Online gambling, sports betting, could be live by late November

The sooner it’s rolled out, the sooner online gambling could generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state.
Gaming Control Board plan for fall
Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 4:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - When Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4311 in late December of 2019, it was Christmas come early for online gamblers.

That bill turned into the Lawful Internet Gaming Act.

“Immediately, we started working towards bringing that to fruition,” said Michigan Gaming Control Board Director Richard Kalm.

Kalm says the original plan was to bring online betting live some time in late January of 2021. There was no rush.

“Sports betting was allowed in the retail outlets around March. Then, the COVID pandemic hit. And the casinos were shut down. And so really what happened was the online gaming portion of that became a much higher priority.”

Kalm says the process on their end happened at “warp speed.”

“We put together a rule set that we met it through the 12 tribes with three commercial casinos, and we’re very close. We didn’t reinvent the wheel. We found rules from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Indiana. Most of these operators are licensed there and operated there now. So there wasn’t a big learning curve.”

He says those rules will be submitted to the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules within the next few days.

Once they’re approved or amended, they go to the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules in October.

“The legislature can do one of two things, they can either pass them, or we could go through the process of passing a law that would reject the rules," said State Senator Curtis Hertel.

He says they’re more likely to approve the rules as they are, and Michiganders can get to betting online.

The sooner it’s rolled out, the sooner online gambling could generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state.

“There will be a lot of interest considering some of the budgetary issues to get this online and start collecting the taxes, and I think there are plenty of people who would like another form of entertainment in Michigan," Hertel said. "Although we could lose a lot of money betting on the Lions, I’m sure it would still be a good time.”

Kalm says they’re hoping online gambling is live at the end of November.

You can read more about the Michigan Gaming Control Board and their plans for online gambling here.

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