The Michigan Gaming Control Board understands players across the state are eagerly anticipating Michigan’s online casino gaming and mobile sports betting launch. The MGCB said its commitment to the launch resulted in December’s board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, being postponed until Jan. 12.
With limited agenda items, the MGCB decided to dedicate its time to work on the pending launch — news eager Michigan bettors would enjoy hearing.
“Board staff members are busy working on the launch of Michigan's online gaming and sports betting and with limited agenda items the meeting was postponed,” said Mary Kay Bean, MGCB communications specialist. “It was postponed so we could make the best use of the four-member board’s time.”
Michigan’s updated target launch is early 2021. There have been numerous projected timelines for online gaming in the state, including late November and late December. One of the main holdups in the process was the 15 required session days the rules had to be before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). The MGCB submitted the proposed online casino gaming and mobile sports betting rules to the JCAR on Oct. 8.
On Oct. 26, the MGCB submitted a waiver request to waive the mandatory 15 session days with the hope of being able to launch the online gaming platforms near the end of November. But the JCAR didn’t officially approve the MGCB’s waiver request until Dec. 1, which puts Michigan’s new timeline of an online launch for early 2021.
A day after the waiver request was granted, the final draft of the online casino gaming and mobile sports betting rules were officially filed, giving operators and platform providers the opportunity to meet more of the MGCB’s gaming requirements. The MGCB estimates the launch will take place four to six weeks after the rules were filed on Dec. 1.
Now the MGCB can provide provisional licenses for the operators and platform providers who begin submitting the necessary paperwork in order to be properly licensed and regulated. The MGCB will perform background investigations, and the platform providers will submit their software to testing labs to ensure they meet the MGCB’s requirements.
The thorough review process to make sure each operator and platform provider is in compliance with the state’s gaming rules before being licensed is one of the final processes before online casino gaming and mobile sports betting can go live in Michigan.
With the ongoing pandemic and Detroit’s three commercial casinos ordered to remain shut down for another 12 days until Dec. 20, online gaming could come at an opportune time for Michigan players who want to play from the safety of their homes.
The order shutting down casinos, high schools and colleges (in-person learning), restaurants and bars, theaters and workplaces when work can be done from home was set to expire at the end of the day Tuesday in Michigan.
The Michigan House of Representatives decided not to take attendance or vote during its session Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free Press. The move occurred after lawmakers were concerned that Rudy Giuliani, counsel for President Donald Trump, tested positive for the coronavirus days after speaking without a mask at a legislative hearing in Michigan.