Internet Gambling and Sports Betting are Legal in Michigan, but Gamers Must Wait to Place Bets

Internet gambling and sports betting are legal in Michigan, but gamers must wait to place bets. The new legislation, signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last December, allows certain facilities the ability to provide internet gambling and sports betting, including the three casinos in Detroit and 24 tribal casinos throughout the state.

Revenue from online gambling and sports betting supports the School Aid Fund and the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund (FRPCF). The Michigan Department of Treasury estimates that the legislation will bring $19 million in new revenue to Michigan. This additional revenue will bolster the School Aid Fund by $4.8 million and invest an additional $4 million into the FRPCF.

The three bills include:

HB4311 creates the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, which allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to issue licenses for online and mobile games to be offered by licensed Detroit or Tribal casinos if the applicants meet certain criteria. The bill allows for all current forms of casino games to be offered online or on mobile devices.

HB4916 creates the Lawful Sports Betting Act, which legalizes sports betting in casinos, online, and through mobile devices. This bill specifies that an internet sports betting wager received by a sports betting operator or its internet sports betting platform provider would be considered gambling or gaming that was conducted in the sports betting operator’s casino located in Michigan.

HB4308 creates the Fantasy Contests Consumer Protection Act, which establishes the legal framework to regulate fantasy sports contests within the state. It allows for both paid contests at a commercial level and private contests that meet certain criteria to be legal in the state of Michigan.

Although signed into law, gamers will have to wait before they’re able to place their bets. The Michigan Gaming Control Board reports that online betting may not be available until 2021 because of the time it takes to finalize rules and for the casinos to obtain online licensing. In the meantime, regulators are working to authorize onsite sports wagers this spring, in time for March Madness.

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio assist business owners with a wide variety of licensing topics. To reach one of our skilled attorneys, visit our website or call 586-726-1000.