(WXMI) — Online sports betting and casino games are expected to get the green light from the Michigan Gaming Control Board in the coming days, meaning launch could occur by the end of this week.
Experts in the sports betting and online gaming industries are optimistic about the revenue the legalization could create in the state of Michigan.
"We're really excited," said North America DraftKings president, Matt Kalish, "Michigan is one of the best markets in the country from a sports standpoint, they have not only great pro teams but also a really vibrant college sports atmosphere with tremendous fan bases."
Michigan will become the eleventh state with full mobile sports betting with states like New Jersey, who grossed over $301 million in 2019, setting the bar for revenue.
"We're actually more encouraged that we think it could be a bigger market place than New Jersey," Mike Raffensperger, Chief Marketing Officer of FanDueltold FOX 17. "Given the nature of the state of Michigan, the population, the gaming apparatus it has with casinos."
While the wait has been lengthy for online sports betting and online casinos to launch, national brands like FanDuel and DraftKings say the state has done things the right way.
"There are things you need to do things the right way," Raffensperger added, "having online mobile sign-up, which Michigan has, sustainable tax rate that drives investment into the state, which Michigan also has, and a good competitive market for work class operators to come in."
"We're close to authorizing the launch and the go-live date, it could happen at the end of the this week or the beginning of next week." ~ Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director, Richard Kalm on the launch of online sports betting & online casino games. @FOX17 pic.twitter.com/BYdUz3Nn0i— Zach Harig (@FOX17Zach) January 11, 2021
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has said the green light should come early this week.
"The Michigan Gaming Control Board is running a world class operation," Kalish added, "they want to make sure that consumers in Michigan are protected."
Meanwhile, FanDuel has had a retail in-person sportsbook at Motor City Casino in Detroit for the past few months and Raffensperger says they've already seen the demand in our state.
"It's already our second biggest sportsbook in the country, second only to the Meadowlands, which is right outside of New York City."
The online launch will not only create tax revenue for the state, but also create jobs and diminish the illegal sports betting black market that is not regulated.
"I think it's a major industry, market consensus is at it's maturity saying sports betting is something around a $20 billion industry, we think that may be a little light," Raffensperger said.
Once the green light is given, some books could be live later that day.
"We're ready to go," Kalish says, "it won't take long, in Illinois we were live within hours after getting the green light."
The Super Bowl has been the goal for Michigan to launch online sportsbooks as it is the most bet on event every year around the world.