The Michigan Gaming Control Board turns optimistic about legal sportsbooks coming sooner than expected
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more states are considering enabling legal online gambling to bring in more revenue, and some are even rushing the process. Michigan is one of those states making additional efforts to expedite the launch of online gambling, and might start operations as soon as October. Senator Adam Hollier announced a bipartisan bill last week in which operators would be able to roll iGaming businesses into their activities even before completing the full licensing process.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) told Online Poker Report that it is working on a very optimistic launching date, and both online gaming and sports gambling should be ready to launch this October. “Everyone seems to be working toward getting this launched sooner rather than later,” said MGCB Deputy Director David Murley. “I think there’s a general feeling that commercial casinos, tribal governments, the executive branch and many legislative leaders want to move these rules along. Right now, the way we’re moving, the month of October is realistic to get the rules to the legislature and get licensing done as well.”
In previous timelines presented by the regulatory agency, the launch of Michigan’s online gambling was set for early 2021. Nevertheless, seeing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the casino industry has created the desire of having these services available even sooner. Michigan’s three commercial casinos are located in Hollier’s district in Detroit and this bill was meant to help those casinos that were forced shutdown. The problem is that the summer recess is this Friday and, due to a legislative rule that requires each bill to be in possession of each house for a minimum of five days, it will not be ready before the recess.