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Regulators Target 2021 For Michigan Online Gaming Launch

In-Person Sports Betting Expected To Roll Out This Spring

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Gamblers in Michigan will have to wait until at least next year before they can gamble online, according to a report from The Detroit News.

Regulators are targeting 2021 for the completion of rules that will govern the online gambling space in the Wolverine State. Once those rules are finalized, the licensing process can start and operators can launch their products.

Mary Kay Bean, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Gaming Control Board, told the newspaper that the target date is based on how long it has taken to develop rules for other gambling sectors in the past.

She also noted that retail sports betting regulations will come much sooner and casinos should be launching those services in the coming months.

“For in-person sports betting at the Detroit casinos, the goal for launch is this spring,” said Bean.

The bill’s sponsor, Brandt Iden, said that the state won’t reap any significant tax benefits until online gambling is launched.

“Until we’re fully integrated online, I don’t think we’ll be able to capitalize on revenue,” Iden told The Detroit News. “But from a consumer protection standpoint, from getting players interested, certainly getting up and going in person is helpful.”

In other markets, online makes up a significant portion of the betting market. In New Jersey, one of the country’s largest gambling markets, $468.8 million of the $562.7 million total sports betting handle came online. In Pennsylvania, online sportsbooks generated $8.4 million in revenue, while their retail counterparts netted $3 million.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Iden’s bill into law just before Christmas. The bill legalized online gambling of all forms, as well as in-person sports betting. A nearly identical bill was vetoed by former Gov. Rick Snyder a year earlier.

Snyder claimed that he didn’t want to drive gamblers away from the lottery, which was the main source of funding for Michigan’s school system. Whitmer had similar concerns but was able to work with lawmakers at the last minute to construct a tax structure she deemed favorable.