Michigan Sports Betting Halted Again
Sportsbooks in the state of Michigan have had some terrible luck since the industry was launched, and it doesn’t appear that things are changing anytime soon.
Casinos and retail sportsbooks are now shut down once again due to COVID-19, and it’s unclear when these properties will open back up.
When Michigan officially launched sports betting in March, it did so just days before the cancellation of most live sporting events in the US. Now that things have started to pick back up, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has forced the commercial casinos to close.
There are just three commercial casinos in Michigan, and all of those properties are located in the city of Detroit. The state of Michigan relies on the sports betting industry as a revenue source, and the state is facing a huge budget deficit with the lack of sports betting.
Online MI sports betting has also been legalized in the state of Michigan, but there has been a long delay in getting that industry launch. It has now taken almost a year for that part of the industry to launch, and it appears that online wagering won’t launch until 2021 at the earliest.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is waiting on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to officially pass the online sports betting laws, and that group has yet to meet. There is a 15-day review session that is required before passing any new laws, but that could also be waived.
Online MI casino gambling will also launch in the coming weeks, and a number of online operators are prepared to offer both forms of betting. FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the biggest operators in the state, and they have things lined up to launch as soon as they are given the green light.
Both operators have also been offering pre-registration bonuses for Michigan residents in hopes of building up their respective customer base before things get rolling. New customers are eligible to receive free bets at the sportsbook and online casino if they take advantage of this promotion.
Tribal Properties Remain Open
The executive order by Governor Whitmer only applies to the commercial casinos in the state, and tribal properties are able to make their own decisions. At least five of the 11 tribal casinos in the Upper Peninsula decided to remain open amidst concerns of spreading COVID-19.
Tribal casinos help fund government operations for each tribe, and a number of the tribes were not in a position to shut down once again. All of the properties in the state closed down in March, costing each tribe millions of dollars.
The tribal casinos that remain open in Michigan have implemented new health and safety protocols, including temperature checks for all guests and employees. Masks must be worn inside of the casinos as well, and most table games are closed as well.
The tourism industry is not in season anymore, but there will still be plenty of action at the casinos that remain open. The commercial casinos are to remain closed until December 8.
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