Merry Christmas! MI To Launch Domestic Gambling Apps In Time For Holiday Season
Slowly but surely, more and more US states are embracing the idea of legal real money gambling apps.
The trend since 2018’s PASPA overturn, of course, has been for states to legalize online sports betting, typically via a branded app experience for iPhone and Android.
Of the more than 20 states that have legalized domestic sports betting within their borders, the vast majority have rolled out – or are planning to roll out – sportsbook apps for their new markets.
A few states, like Mississippi, legalized brick-and-mortar sports betting without legalizing any online or app-based component, but given the shutdowns associated with the 2020 coronavirus outbreak, legislators there – and in similarly positioned states – are surely reconsidering.
But some states have also had the foresight, even before the pandemic’s retail lockdowns, to legalize online iGaming in addition to sports betting.
There are six such states, with online casinos currently operational in four of them: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Now, Michigan is poised to become the fifth state to launch its domestic iGaming market, which is slated to go live sometime within the next two weeks (or by early January at the absolute latest).
After acquiescing to an expedited review process, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) recently approved provisional licenses for at least 15 companies or service providers to bring their online casino gambling suites online.
These companies are working in partnerships with the state’s three commercial casino venues in Detroit and a dozen or more tribal casino destinations throughout Michigan.
Individual partnerships have yet to be announced, but the expectation is for heavy hitters like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and other brands to be featured prominently.
Of course, despite this launch, the domestic market is still limited in some ways.
While there shouldn’t be significant growing pains as the aforementioned service providers are well-versed in all the requisite technologies, the simple fact is that there remain a number of hurdles that local iGaming options have to contend with that don’t exist at the legal overseas gambling sites that have been serving Michiganders for well over a decade.
First and foremost, to play with one of these new online casinos based in the Wolverine State, you’ll have to be at least 21 years of age. That leaves adults aged 18-20 out of luck.
Legal offshore sites, on the other hand, only require their members to be 18 or older to sign up and play.
Secondly, these domestic sites don’t have near the selection of individual RNG (random number generation) online casino games when compared against their offshore competition.
In many states with legalized domestic iGaming – even when their real-money gambling apps are powered by the biggest names in the industry – the games on offer often hit their ceilings at about 30-40 selections.
That’s an embarrassment.
There are hundreds of themed slots, dozens of table games and specialty games from blackjack and roulette to bingo, keno, and sudoku, and even live-dealer games where you can sit in front of real dealers and croupiers in real time – and you don’t even have to wear a mask!
Plus, many of these international betting sites aren’t limited to iGaming, either.
Several top operators offer full sportsbooks with thousands of daily lines on every major sport in the world, full racebooks with tracks from all around the globe, and robust real-money poker rooms with pot limits and tournament models for every type of player.
While we prefer the greater options available at overseas gaming sites (including the fact that they take cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, etc.), it is nevertheless a very exciting development that MI has legalized online casino gambling, online sports betting, and online poker.
Not many states have had the good sense or courage to put all three markets under the scope of the same legislation, and it’s refreshing to see the state take up a position of leadership on these issues.