2020: DraftKings Enters Michigan Sports Betting Market

After a prolonged negotiation and approval process, DraftKings is finally poised to launch in the Michigan sports betting market. As with other states where sports betting is legal, Michigan’s sportsbooks must partner with a licensed casino and DraftKings has partnered with Bay Mills Resort and Casino in the Upper Penninsula.

The DraftKings mobile sports betting app is currently only available in seven states, and six states host a DraftKings retail sportsbook. DraftKings is already operational in New Jersey, Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Now, DraftKings will handle Michigan sports betting in the with Bay Mills Resort and Casino.

“Through our commitment to providing our customers with first-class sports betting experience, DraftKings is excited to partner with Bay Mills Resort and Casino,” said Ezra Kucharz, DraftKings Chief Business Officer. “Michigan sports betting presents several opportunities and we look forward to working with Bay Mills to provide the best-in-class experience DraftKings is known for.”

DraftKing’s Michigan sports betting partnership with Bay Mills includes both in-person and online sports betting. However, online sports betting won’t be legal until the end of 2020 or early 2021.

DraftKings Study on Michigan Sports Betting

In a DraftKings study focused on Michigan sports betting, it found that more than a third of the state’s residents with an interest in sports betting had placed an online bet by in another state or country. DraftKings is ready to launch online sports betting as soon as it’s legal in Michigan. Until then, DraftKing will operate a retail sportsbook at Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley, Michigan.

Ultimately, DraftKings will join FanDuel, FOX Bet, BetMGM, PointsBet, and William Hill in the burgeoning Michigan sports betting market.

Michigan Gaming and Control Board Poised to Launch Operators ASAP

Last month, the Michigan Gaming and Control Board began accepting online gaming operator license forms to get a head start on the online process. The tax rate for Michigan sports betting is 8.4% for in-person bets placed at a casino. However, for online sports wagers, the tax rate will fluctuate between 20 and 28% depending on the adjusted gross receipts.

The Michigan Gaming and Control Board can hand out provisional licenses for suppliers like DraftKings, but not for platform providers. However, platform providers can also complete and submit their applications and be ready as soon as the rules for online Michigan sports betting are finalized.

Michigan Sportsbooks Short But Profitable Run

Before the shutdown hit, Greektown Casino, Motor City Casino and the MGM Grand in Detroit open their sportsbooks. The first week of Michigan sports betting was cut short by the coronavirus shutdowns, but before the casinos were forced closed, they raked in $105,548. The entry of DraftKings into the Michigan sports betting market will be a positive for the Great Lakes State as the casinos reopen and live sports events return.

Mid-Michigan Needs Online Sports Betting

For Mid-Michigan residents, the only legal Michigan sports betting option is to place an in-person bet at one of the Detroit casinos. However, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has yet to ease most of the stringent coronavirus lockdown orders, so casinos remain shuttered.

Ryan Collins, an MSU junior and sports gambling expert, doesn’t think the Detroit casinos will attract mid-Michigan residents who want to bet on sports.

“I don’t think a lot will change right away,” Collins said. “I don’t see a lot of people driving to Detroit just to place a bet, unless they’re already in the area for a game or something. The only thing I can see happening is during the Super Bowl, for example, a group of NFL fans makes the trip to Detroit to just sit at a sportsbook all day, watch the game and bet. Otherwise, I don’t think a lot of people will drive to Detroit just to make a ‘legal bet.’”

According to Michigan Gaming and Control Board spokeswoman Mary Kay Bean, online Michigan sports betting will be postponed until 2021. Along with Michigan sports betting, legal online casinos, poker, and fantasy sports are also coming in the near future.

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