nline sports betting and casino games are kicking off in Michigan at noon Friday.
State regulators have authorized licenses for all three Detroit casinos and seven of the dozen tribes with “Class III” casinos. Additional operator and platform provider licenses are expected to be approved in the coming weeks, the Associated Press reports.
Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard Kalm this week called the launch a “new era,” saying it will give casinos an additional way to engage with customers and provide state and local governments with extra tax revenue. Major sports betting operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and William Hill US are launching apps and enticing people age 21 and older with deals to sign up.
“It's clear to us that there's incredible demand among Michiganders for at least sports betting. But my expectation is that online casino and in due course poker will be equally popular,” said BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt. His company's app — previously launched in 10 states — is connected to MGM Resorts, including the Detroit casino and hotel.
Greenblatt said the state's 8.4% online sports betting tax is “very sensible,” allowing licensed operators to compete with offshore sites. He said there will be minimal if any “cannibalization” of business from players who typically visit casinos but instead will play on the internet. “We see an expansion of the market — so new players coming in to enjoy our product,” Greenblatt said, adding that MGM, like other casinos, will incentivize online gamblers to redeem rewards points by visiting onsite.
Casinos offering online games like blackjack will pay a tax of between 20% and 28%, depending on their amount of adjusted gross receipts. Net new annual revenues to the state and Detroit, which has commercial casinos, are projected to total $18.6 million and $13.7 million respectively, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury. The money will go to the state’s school aid fund, which covers public schools. Municipalities with tribal casinos will receive a portion of tax revenues, too.
William Hill US partnered with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) to launch its mobile and online Sports Book and Casino App in Michigan Friday.
"William Hill is America's leading sports betting company, which speaks volumes for their professionalism, knowledge and experience. Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos is excited to add another form of entertainment to our brand, and we are confident the William Hill online experience will be the most trusted in the industry," said Michael Schrader, CEO for Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos.
"Michigan has a rich sports history and incredibly passionate fans. Together, William Hill and GTB are excited to deliver an engaging way to experience sports betting and gaming to customers all over the state," said Ken Fuchs, President of Digital for William Hill US. "This comes at a fantastic time with the NFL playoffs, Pistons, Red Wings, a full slate of Michigan college basketball, and McGregor vs. Poirier on this weekend's menu."
PointsBet will also be providing its mobile app and digital sports betting product in Michigan this Friday. Michigan will mark the sixth operational state for PointsBet's premium sports betting product, following successful launches in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Colorado.
"Launching in Michigan is truly a special moment for PointsBet, and presents a tremendous opportunity we are excited to attack alongside our partners in the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians," commented Johnny Aitken, PointsBet USA CEO. "As always, PointsBet will provide this passionate, sports-loving community with the fastest online sports betting product across every customer touchpoint as well as the most betting options in market for every NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL game. We are thrilled to be on the starting line and be able to immediately introduce Michigan sports bettors to the competitive advantages PointsBet possesses in owning our technology end-to-end, as well as further activate our investments in the state such as the partnerships in place with the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers, and Little Caesars Arena."
PointsBet gained access to the Great Lakes State via an exclusive partnership with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and the two have plans to soon unveil its retail presence at Lac Vieux Desert Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet.