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'Smooth' rollout for Michigan online betting

MI Gaming Control Board says so far, so good
Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 18:40:38-05

WXMI — The rollout of online betting in Michigan went smoothly, according to its governing body.

Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said there were very few minor hiccups with the massive statewide rollout, making Michigan the 17th state in the nation to offer legal online gambling.

“It was a very smooth rollout by all accounts, which we’re very happy about,” said Kalm, “because you never know, which is it going to be?”

Online gambling launched last Friday and so far has drawn massive interest from Michigan bettors. Because casinos aren’t required to report monthly earnings until the tenth day of the following month, those figures won’t be available for a few weeks. But using geo-tracking technology that gaming platforms are required to have in place, Kalm says they saw 7.1 million hits to online sites like FanDuel and DraftKings within the first three days of the launch.

By comparison, over that same three-day period New Jersey, a much more established state in the online gambling scene, saw 7.7 million hits.

“Just in that three-day period – Friday, Saturday and Sunday when we opened back on the 26th, 27th and 28th – our numbers were right there with the other mature markets: Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” said Kalm.

And some stakeholders will begin seeing the impacts almost immediately. With an 8.4% tax on online sports bets, and above a 20% tax on online casino play, the Michigan School Aid Fund and the city of Detroit, thanks to its three commercial casinos, will get some of that money.

Likewise, tribes that operate casinos on their own land will also benefit from the tax revenues online gambling will - and have - brought.

“That part of the funding is good for the state of Michigan, good for the city of Detroit, and good for the tribal governments that’ve suffered quite a bit during COVID,” said Kalm.

Some of the funds will also go toward fighting gambling addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addition or compulsive gambling, call the Michigan Problem Gambling Hotline at 1-800-270-7117.

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