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Michigan Next State to Legalize Gambling

Author: Ashley Hughes
Last update on: April 28th, 2020
Topic: News

Article Key Points:

  • Michigan legalizes sports betting state-wide.
  • 25 hopeful casinos vying to offer sports betting.
  • Sports betting licenses to cost an initial $150,000.

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With Michigan being the home of several professional sports teams in Detroit, as well as some of the biggest college sports programs in the country, legal sports betting was a natural fit for the state. And, after ironing out the details for its implementation, Michigan finally has sports betting up and running. With the first wagers being placed there, the path to executing a rather grandiose sports betting plan is underway.

Michigan joins list of active states

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.

Plans for sports betting in Michigan

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.

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