As the calendar turns toward 2021, the Michigan Gaming Control Board is still preparing for the launch of online sportsbooks and casinos.
Right now, the MGCB is continuing to put the finishing touches on the expected January rollout and is working with all interested parties in an effort to get this done ASAP. Of course, not all of it falls on the agency; the operators need to get their paperwork in order as well.
“Currently, no internet gaming or internet sports betting operator applicant is ready for launch,” Mary Kay Bean, the spokesperson for the MGCB, told MI Bets. “The MGCB is committed to reviewing all required materials quickly. We hope applicants will submit all regulatory requirements quickly, too, so the agency can move ahead to launch authorization next month.”
And while that last part sounds just the slightest bit ominous, Bean insists the launch date laid out at the beginning of December holds firm.
“We still expect to authorize launch in mid-January,” Bean said.
Plans in place a month ago
This is fully in line with Bean’s comments earlier this month.
“The launch date will depend on many things, including how quickly and completely applicants supply the MGCB with outstanding information,” Bean told MI Bets in a Dec. 4 email. “Operators and platform providers couldn’t fulfill some MGCB requirements until the rules were filed, which happened Wednesday (Dec. 2). We estimate four to six weeks for launch (counting forward from Dec. 2) but will know more as we receive and review the required information.”
And Richard Kalm, the executive director of the MGCB, had similar things to say in an interview with MLive.com at the time.
“The whole thing is going to be really dependent on the paperwork they’re submitting,” Kalm said, speaking of the operators. “We’re going to give them provisional licenses as soon as we get all the paperwork and then finish our background investigations, and also the platforms that are required to submit their software and testing labs to make sure they comply with all of our requirements. So that’s gonna take a little bit of time to get that done.
“They’re all gonna have to go through with their fine-tooth comb and make sure they’re in compliance. Otherwise, we can’t license them. With the waive of the rules, I thought we were four weeks out, but we just sent out earlier this week … an inquiry to the platform providers’ operators to give us how ready they are to go and what they’re going to have done. So we might be having to push that back, because we’re now looking at probably six weeks.”
All told, this puts the rollout somewhere in the Jan. 15 range, plenty of time for Michigan residents to get some Super Bowl bets down on their phones.