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Michigan approves Pointsbet for online betting launch


The Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved the Lac Vieux Desert tribe and its platform provider, PointsBet, to launch online sports betting tomorrow (Friday, January 22) at noon.

The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians operates a casino in Watersmeet in the Upper Penninsula, and was the tenth operator to receive approval to launch online sports betting this week.

Nine other casinos and platform providers received authorization on Tuesday to launch wagering on Friday.

“The MGCB team worked closely with the Lac Vieux Desert tribe and PointsBet to wrap up regulatory requirements for online sports betting in time for the initial launch,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director.

“Other operators will launch as they meet the requirements, which are designed to protect participants and instill confidence in honest gaming.”

Of the nine casinos and platform providers authorized to offer online sports betting earlier this week, eight will also be permitted to offer igaming.

Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino will launch with its Barstool Sportsbook product, but will be the only licensee permitted to offer sports betting only.

A further six Native American tribes are expected to launch online gaming tomorrow, with Bay Mills Indian Community operating under a deal with DraftKings, and the grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians partnered with William Hill.

Hannahville Indian Community holds an agreement with Churchill Downs Incorporated to launch its BetAmerica brand, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is partnered with Golden Nugget Online Gaming, while the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians holds a deal with Rush Street Interactive.

Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians agreed a deal with Wynn, under which the brands will launch their igaming offering using GAN’s technology platform and operational services.

In December last year, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued provisional licenses for 15 platform providers, including PointsBet, to support commercial and tribal casinos in the state with online gambling and sports betting.

The online licensing process began in May last year, after bills to legalize igaming and sports betting were signed into law by the state’s governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019.

PointsBet has a growing presence in the state of Michigan, having signed sponsorship deals with both the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Detroit Pistons, and the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Detroit Red Wings earlier this month.

The operator reported a strong start to its 2020-21 fiscal year, as it saw turnover and revenue grow significantly in the three months ended 30 September – its first quarter – thanks to customer acquisition efforts in Australia and expansion into new US states.

Turnover for the three months ended 30 September grew 193.4% year-on-year to $691.9m (£378.9m/€417.6m/$493.3m), $164.2m came from the US.

After player winnings, gross revenue came to $70.4m, up 282.6% from the previous year. This broke down to a $60.5m contribution from Australia, and $9.8m from the US.