Michigan Online Gambling Starts Friday with Launch of Online Casino Games and Sports Betting

The launch of the Michigan online gambling market is scheduled for Friday January 22, 2021 at noon local time, according to press release from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) posted on Michigan.gov.

In partnership with commercial and tribal casinos in the state, online gaming providers will begin offering both online casino games and online sports betting.

“The Michigan Gaming Control Board and the state’s commercial and tribal casinos will begin a new era Jan. 22 with the launch of regulated online gaming and sports betting,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director.

“Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we’ve received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos,” Kalm continued. “Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue.”

Between now and noon on Friday, operators will perform additional testing and make some final adjustments before going live, according to Kalm.

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The list of operators (along with their land-based casino partners and the category of gaming that they have been approved to offer) was released by the MGCB and is as follows.

Tribe/Casino Associated Platform Provider Gaming Type(s) Offered on Jan. 22
Bay Mills Indian Community DraftKings Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians William Hill Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
Greektown Casino Penn Sports Interactive/ Barstool Sportsbook Internet Sports Betting
Hannahville Indian Community TwinSpires Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Golden Nugget Online Gaming Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Rush Street Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
MGM Grand Detroit BetMGM/Roar Digital Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
MotorCity Casino FanDuel Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Wynn Internet Casino Games and Internet Sports Betting

Online Poker in Michigan Not Expected at Launch

Although online poker is categorized as an online casino game under Michigan law, it appears that legal regulated online poker will have to wait for its debut in the Wolverine State.

The MGCB has not confirmed that poker will lag behind other games, nor has it explicitly stated that real money online poker will launch alongside other internet gambling games on Friday. The MGCB did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on the status of online poker.

In the lead up to online gaming debuting in Michigan, two online poker operators emerged as the favorites to become the first online poker rooms in the state.

BetMGM which offers online poker on the partypoker US Network in New Jersey under the BetMGM, partypoker NJ and Borgata Poker brands is expected to be one of the first to roll out online poker in Michigan.

In partnership with Roar Digital, BetMGM was one of the first 15 Gaming Platform Providers approved by the MGCB for a provisional license in December. And though BetMGM will launch online casino games and sports betting on Friday, online poker is not expected.

“Poker is core to BetMGM’s business and we’re as equally committed to bringing our superior poker offering to new states, as we are with our sports betting offering,” Director of Poker for BetMGM Ray Stefanelli told pokerfuse.

“We’ll continue to work with regulators across the U.S. to widen access to online poker and look forward to a number of new states that will likely come online in 2021,” Stefanelli continued.

Until launch, BetMGM is still offering $200 in pre-registration bonuses to be used at its online casino and sportsbook. To get the special $100 in FREEPLAY at the casino and $100 in FREEBETS on sports, register a new account using the link below. No deposit is required during the pre-registration period to be eligible for the bonuses, but you will have to complete the identity verification process. Additional details will be provided during the signup process.

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Also in that first group of Gaming Platform Providers was TSG Interactive US Services Limited d/b/a Fox Bet, the parent company of PokerStars. However, neither Fox Bet nor PokerStars MI appear on the list of providers that will go live at the end of the week.

But the wait for online poker in Michigan may not be long. According to the MGCB, it “expects to authorize additional operators and platform providers in the coming days and weeks as agency staff review other submissions to ensure they meet the state’s regulatory requirements.”

“We want the public to have confidence when they place wagers, and our agency has required the providers to prove they meet Michigan’s standards, which are designed to protect the participants,” Kalm said.