The next official update regarding Michigan’s online casino gaming and mobile sports betting launch could come on Tuesday during the Michigan Gaming Control Board’s regularly scheduled public meeting.
According to the MGCB notice of public meeting, the purpose of Tuesday’s meeting is to conduct board business regarding the implementation, administration and enforcement of the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act, related to the licensing, regulation and conduct of casino gaming in the City of Detroit.
The meeting will be open to questions, comments and suggestions from the public. Considering the last two public meetings took questions regarding the timeline of Michigan’s online gaming launch, it’s likely safe to assume the topic will be brought up again on Tuesday.
More clarification could be given on where the state stands in getting online casino gaming and mobile sports betting up and running in the state.
The MGCB could announce the first group of operators eligible to begin accepting wagers. This week, MGCB Communications Specialist Mary Kay Bean suggested the board could announce this sometime soon.
“In mid-January, the Michigan Gaming Control Board expects to announce the first group of operators eligible to accept wagers,” Bean said in an email. “We expect they will start accepting wagers later in the month. By law, that first group must include one tribal operator and one commercial operator. The timing and way the MGCB authorizes launch depend on how quickly the applicants meet regulatory requirements and submit all required information.
“We should know soon whether we can authorize the launch of online gaming at the same time as sports wagering, or whether there may be a delay for online gaming.”
As the days go by and there is still no hard launch date, some in the state are left wondering if there will be another delay for Michigan’s online launch. But former Rep. Brandt Iden, who has been instrumental in Michigan’s progressive gaming movement, recently said he believes the state is still on track for a January launch.
“As far as I’ve heard, it’s still on track for hopefully the middle or end of this month, as far as I know,” said Iden, who could not run for re-election in 2020 because of term limits. “I haven’t heard otherwise. The (Michigan) Gaming Control Board has been shooting for this month. I know they have a meeting coming up next week, and from everything I’ve heard, they’re still on track to try to get it rolled out this month.
”People are very excited,” Iden said. “I will tell you that I think that the frustration that’s out there is that we could have had this launch sooner. It’s been over a year now, but I will tell you that we want to make sure that we got it right. The (MGCB) has done a great job with that.
“I envision a big rollout. I know that their intent is to roll out sports at the same time as other internet gaming as well. I think that’s the good news, and I think that this delay means that we’re going to get a bigger rollout.”