Michigan online gaming, sports betting to start Friday after state approval

(Photo Illustration by Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Online casino gaming and sports betting is officially legal in Michigan, as the Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved the license of several organizations to open within the state.

The MGCB has authorized that operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and others can accept wagers from Michigan bettors, once a waiting trial is over. The trial is to allow extra testing time before applications go live.

"The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting," said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director. "Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue."

Sports bettors were able to place wagers in person at some casinos beginning this past spring. But mobile sports betting, internet poker and other online games must wait until the three commercial casinos in Detroit, 24 tribal casinos and suppliers such as FanDuel and Barstool receive state licenses.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill legalizing online sports betting in December of 2019, making it the fifth state to legalize onling gambling at the time and 20th to legalize sports betting.

Sports betting and Internet gambling are expected to generate millions each year in state revenue. The tax on sports wager receipts after winnings are paid out will be 8.4%. The tax on internet poker and other online games will range between 20% and 28%. Revenue from online gaming and sports betting will support the school aid fund and First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.

Some gambling and technology executives have estimated that 90% of sports betting in the U.S. will be done over mobile phones or the internet in the next four to nine years.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 paved the way for all 50 states to allow sports gambling. It is underway in 13 states and has been authorized in six more, according to the American Gaming Association.