Analysis

Michigan on the brink of sports betting regulation

Key committee that needs to give the go-ahead for sports betting in Michigan is on the verge of passing the legislation.

Regulated sports betting in Michigan could be given the all-clear if reports about a vital committee waiving through the bill are correct.

According to the Associated Press, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, which comprises 10 legislators, will effectively bless the new regulations at a meeting today, Tuesday.

Republican Sen. Pete Lucido, Chairman of the JCAR, told AP: “Everybody wants to get this thing going.

“This is something that’s long overdue at this point. It’s being done in other states. We’re losing opportunity costs.”

The news of the breakthrough comes a year after the initial legislation was passed by both state houses.

Shoulders to the wheel

Some of the biggest names in sports betting are chomping at the bit to launch in the state. These include DraftKings, FanDuel and Barstool Sportsbook.

The intense pressure for Michigan to become the latest state to regulate sports betting looks to finally be paying off.

A spokesperson for the Michigan Gaming Control Board told the newswire that if the waiver request was approved by the JCAR, then sports-betting would likely kick-off before the end of this year.

Licensing will begin as soon as the rules are filed with the secretary of state, at which point they will take effect immediately.

As and when Michigan opens up it will significantly enhance the state’s gaming friendliness as measured by the Wedge Index.

The state is currently tied in 14th but will shoot up once sports-betting is finally allowed.

Pistons pumping

For those looking for signs of imminent action, they need look no further than the news yesterday of a partnership between the Detroit Pistons and DraftKings.

The deal will see DraftKings become the official fantasy sports and betting partner of Motor City’s NBA team.

Ezra Kucharz, Chief Business Officer at DraftKings, said the deal would “deepen our relationship with a prominent local team to facilitate more immersive fan experiences”.

“We appreciate the partnership-minded and collaborative approach that DraftKings brings to the table,” said Mike Zavodsky, Chief Business Officer, Detroit Pistons. 

“We look forward to utilizing our platform to help DraftKings grow their presence and connectivity to Pistons fans and to the greater Metro Detroit communities.”

Relief for casinos

The opening of mobile sports betting in Michigan will come as a relief to the state’s land-based casinos, which are currently closed for a second time this year.

The casinos were closed on the orders of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer towards the end of November to address rising cases of Coronavirus across the state.

Read more Wedge News coverage on Michigan:
Motor city: Michigan’s runners and riders
Casino closures in Michigan; more sports betting pressure?
Michigan on the rise
When will Michigan go live?

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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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