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Detroit casinos given green light for first legal MI bets


The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MCGB) have granted approval to Detroit’s three commercial casinos to accept Michigan’s first sports bets from 1PM Eastern Daylight Time today (11 March).

The board said that all three casinos – MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino and Penn National’s GreekTown Casino – have met “all preliminary requirements to go live” with retail sports wagering.

MotorCity’s sportsbook is set to be operated by FanDuel, while MGM’s Roar Digital joint venture with GVC will run the sportsbook at the MGM Grand. Penn National gaming’s own Kambi-powered sportsbook will be launched at Greektown.

The launch comes just 11 weeks after governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Michigan’s sports betting bill into law.

“This new gaming opportunity has been highly anticipated, and we hope citizens will enjoy it and see benefits from additional revenue to both the state of Michigan and the city of Detroit,” MGCB executive director Richard S. Kalm said when announcing the launch earlier this week.

The roll-out will only cover retail wagering, with the MGCB developing administrative rules for online sports betting and casino gaming, and fantasy sports. It aims to launch each product early in 2021.

Under Michigan’s Lawful Sports Betting Act, tribal and commercial casinos may offer over-the-counter and online sports betting, taxed at 8.4% of gross revenue.

The Detroit casinos are the only commercial casinos in Michigan, though the state also has tribal gaming facilities. MGCB will not regulate onsite sports wagering at Michigan’s tribal casinos, which will announce their launch of onsite sports betting individually.

The MGCB also announced today that the three Detroit casnos generated $121.7m in revenue during February, a year-on-year increase of 6.3%.