Analysis

Michigan committee waives the rules

A crucial Michigan legislative committee has waived the waiting period to approve new sports betting rules.

The crucial hearing yesterday of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which includes lawmakers from both houses, approved an expedited process

The move all but clears the pathway for regulation before month end.

It means the legislation now moves on to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). A spokesperson has previously told the press that if the Committee clears the road then sports betting can get underway in the state by the end of the year.

“If we hear the waiver request was approved by JCAR, we are hopeful that online gaming and sports betting can start this year,” Mary Kay Bean told Associated Press this week.

Raring to go

The news was trailed earlier this week when Committee Chair, Republican Sen. Pete Lucido, Chairman of the JCAR, told Associated Press: “Everybody wants to get this thing going. 

Many of the top names in sports betting are already lined up to launch in Michigan once the light turns green.

These include DraftKings and FanDuel, which both signed deals this week with the Detroit Pistons to be the team’s new betting partners.

Pistons chief business officer Mike Zavodsky praised the agreements and noted the opportunity to offer fan engagement strategies unique to each business.

“We appreciate the partnership-minded and collaborative approach that both FanDuel and DraftKings brought to the table,” he said.

With mobile registration likely to be a part of the final rules, it looks likely Michigan’s gaming friendliness rating as measured by the Wedge Index will receive a mighty boost. 

Currently tied-14th, it will likely move towards the top five.

Needs must

The gaming sector in Michigan is desperately in need of good news. Currently, all of Detroit’s commercial casinos remain closed due to pandemic restrictions. 

Giving them sports betting and online gaming before the year-end would certainly classify as an early Christmas present.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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