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The afternoon on Wednesday, March 11 marked the beginning of legal sports betting in Michigan. There were two casinos that offered action in time for the official start to sports betting at 1:00 p.m. Central time, with those sportsbooks belonging to the MGM Grand in Detroit and Greektown Casino. From this point forward, bettors will be able to wager on sports legally in Michigan.
Michigan Rep. Brandt Iden was the one who placed the first legal sports bet in the history of the state that day, with his wager going toward the Michigan State Spartans to win the Big Ten Tournament. That means that the first legal sports bet in Michigan history will be graded as a push, as the Big Ten Tournament was cancelled. But, as bettors in Michigan and around the world would agree, a push is better than a loss.
With so many pro and college teams hailing from the state of Michigan, the legalization of sports betting gives fans in the state another reason to support them. With the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings all currently trying to reclaim their former glory, the ability to wager on those teams adds another reason to cheer for teams that haven’t given fans too many reasons to cheer in the recent past.
Michigan joins a host of midwestern states that have recently legalized and launched sports betting. Indiana, Illinois and Iowa are also actively offering sports betting products to people located in their states.
The launch of legal sports betting in Michigan is only the beginning of a process that the state hopes will lead to a wave of popularity within its borders. There are 25 casinos in Michigan, with all of them reportedly aiming to offer sports betting in the future. Many are hoping to get that facet of their business up and running as soon as possible, while others are simply hoping to be prepared for the next football season.
Perhaps more exciting is the potential for the addition of online sports betting throughout Michigan. Given the size of Michigan, even 25 casinos might not be enough to serve populations in the Upper Peninsula or in more remote areas of the state. The ability to serve those sports fans with online wagering is something that could inject even more life into the industry there. Sports betting licenses will cost casinos $150,000, in addition to $50,000 per year on top of that.
As of now, The Detroit News has reported that online sports betting will not begin in Michigan until 2021. There is, of course, a huge difference between it starting up in early 2021 versus late 2021. Which end of the spectrum the launch will fall on is unknown at this time. Bettors would need to verify that they are located within the state of Michigan in order to place their bets online. Either way, online sports betting appears to be imminent, which would solidify Michigan as one of the states with more places to place bets than the bulk of states with legal sports action.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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