Michigan introduced legislation in 2019 that legalized online casinos, and those that received licenses from the state’s gaming control board commenced operations in early 2021. In recent developments, Michigan has also allowed sports betting to move online, meaning residents and visitors can bet on sporting events from anywhere within state borders.
Play Gun Lake
The Gun Lake online sportsbook became Michigan’s 14th sports betting platform, launching in early August 2021. Gun Lake is owned by the Band of Pottawatomi Indians and is one of Michigan’s many Native American-owned operations. This land-based casino joined forces with Parx, the Pennsylvania’s largest casino operator, to launch its online version, Play Gun Lake. While the casino’s partnership with Parx has been widely acknowledged, it continues to run under its own brand.
Those fans enjoying F1 races in this year’s season are delighted they can bet on race outcomes without leaving home. Michigan has an approved list of sports that bettors may place wagers on, including domestic professional and collegiate sports and international sporting events, matches, and tournaments. Other popular sports that have seen a surge in betting since online options became legal include the NFL (National Football League) and Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
While Michigan’s sports betting laws do not expressly forbid betting on esports, it does not appear as one of the legal sporting disciplines. This has created some confusion over whether online esports betting is permissible. Some sportsbooks offer limited esports betting options, and it remains to be seen if this trend moves online. Experts predict that esports will become more popular than conventional sports, and states would be remiss in not legislating esports betting. Nevada has enabled online esports betting laws.
Michigan’s online sportsbook operators are lobbying the state to enact legislation that explicitly permits legal online esports betting as the year 2022 in sports will boast more tournaments and events than before. Based on viewer numbers, the market is expanding exponentially. The potential for casino operator revenue and taxes paid to state coffers makes legalizing online esports betting in Michigan an attractive proposition.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has announced what will happen to the income generated by online casinos: it will be used to fund responsible gambling initiatives, education facilities, economic growth and development opportunities, and expand the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund.