Gamblers in Michigan have already been waiting for more than a year to finally see the promise made in 2019 come to fruition. Most hope that the final launch will take place somewhere around Christmas time, but considering the overwhelming pressure that state agencies are under currently, it’s unlikely for any major changes to happen before the end of January 2021.

The reason why the final launch is fast approaching is due to the choice that JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) made on December 1st. They abandoned their legal right to Barr the legislative draft basically. In more detail, the JCAR renounced its right to subject the bill to further review, thus delaying it even further.

This has happened before in many states, where politicians were trying to buy as much time as possible if there was a change of government fast approaching. However, by leaving the bill as it is, it’s a clear sign for all gamblers in Michigan that casinos and sports betting platforms will be opening up very soon.

What’s next?

Because there was no setback from the JCAR, this means that the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) can start sending final registration forms to the department of state. This will ensure that most brands that applied for licenses on operating locally will finally receive the green light to launch the digital platforms that they’ve been working on for more than a year.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that any company that gets a local license will be eligible for expanding into the rest of the country. According to the regulation of online casinos in the United States, most licenses are state-based, meaning that it is up to the platforms themselves to restrict any customers logging on from other states.

It may seem weird, but anybody trying to log in from, let’s say Alabama, would immediately be redirected to an informational page telling them they can’t access it. This is mostly derived from the IP address of the individual, meaning that it could be avoided should somebody try hard enough.

For many gamblers, that doesn’t even present a small issue. All the state’s players are looking for right now is a locally operated company’s digital presence that could provide a supplement for the missing service everybody’s been craving.

Background sources

The reason why there are no more legal fences to jump over is due to the state’s decision last year to start accepting applications on licenses for digital operations. Almost every single brand operating within the state has submitted an application on this and is expected to receive it within the late days of 2020, or the earliest weeks of 2021.

However, due to the fact that these brands are craving any sort of revenue at this stage, it’s likely for the MGCB to find itself under immense pressure from company owners to start approving licenses as fast as possible.

Sure, the end of the year is approaching, which means that most of these brands will have to deliver information on their quarterly as well as yearly performances compared to 2019.

It is painstakingly obvious that all of these brands underperformed massively, thus putting their stock prices and the opportunity of investing in further technological development in jeopardy.

However, by being able to go online before the end of January, they could supplement the stock falls off the quarterly earnings report by actually generating enough revenue during that month to stay afloat.

It’s likely that layoffs will continue well into 2021, only leaving the most essential of staff.

Competition is fierce

Whether or not these companies have a good reputation with the local community, it needs to be outlined that they will not be entering an empty market ready for the taking.

The moment that licenses start being approved, it’s likely for Michigan to be bombarded with offshore casinos, hoping that they could at least make something from this coveted market before they are discovered and blacklisted.

Naturally, the MGCB can be fast on its feet identifying any illegal platforms and taking necessary actions, but it can’t identify all of them. In the end, it may fall on the users’ shoulders to report these cases, but this may not necessarily happen.

After speaking with several foreign casino owners, they were quite clear on why people don’t report illegal platforms even if they know they’re illegal;

“The only way that illegal platforms can attract customers is by offering them “too-good-to-be-true” features. This could be like free $100 when they begin, or a 1000% bonus when they deposit $100 and so on.

Their online games could also work on a much different algorithm than what’s generally accepted in the gambling world. This could mean that they allow players to win more often in the beginning, and as they start rolling higher they immediately bring down those odds to zero.

We’ve seen such companies operate before and people very rarely report them even if they know it’s illegal. Why? Because they don’t care if taxes aren’t being paid by this company.

All they care about is how much money they can make from this platform, and you honestly can’t blame them. Every gaming regulator has to deal with this situation, and it’s not going to be news for the MGCB as well.”

Legal brands are already pouncing on Michigan

As local Brick and Mortar casinos try to speed up the process by either lobbying local politicians or preparing for an early launch, the country’s two largest betting platforms, DraftKings and FanDuels are in the process of raising their brand awareness in cities like Detroit.

Most people in the state of Michigan have never really touched these companies, but based on the success of brick and mortar casinos, it’s very likely that both DraftKings and FanDuel will find a loyal and substantial player base here.

All in all, it’s up to the companies themselves to appeal to the local populace. The demand is already there, but it doesn’t mean that any form of supply will satisfy it. Operators need to understand that the financial issues that have befallen them, have also befallen the consumers. Thus, expecting high volumes or high-rollers is quite unrealistic.

Michigan will indeed have its revamped gambling industry, but only after a few months or even a year will it finally reach the volumes for which it has potential for today. All that needs to be done is faster license approval and millions of dollars worth of PR and marketing campaigns from every local brand.