Sports betting now live in Michigan
The first legal bet has placed as Sports Betting finally takes off in Michigan.
Michigan has become the latest in an ever-growing list of states to launch legal and regulated sports betting operations. Sports betting officially became active in the Great Lakes State after Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino and the MGM Grand Detroit opened their land-based sportsbooks on March 11. Rep. Brandt Iden (R-Portage) made the very first bet at MGM. The congressman from the 61st district in Kalamazoo County spent four and a half years trying to get lawmakers to pass his bill, so will have enjoyed the moment.
This past week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board gave the city’s commercial casinos approval to launch sports betting operations.
Greektown completed the launch of its Kambi-powered sportsbook this week and marked Kambi’s entry into a tenth US state with legal sports betting, just days after securing entry into Illinois’ sports betting market. In Michigan, the first legal sports wager was placed at the Kambi sportsbook at Greektown. Kambi’s partner in Illinois, Rivers Casino Des Plaines, which is operated by Rush Street Gaming, was the first sportsbook to take legal wagers in Illinois. You can read more about that and legal sports betting in Illinois here.
The MGM Grand features a BetMGM-branded sports betting lounge which is powered by Roar Digital, the joint venture between GVC Holdings and MGM. This sportsbook opened just after Greektown’s book and features several betting windows, video poker machines, wall-to-wall video screen and self-service betting kiosks. MGM Grand president and chief operating officer David Tsai said: “Twenty years ago, MGM Resorts bet on the great City of Detroit with an $800m commitment to create the city’s first and only integrated luxury casino resort built from the ground up”.
Revenue for the State
Rep. Iden believes legal sports betting will bring not just much needed revenue, but also a sense of fun for local residents. He said “This is not just about the economic impact for the city of Detroit and for the state of Michigan. This is about legal, safe, fun sports betting”.Iden was among several celebrities who were spotted at MGM, including former Detroit Tiger pitcher Dave Rozema, retired boxer Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, former Detroit Lions star Lomas Brown and former Steelers star Jerome Bettis.
Iden believes making everything regulated will also reassure the public about betting, stating “This is revenue for the state, this is revenue for the city of Detroit and it’s about protecting players. We saw a huge line of players and that’s what it’s about. Players that would otherwise use a bookie who can now place legal, safe regulated bets. This is also about protecting consumers. This is to ensure people don’t have to go to their bookies anymore. People aren’t going to get legs broken for not paying their bills.“
What Does the Future Hold?
There has been a great deal of excitement surrounding this, not least from MGM Grand Detroit Casino itself. The casino anticipated in-person sports betting would take off, and built its MoneyLine Sports Bar months ago, even before the law passed in anticipation of this big day. Louis Theros, Vice President and General Counsel, MGM Grand Detroit, can’t wait to see their customers use the sports lounge, “We’re really excited. Our customers have been chomping at the bit ever since we opened the sports lounge as MoneyLine before we could actually use the word bet. So now it’s Bet MGM Sports Lounge and Book because we have a full-fledged Las Vegas sports book now”. So, everything is now in place in Michigan for sports betting to really take off, with more states to follow.
Come and follow us over on Twitter @Gamble_usa for more legal sports betting news across the US.
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