If all goes according to plan, mobile sports betting could be available in Michigan much earlier than expected. Michigan launched its sports betting industry at the worst possible time, and lawmakers are hoping to legalize mobile betting in an effort to make up for lost revenue.
Mobile sports betting was always the plan in Michigan, but the industry wasn’t expected to launch until February 2021 at the earliest. New projections have mobile sports betting set to take off at some point in early October, and mobile betting could be available for a majority of the 2020 NFL season.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board recently met and announced that they are speeding up their timeline to get mobile sports betting in the state of Michigan. All of the interested parties are working with the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to speed up the process, and October is now the new target date.
The MGCB originally estimated that mobile sports betting would not be launched until 373 days after the rules were officially approved. That would have set the estimated start date in February 2021, but many factors have expedited the process.
Lawmakers initially suggested that mobile sports betting could be launched within 250 days of the rules officially being adopted, and that would move the date up several months. Sports betting legislation was officially approved in Michigan in January, although the industry was officially legal last December.
The Lawful Sports Betting Act was officially signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December, and lawmakers began creating laws to regulate the industry. Sports betting in Michigan officially launched on March 11, just one day before the NBA became the first professional sports league to suspend their season.
The sports betting industry in Michigan was set to bring in plenty of new revenue to the state, but the coronavirus has kept the state from seeing any money. Lawmakers are convinced that pushing up the mobile sports betting timeline will allow the state to make up for some of that lost money.
There are several government entities that will have to work together if mobile sports betting is going to be launched in October. The Department of Treasury, Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), Legislative Services Bureau, and the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearing and Rules will all play major roles in launching sports betting.
JCAR Likely Biggest Hold-Up
Lawmakers are optimistic that the timeline can be sped up, but there are some other factors that could delay the launch of mobile sports betting. State employees are currently being furloughed one day a week, and that will likely delay the process.
The JCAR will be the ultimate deciding factor as to how quickly the state can legalize mobile sports betting. The JCAR has to officially approve of any new laws and regulations, and that process takes up to 15 days. If the committee decides to waive that law, then the process could be completed in just two days.