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Michigan Sports Betting Set To Launch In Time For March Madness

Written By Nicholaus Garcia | Updated:
Skyline view of Michigan

**Update: sports betting commenced at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 11, at two commercial casinos, Greektown Casino and MGM Grand Detroit. Both offer retail only sports betting.**

Rest assured, sports betting is coming to Michigan, and it’s coming sooner than you think.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) recently announced that on Tuesday it expects to give final approval for sports betting at the three commercial casinos in downtown Detroit.

With approval, sports betting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

“With just 11 weeks to prepare, MGCB staff worked hard to make the launch of on-site sports betting at the Detroit commercial casinos possible,” said Richard Kalm, MGCB executive director.

A spokesperson with BetMGM confirmed they expect to start taking bets immediately at MGM Grand Detroit. It’s unknown if Detroit’s other two casinos, Greektown and MotorCity, will launch on Wednesday.

As a casual or expert bettor, you may have a few questions, such as:

  • When will I be able to begin placing bets?
  • What will sports betting look like in Michigan?
  • Can I place bets using my smartphone or computer?

The staff here at PlayUSA has curated as much information as possible about Michigan sports betting, and we want to share it with you.

The basics of Michigan sports betting

Michigan became the 20th state to pass a sports betting bill with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature in December 2019. The bill authorizes sports betting at the state’s three commercial casinos in downtown Detroit.

  • Greektown Casino + Penn National
  • MGM Grand/GVC + Roar Digital
  • MotorCity Casino + FanDuel Sportsbook

The 24 tribal casinos will also be permitted to offer sports betting. However, since the MGCB does not regulate them, it’s tough to speculate when they will launch. Experts have anticipated tribal casinos will most likely beat commercial facilities to launch, but that has yet to be seen.

When will Michigan sports betting launch?

Regulators initially anticipated the start of the NCAA basketball tournament as a viable launch date. But now it appears that the timeline has moved to March 11.

March Madness, which begins March 17, is obviously one of the annual peak periods for US betting, along with the Super Bowl and start of NFL season. The basketball frenzy is a big opportunity to start MI sports betting with a bang, which means a lot of potential revenue from March Madness betting.

What can we expect MI betting to look like?

Sports betting will operate a lot as it does in places like New Jersey, Nevada, and Indiana. Operations will begin with retail sportsbooks only, then gradually introduce mobile wagering at a later date.

Regulators in Michigan have stated they want to take their time when developing rules and regulations for mobile wagering and have an expected target date of 2021. So in the meantime, you will not be able to place bets online or via a smartphone.

It’s expected that casino properties will have a designated sportsbook lounge or area complete with TVs, seating and betting counters where customers wait in line to place bets. MGM Grand recently completed construction on a $7 million “sports lounge” complete with numerous amenities, including self-serve betting kiosks.

If you’re looking for what things could look like, Horsehoe Casino and Ameristar Casino in Hammond, IN, can provide you with a good visual.

Tribal gaming partnerships

Thus far, there are only three sports betting/tribal gaming partnerships.

  • PointsBet + Northern Waters Casino Resort, operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
  • The Star Group/ Fox Bet + Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians.
  • William Hill + the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

William Hill will operate sports betting at the Onyx Sports Bar at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino. Both locations are expected to be open by the start of the 2020 football season.

With 24 tribal casinos spread across the state, there are surely more partnerships to come.

Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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