When will Michigan go live?

All eyes are on Michigan as the next state to go live after Tennessee hit the mark in November with sports betting.

Sports fans and players in Michigan are eagerly awaiting news on when sports betting will finally be legal in the state as the days tick by to the planned launch.

The state had originally planned to launch regulated sports betting early next year, but as the pandemic placed extra pressure on its gaming sector, launch plans have been fast-tracked.

The end of this year has been set as the start date for regulated sportsbooks to go live.

According to the Michigan Gaming Board website, “depending on events, the rules could go into effect earlier… than the timeline indicates.”

The operators are already lined up, with Wynn Resorts snapping up the last market access deal when it signed with the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

A competitive state

The list of likely opening day competitors is filled out by many of the big names in the US sports betting sector:

  • BetMGM
  • FanDuel
  • Fox Bet/PokerStars
  • DraftKings
  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • William Hill
  • Golden Nugget
  • PointsBet
  • BetRivers

In a research note in mid-October, Chad Beynon, an analyst with Macquarie Research, said he expected Michigan to be a “major success” for Wynn and its partner GAN.

He also said a successful launch in Michigan would “help other legislators legalize internet gaming in their states”.

In a research note Monday, Beynon conservatively estimated that once Wynn launches it could gain a 5% market share in Michigan, generating $28m in revenue from online sports betting and $30m from internet gaming by 2025.

The road ahead

Currently Michigan is T13th in the Wedge Index with a tally of 13 points. Given the likely competitive set, as and when the state opens it will comfortably enter the top 10. 

Wedge News will detail later this week how Michigan’s gaming-friendliness will benefit from the launch of sports betting.

The final draft regulations for online sports betting were sent to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in mid-October

One win for the sector was that the state dropped its original plans to have an official data mandate embedded within the rules.

This was at the urging of leading operators DraftKings and FanDuel as well as data provider Sportradar.

Without any further legislative issues, the hope is that it will get a clear ride through to being passed.


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