Following authorization from the Michigan Gaming Control Board, Michigan has become the 15th state to accept legal online wagers on sport. Currently, it is also the second biggest state population-wise to legalize online sports betting.
“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,” executive director of the gaming board Richard S. Kalm stated. “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."
Last year, the state passed legislation to legalize sports betting.
From Friday, they began online betting as several casino operations started taking bets. Major brands in the sports betting industry such as Barstool Sports PENN, Wynn WYNN, Fanduel, and DraftKings DKNG began online casino operations.
For betting revenues, online sports betting changes the game. In most states, in-person-only sports bets account for a small fraction of bets compared to online betting. As an example, public data shows that in New Jersey, the state which frequently wagers the most on sports, online bets account for around 90% of betting.
Optimistic estimates from betting analysts predict wildly successful sports betting in Michigan, generating $8 billion in sports bets annually and $500 million in gross operator revenue.
“Michigan is the second-largest state in terms of population to have legalized online sports betting and online casinos and poker, behind only Pennsylvania,” said Dustin Gouker, betting analyst. “Michigan’s business-friendly tax rate and competitive licensing fees will attract operators, too. And with a solid tribal and commercial casino infrastructure already in place, Michigan should be poised for quick success.”
According to Gouker, if such estimates come to fruition, the state of Michigan could generate up to $40 million annually.
In COVID-19 times where state budgets are spreading themselves thin, many states are considering the legalization of sports betting to generate revenue, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who had long resisted against legalizing online sports betting.
However, each state with legalized online betting has its individual set of rules. In Virginia, a bill restricts bets on hometown college teams. In Mississippi you can only bet online when inside a casino, and inn New York, you can only place wagers at four retail casinos.
Following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling which declared the ban in sports betting as unconstitutional, the federal government granted states the legislative power to legalize sports gambling. According to th American Gaming Association, 21 states including Washington, D.C. currently offer sports betting. Others have legalized betting but are not currently accepting wagers.