Optimism has always been prevalent for a November launch of Michigan’s mobile gaming and online sports betting platforms. But as the end of the month nears, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) acknowledges the state could be looking at a possible 2021 launch.
There is a mandatory 15 session days for the final draft of the rules to be before the JCAR. Once the JCAR approves the rules, the MGCB then has two days to prepare the certificate of adoption before filing it with the Office of the Great Seal.
The MGCB submitted a waiver request on Oct. 26 to waive the mandatory 15 session days in hopes of being able to launch its mobile casino gaming and online sports betting platforms at the end of November. Until the waiver request is granted, the rules stay before the JCAR and the launch is on hold.
“The expected launch date for this is completely determined by when the JCAR finalizes the rules,” MGCB Executive Director Richard Kalm said during Tuesday’s public virtual meeting. “We would be ready to go. We have to wait for the suppliers, but everyone is getting ready very closely.
“We initially thought it would be the end of November, but if the rules aren’t waived by the end of November, to at least allow the platform providers to go live, then we’re going to have to wait.”
The JCAR has had the rules for three legislative session days so far, and just 10 more potentially remain on the calendar.
If a waiver is not granted, the launch in Michigan could be delayed to February. According to the session calendar, just 11 session days are scheduled for January 2021, meaning gaming regulators in Michigan may not get the rules back until February.
“We’re counting the days and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get 15 session days in if we just let this run out to the end of the year, so conceivably, it would have to roll into the next session in January and then we start another 15-day clock, so hopefully there’s an appetite for a waiver,” Kalm said.
“I think we’re making some inroads. Some of the legislators that were involved in passing this bill are very excited to see it get going. They’ve had discussions about it. We’re just optimistic that there will be a waiver and we can get going.”