iGaming to Go Live in Michigan Early in 2021
Players in the state of Michigan should have access to the first slate of regulated online gambling sites sometime during early 2021.
The igaming bill was initially passed back in December of 2019, but its actual implementation has been slower than players, operators and even regulators would have liked.
Although the process of getting an online gaming market off the ground from scratch takes time, the unexpected outbreak of the coronavirus certainly extended the time required.
A procedural waiver that allowed for expedited approval of the rules and regulations gave some hope that the first online gambling platforms could open their virtual doors before the end of the year. However, the upcoming holidays combined with the fact that most sites do not seem fully ready for launch just yet, make early 2021 a much likelier prediction.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has been working hard to make igaming a reality in the state as soon as possible to counter the adverse effects the pandemic has had on the casino industry in the state and provide players with some additional leisure and entertainment options.
Last week, the MGCB took a big step towards launching igaming in the state by approving 15 provisional licenses for gaming platform providers.
What about Online Poker in Michigan?
As for the options, there are only two operators that submitted their requests in time for the initial launch: partypoker and PokerStars. So, these two rooms will most likely be the first platforms offering online poker in the state under the brands partypoker MI and PokerStars MI.
Other likely candidates, including WSOP.com and 888poker, though they missed a August 14 deadline, and according to documents published by the MGCB, they still have yet to submit their applications.
Although both rooms have a presence in other regulated states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, they do not seem intent on being early participants in the Michigan market.
When asked whether poker would be included in the first slate of games to go live, Mary Kay Bean, communications specialist for MGCB, told pokerfuse, “We don’t know whether poker will be among the games offered at initial launch. It will depend on an operator’s readiness to offer poker and their desire to do so.”
“The games must be evaluated by independent testing labs and our own gaming lab and approved by the MGCB prior to being deployed,” Bean added.
BetMGM Strengthening its Foothold in the US
BetMGM seems to have very serious plans when it comes to the regulated igaming market in the US. The company has recently launched an online casino in Pennsylvania and now they are turning their head towards Michigan.
With a rather generous preregistration bonus, it is clear BetMGM Michigan wants to put its foot in the door early on and claim a lion’s share of the player pool. Given their offer comes with no real downsides, it will likely be well received by the players.