Sports bettors’ hopes to bet on sports in 2020 took a hit late Friday. The Michigan Gaming Control Board was set to meet on December 8th to finalize the licensing of Michigan gambling apps. On Friday, it was announced the meeting was canceled due to COVID-19. The meeting has been rescheduled for January 12. The means the chances of licenses being approved before the end of 2020 is incredibly slim.
According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, online sportsbooks will launch in Michigan in the next four to six weeks. In an email to MichiganSharp.com, the MGCB said,
“The launch date will depend on many things, including how quickly and completely applicants supply the MGCB with outstanding information. Operators and platform providers couldn’t fulfill some MGCB requirements until the rules were filed, which happened Wednesday (Dec. 2). We estimate four to six weeks for launch (counting forward from Dec. 2) but will know more as we receive and review the required information.”
With the cancelation of the December 8 meeting, though, this means online sports betting is almost certainly delayed to early 2021.
Another Setback For Michigan Online Sports Betting
The rules were ratified on December 2nd, and operators (sportsbooks) were unable to fulfill some requirements in the rules. Because there will not be a meeting to push forward online sports betting in December, this leaves January 12th as the next major date to watch for as sportsbooks submit applications.
This is not the first time that COVID-19 affected the gambling industry. On November 18th, many casinos in the area were forced to close for at least three weeks. They are not expected to open until December 8th at the earliest, pending approval from the board of health.
This has made retail sports betting nearly useless with only a few Michigan casinos open to take bets.
This is obviously a serious setback and would lead to the state missing out on betting revenue during the end of the NFL regular season. Assuming all goes well, the Super Bowl will still be an option for Michigan bettors. As always, check back here for the latest updates on Michigan online sports betting launch dates.