Analysis

Michigan on the rise

Michigan will become one of the leading sports betting states when it finally goes live in the coming weeks.

Michigan will quickly rise up the Wedge Index of gaming friendliness when it finally gives the nod to regulated sports betting and online gaming.

The move will confirm the importance of the Great Lakes State as it opens with many of the characteristics; population size and important sports teams – of the biggest states in sports betting.

Tallying the points

The Wedge Index ranks states on whether key aspects of consumer gaming are available.

Michigan is set to feature the following factors:

  • Mobile sports-betting (10 points)
  • Remote registration (15 points)
  • Online casino (5 points)

The state will also benefit in terms of the points tally from many of the leading brands in sports betting and online joining the market. 

In total the various measures that will be introduced will add up to 60 points or more to Michigan’s points tally.

This will lift Michigan well into the top five of gaming states with a prospective points tally of well over 70. 

It means it will leapfrog current fourth and fifth Indiana and West Virginia and possibly current third place Colorado.

Population size matters

Michigan is the 10th most populous state with a population of just under 10 million. That makes it bigger than 11th placed New Jersey, which has just under 9 million.

In terms of the regulated states ranked on the Wedge Index, the biggest state is Illinois – currently 6th on the Wedge Index but the fifth most populous state in the country. 

The sixth most populous state is Pennsylvania, which is second on the Wedge Index.

Major names

The list of brands that are likely to feature in the early days of the market will include top-tier Wedge Index brands such as FanDuel, DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbook.

Wedge News will be discussing the hopes of each of the brands looking to enter the market later this week.

As Michigan waits on final approval from the state legislature, the regulations will allow all the commercial and tribal casinos in the state to offer sports betting and gaming.

Following the lead of the Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), has said it is hoping the market will open up to sports betting ahead of the original early 2021 launch date.

The opening was brought forward due to the impact of the pandemic lockdowns on the state’s existing land-based casino industry.

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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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