Analysis

Michigan set for ‘imminent’ launch

Regulated sportsbooks in Michigan are expected to be given their launch dates in the next few days.

Testing continues to ensure their offerings are compliant and working properly.

Speaking to Fox17 West Michigan, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director Richard Kalm said this would happen “anytime between the 12th and 19th this month.”

Imminent launch

Once a go live order has been set for operators, Kalm said the authorities would “know who’s going to launch.” 

“It’ll take them a few days to do their testing and make sure everything works before they do a go live,” according to Kalm.

With no hard date set for official launch the timeline has been called into question.

Some have suggested mid-February as a more likely launch date.

Still, expectations for online wagering in the state are high.

With land-based casinos shuttered, the hope is hat online can take up the slack.

A total of 15 operators have already been granted licenses and with all the major brands lining up it will be an active and competitive market.

Yesterday, Playtech said in a trading statement it had received a license.

Strong demand

Michigan is currently 14th on the Wedge Index of states’ gaming-friendliness, It is sure to rise up the rankings once it goes live.

Kalm added: “I think there’s a lot of built up demand for sports betting.

“I think the handle here will be comparable to New Jersey and some of the other heavily populated states.”

According to the American Gaming Association, New Jersey saw $4.6bn bet on sports in 2019;

84% of that was wagered online. Michigan is expected to hit and overtake those levels once it is up and running. 

With such revenues at stake, betting brands will be competing hard for market share in the 10th most populous state in the country.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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