Sports Betting Competition Coming for Michigan?
Legal sports betting in Michigan has really taken off since the state allowed online gambling to launch in January.
Michigan has become one of the biggest markets in the United States and it appears that there is still plenty of room to grow.
Currently, Indiana is the only neighboring state with sports betting, and Michigan has already surged past it. Wisconsin is a state with restrictive gaming laws and it’s not likely that it will allow for sports betting.
That leaves Ohio to the East and Canada to the North. Both of these territories could provide some competition in the industry and that would hurt the growth of the Michigan industry.
Both Ohio and Canada appeared to be trending towards a path of legalization earlier this year, but that might only be the case for one neighbor at this time.
Canada Could Pose Real Threat
Canada has had a ban in place on single game sports wagers but the lawmakers have been working to remove that ban. Parlay betting was previously approved in Canada, but that put a serious restriction on the number of bets placed.
Earlier this week, the Senate in Canada approved a bill that will change the criminal code and allow for single-game sports betting. There is a chance that this will go into effect at some point in 2021, and that could threaten the market in Michigan.
It is still unclear how the sports betting industry in Canada will work, but other details should be announced in the coming weeks. The NHL and NFL should be big markets in that country, but the country must attract some of the top operators.
While having sports betting in Canada could affect the Michigan sports betting market along the Northern border, it shouldn’t have a major impact. Bettors from Michigan aren’t going to cross into Canada to bet, but it will keep Canadian residents from visiting a Michigan sportsbook.
Ohio Can’t Figure it Out
Ohio does provide a much bigger threat to the industry in Michigan, but it appears that the state dodged a bullet. Lawmakers in Ohio can’t seem to reach an agreement, and a launch in 2021 doesn’t seem likely.
This state has seen a number of sports betting bills introduced since the beginning of 2020, but that also caused a problem. There were too many ideas being presented, and lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement on several key points.
Senate Bill 126 was the first to gain some momentum in Ohio, but that bill eventually stalled out. Lawmakers then took language form that bill and included it in House Bill 29.
Lawmakers were in session this week, and it seemed as if HB 29 was set to head to the desk of Governor Mike DeWine. Instead of that bill coming for a full vote, it was ultimately tabled and won’t be revisited until September.
Ohio has the ability to become a large sports betting market, and the state has professional teams to back that up. At least for the remainder of 2021, Michigan will not be facing competition from Ohio.
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