Legal Sports Betting is Live in Michigan

Michigan is the 16th state to have a legal sports betting market in operation!

The first legal bets were wagered in the Great Lakes State in Detroit casinos on Wednesday, March 11th

Here’s what you need to know about legal sports betting in Michigan.

Three casinos make sports betting available in Detroit

Michigan became the 20th state to pass a bill that legalized sports betting last December. 

Two casinos opened their sportsbooks in the state on the 11th of March. MGM Grand Detroit and Greektown welcomed in eager new customers starting from 1pm. 

Congressman Brandt Iden placed the first ever bet at MGM. He worked for more than four years to lobby his bill for legalized sports betting in the state. Former Detroit Red Wings stars Joey Kocur and Darren McCarty later joined for the screening of Detroit’s hockey game in the sportsbook.

FanDuel’s sportsbook at MotorCity Casino followed suit the next day. Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Barry Sanders took part in the opening celebrations, and fans had the chance for a meet and greet with the running back, who played his whole career in Detroit.

The MGM and MotorCity Casino have special sportsbook areas with plenty of large screen TV’s for fans to follow all the action. Bettors can place their wagers at sportsbook lounges or at various kiosks throughout the casinos. 

“We have a couple of different options for people to bet on. Obviously you can go to one of our live windows, where you can place a bet with an actual cashier. You can place a straight bet, a future bet,” said David Tsai, MGM President.

Online betting and sportsbooks in tribal casinos

The variety of betting options available will be increasing in the future. 

“There will be some player proposition bets once the Major League Baseball season starts, but just in the professional sports, not in the NCAA tournament right now,” said Louis Theros, VP of Legal Counsel at MGM.

And it’s not just the types of bets available that will bring more options for sports bettors.

Right now, online betting is not available in Michigan. But lawmakers in the state are working on rules for the market, and bettors are expected to be able to make wagers online at some point in 2021. As we’ve reported earlier, online has been a major source of income in other states.

MGM also expects online sports betting to bring in more people to casinos.

“We do know from our experience in New Jersey that internet online sports betting, internet casino gaming, does actually bring people back into the casino, because they win a free room when they win a sports bet or play internet casino,” said Theros. 

Additionally, there are more than 20 tribal casinos in Michigan that are also allowed to offer legal sports betting, according to the bill. Many were expected to start opening sportsbooks in the coming weeks and months, but the situation with the coronavirus has forced them to wait it out for a while.

The legal sports betting market is estimated to net the state of Michigan more than $19 million per year in tax revenue. The state is expected to invest parts of this revenue in programs such as the School Aid Fund. 

“From the betting and casinos, 55 percent of the tax revenue goes to the city of Detroit, 45 percent goes to the state of Michigan, and with the state of Michigan, they allocated those to school aid funds, infrastructure,” Theros said.

The positive economic impact is, of course, much more diverse when taking into account the new jobs that are being created as well.

What next for legal sports betting in the US?

Four more states have already passed bills to make sports betting legal. Colorado, North Carolina, Montana and Tennessee are expected to go live with legal sports betting markets in 2020. 

Additionally, sports fans in Washington D.C. should be able to soon wager legally as well.

The ScoreMetrics Lab will keep you informed of all interesting developments in the US sports betting market. For an overview of the current legal status of sports gambling, read our special report, titled “America is Gambling on Sports”, here.

This article was based on information reported by the WXYZ Detroit, the MLive Michigan, and ClickOnDetroit

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