Sports Betting Has Gone Live in Michigan

Michigan sports betting officially started Wednesday at 1 p.m. at two of Detroit’s industrial casinos, becoming the 16th US state to take a legal sports bet.

Each MGM Resorts‘ MGM Grand Detroit and Penn National‘s Greektown opened their sportsbooks Wednesday. MotorCity, which is partnering with FanDuel Sportsbook, will launch Thursday.

Penn National will add Barstool Sportsbook branding to the book, which will ultimately be relocated to the heart from the casino floor.

Even though you will find just three commercial casinos, Michigan’s 23 tribal casinos provide lots of opportunities for other brands.

So far, Fox Bet, PointsBet and William Hill have all agreed to tribal deals. William Hill expects its sportsbook at Turtle Creek Casino and a satellite place at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge to open before this football season.

The biggest draw from the tribal deals appears to be the online access, but that will have to wait.

Michigan’s gaming regulator is taking its time with the launch of online sports betting and online casino.

“MGCB staff continues to develop administrative rules for online sports betting, online casino gaming and fantasy sports,” the regulator said. “The rules should be final by early 2021, and online and mobile sports betting and gaming can begin next year after proper licenses are issued to the Michigan tribes and the Detroit commercial casinos and the firms that assist with these activities.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instructed the commission not to use emergency rules to expedite the process.

The fact that Michigan will get to bet on March Madness this year never seemed possible in early December.

But Sen. Charles Hertel Jr. helped bring Whitmer back towards the negotiating table to get the bill signed right before Christmas.

Michigan will tax sports betting revenue at 8.4%. Detroit’s industrial casinos will pay another 1.25% city tax, which legislators say is effectively 3.25%.

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