LANSING — A bipartisan panel of state lawmakers has agreed to fast-track a series of administrative rules that could launch the state’s internet sports gambling and casino gaming before the end of the month.
At a morning session today, the bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) opted to waive the 15-day review requirement for online gaming and sports betting rules submitted by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
This means that the rules set forth by the MGCB can go into effect without a 15-day waiting period, making online gambling possible a year after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer legalized internet gambling and sports wagering. The MGCB spent much of the first half of 2020 crafting the regulations.
“(MGCB) staff will work with operators, platform providers, suppliers and vendors on pre-launch requirements,” MGCB Spokesperson Mary Kay Bean told MiBiz. “Launch depends on many things, including applicants submitting all required information, review of that information, approval of the internet platforms and games and other licensing-related tasks. If everything moves forward smoothly, we hope online gaming and sports betting can begin by the end of the year.”
Sports gambling is already available in casinos across Michigan but these casinos have not been able to take their activities online until they receive a license from the MGCB.
Also, due to surging COVID-19 cases statewide, the Department of Health and Human Services has shut down the three Detroit casinos for at least three weeks while some tribal casinos have opted to close down out of caution.
While some states expedited online gaming rules to roll them out quicker, Michigan opted for a more rigorous process that included rule approval, public comment and legislative endorsement.
After Whitmer signed legislation legalizing internet gambling and sports wagering in December 2019, casinos around the state have been announcing partnerships with third parties to operate their sportsbook both inside their casinos and online.