New Era for Michigan with Launch of Online Casino Industry

January 22, 2021

Michigan Online Casino Industry

Excitement is running high in Michigan with online gambling and sports betting officially launching on the 22nd of January 2021.

It’s been a long time coming and now players within the state can finally legally enjoy access to online casinos and sports sites!

Today marks a new era for commercial and tribal casinos in the state of Michigan, and operators and players are rejoicing.

Approved online betting and gaming operators

Eight operators have been approved for online betting and gaming by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). A ninth only received approval for online wagering, with all nine opening their virtual doors today.

According to MGCB executive director, Richard S. Kalm, the state is expected to post high revenue figures and generate high returns through tax from the launch.

It’s no secret that Michigan residents love sports betting and according to Kalm there have been various enquiries for mobile betting through commercial and tribal casinos.

It is expected that the legalisation of online gaming and sports betting will provide casinos with new ways to engage customers while simultaneously providing the state and local communities with the benefit of taxes and payments received from these activities.

The long-awaited launch of the new online betting and gaming industry has allowed the Gaming Control Board to run various tests and make the necessary adjustments for things to go as smoothly as possible.

The idea was to ensure that providers meet Michigan’s standards. It also means that players should be confident in placing wagers and also be protected at all times.

As for approval, three commercial land-based casinos received approval, all of which are based in Detroit. Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino will launch the Barstool Sportsbook online and is the only operator not offering iGaming along with sports betting.

The eight sports betting and online gambling platforms launching today include:


  • FanDuel (for MotorCity Casino)
  • BetMGM/Roar Digital (for MGM Grand Detroit)


  • DraftKings (for the Bay Mills Indian Community)
  • William Hill (for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)
  • TwinSpires (for the Hannahville Indian Community)
  • Golden Nugget Online Gaming (for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community)
  • Rush Street (for the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians)
  • Wynn (for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

Platforms such as FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM have spent weeks advertising the launch, inviting visitors to sign up pre-launch.

Continued growth and expansion of the industry

In the weeks to come, the MGCB expect to continue authorisation procedures. Currently, 15 platforms have had provisional licenses approved in the past month, which includes the nine which launched on the 22nd of January 2021.

Others that received approval include Fox Bet from The Stars Group and NYX Digital Gaming.

While retail sports betting was legalised alongside online betting and gaming in Michigan in March 2020, it was put on halt by the current COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, revenue in commercial casinos suffered a 56.1% year-on-year drop with operations put on pause due to the pandemic too.

Some good news is that state operators could soon be adding poker products to their offering which will be shareable across state lines. This is after Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill (Senate Bill 991) permitting interstate poker. Essentially the bill allows liquidity of poker games to be pooled with other states and jurisdictions.

For today, the state of Michigan celebrates the dawn of a new era with the launch of online sports betting and casino gaming – and the future seems bright!