn Sports
  • TSG Interactive US Services Limited as Fox Bet

Online Wagering Will Boost the Industry

Once launched, online sports betting will significantly boost the industry by offering much-needed support to city casinos. The state’s land-based casinos have generated over $120 million in retail handle since the industry was launched in mid-March.

Whenever digital sports betting launches, it will bring a new lease of life to the city’s casinos that have been bearing the brunt of COVID-19. Detroit’s commercial casinos are forced to close by the executive orders. On Tuesday, the closures were further extended through December 20. Though some of the tribal casinos are open, there is little attendance.

So, the ability to play from the comfort of home will definitely generate much-needed revenue.

Mobile Apps Available for Bettors’ Registration

One good thing about the provisional license is that MGCB has allowed operators to make their mobile apps available for download before the launch, enabling bettors to register and make an account. However, no bets can be placed without approval.

Meanwhile, all provisional license holders must complete independent testing of their platforms to gain the Board’s approval for internal controls. Kalm said the platform providers’ ability to meet the state’s requirements would decide which sportsbook will be the first to launch.

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