After a lengthy wait for the nine operators that have been licensed to operate in the state, online casino gaming in Michigan has finally got up and running.
State regulators have licensed ten operators to offer online betting to the good people of Michigan, and they were allowed to accept wagers over the weekend for the very first time.
Mind you, that has been a long time coming. Governor Gretchen Whitmer had actually signed off on online gambling bill back in December 2019, and just over a year later the selected casinos were chosen that would be allowed to offer their services online. The belief is that more operators will have their licence applications approved in the near future.
So, as it stands, the following casinos are offering online casino gaming, powered by their respective software providers:
- MGM Grand Detroit (BetMGM)
- MotorCity Casino (FanDuel)
- Greektown Casino (Penn Sports/Barstool)
- Hannahville Indian Community (TwinSpires)
- Bay Mills Indian Community (DraftKings)
- Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (Golden Nugget)
- Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (Rush Street)
- Grand Traverse Band of Ottwawa and Chippewa Indians (William Hill)
- Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Wynn)
According to the initial data, Michigan and Virginia – which also began accepting online wagers last week – saw 7.5 million online transactions over the first weekend, with some 400,000 accounts set live. That activity accounted for 25% of all casino gaming in the United States.
Slots were reportedly the most popular sector of gaming, with table games making up roughly 40% of the total casino action in Michigan – blackjack leading the way according to the data.
Is This Just the Beginning for U.S. Gambling Reform?
Banging on about the pandemic is getting tiresome these days, but it has had a clear and obvious impact upon many states.
Consider New York, which makes a huge percentage of its income from tourism. Can you imagine a scene where thousands of people are cramming into Times Square? That seems like it’s a long way off.
The Big Apple will need to replace that lost revenue, and it seems increasingly as if online gaming might be the avenue it takes. Governor Andrew Cuomo is on record as saying he would allow online gambling in New York if a select band of operators agree to pay a certain percentage of tax back into the state’s coffers – he’s claimed that could raise $500 million a year.
It’s quite an about turn from Cuomo, a Democrat who had previously rejected online gaming in NY. Money talks, and New York is ready to walk the walk.
You suspect they won’t be the only ones to allow you to play online casino games, whether it’s in 2021 or the years that follow. As witnessed in Michigan, it takes a long time for Senate bills to be passed, but the likes of Maryland and South Dakota are also believed to be considering the legalisation of online gambling.
What about a blanket legalisation across the United States? That’s a long way off, but when the money starts to flood into states that have already legalised online casinos surely others will have to sit up and take notice.