A long-awaited milestone for the state of Michigan took place on Wednesday. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) held a public hearing to discuss the final rules for legal mobile gambling and online sports betting. The three-hour meeting went by without a hitch as the MGCB anticipates presenting the rules to the senate and house in October.
After the presentation of rules, the next major step will is to gain approval from the state to write the rules into law. When asked about the timeline, MGCB Deputy Director David Murley said, “End of November is our hope, depending on getting everything reviewed and approved.”
There was a stipulation put forth by Murley, however. The state legislature is not expected to have an issue with the rules that were presented, but if that were to happen, the launch could be pushed to the beginning of 2021.
Online Poker Finally Coming To Michigan?
So far, there are only four states that offer legal online poker. Those states are New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the gaming landscape across the country. Furthermore, this has sped up the need for mobile and online gaming, compelling Michigan to act quickly.
Thankfully for Michigan poker fans, the opportunity for online poker is included in this bill that is going to the legislature. One question was asked by a poker fan who was curious about which poker company would launch first.
Murley responded, “There are a series of licenses that have to be issued.” Murley continues saying, “A lot of that will depend entirely on the applicants. We’re not the ones who make that decision”.
Expect major poker platforms like PokerStars, 888Poker, and WSOP to quickly put in their applications and launch. Fans that are looking forward to poker platforms in the state should check back here regularly for news.
November Launch Depends On Finalizing Rules, Legislative Approval
The most important thing to make mobile casinos legal is to gain legislative approval. Murley previously said that they cannot accept applications until rules are passed by the senate and house. As that final hurdle gets crossed companies will quickly submit their applications to launch.
The snag that could be hit is during the 15-day review process by the Michigan Legislature. If they do not certify the proposed rules, the MGCB will have to resubmit revised rules. The time that this could take would almost definitely push the launch to the beginning of 2021.
This is not ideal for fans who would like to bet on the NFL regular season as soon as possible. The sentiment was clearly felt by fan Andrew Burnell who said, “It makes no sense to me that this hasn’t been streamlined or fast-tracked.” Unfortunately, the forum was not able there to field or answer these types of questions. The comments or questions could only relate to the rules themselves, not suggestions about how to speed up the process.
The salient point remains that Michigan should have secured legalization of the mobile side of gaming in March. They made retail sports betting live in March just before the countrywide shutdown.
States like Colorado and New Jersey are gaining users across the board. The result is much-needed tax dollars thanks to the gaming industry. Most recently, states announced record-breaking numbers for the month of August sports betting.
With the NFL season and NBA playoffs in full force during September, expect those numbers to be even more lucrative across the board.