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Two months after gaming suppliers were invited to put forward their license applications, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) is now inviting operators to do likewise. 

Commercial casinos and tribes already in Michigan will be able to apply for both of these new permits, as will other operators. 

Sports betting in the Great Lake State has already gone live, with land-based wagering being launched in March

The MGCB has announced that it expects online casino games and digital sports betting to go live either this or next year, following delays out of their control. 

Moving forward with online gaming in Michigan 

MGCB Chief Executive Richard Kalm has encouraged those interested in applying for licenses to do so in the near future. This, he believes, will give the governing body enough time to process their applications and award them a permit so they can begin preparing for launch. 

He also spoke about the progress that the Wolverine State is making towards making the market go live. Kalm’s words were as follows. 

“The MGCB continues to make progress toward the launch of online gaming by adding forms for operators and vendors.

“Operators should file applications soon so we can conduct investigations and work with them on internal controls, technical standards, lab certifications and other requirements. 

“In addition, the operators and suppliers should encourage their vendors to complete and submit registration forms.”

When will online casino games and sports betting go live in Michigan? 

Online sports betting and casino games have been constitutionally legal in Michigan since December 2019. Just before last Christmas, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed various bills to legalize these verticals. 

Kalm said that he expects regulated online gaming to go live in the state either later this year or at the beginning of 2021. The industry was supposed to launch digitally earlier this year, but the disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to land-based venues led to this being pushed back. 

The MGCB Chief Executive said that if operators get their applications in early, it’s likely that the market will go live on this side of 2020 – rather than in the New Year. 

Land-based casinos in Michigan remain closed, as they have been for the past three months. However, venues such as MGM Grand Detroit are waiting for the green light to reopen their doors. They have included their own safety measures, including the mandatory wearing of face masks.

The Michigan online gaming market is taking shape 

One of the gaming suppliers to take up the MGCB’s May invitation for suppliers is sportsbook supplier Kambi Group. Earlier this week, the Malta-headquartered company signed a partnership with Four Winds Casino. 

Four Winds’ Pokagon Band of Potawatomi venues in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac will have access to Kambi’s on-site sports betting technologies. 

Kambi Chief Executive Kristian Nylén spoke about the partnership, with his words being as follows. 

“We are very proud to be entering this partnership with the Pokagon Band and its Four Winds Casinos.

“They are a leading operator in the Midwest and share our commitment to providing customers with consistently engaging experiences.”

“Kambi has established itself as the trusted partner to tribal casino gaming enterprises that wish to leverage the strength of their brand to truly capitalize on the sports betting opportunity, and we are excited to be supporting Four Winds as they look to fulfil their online and on-property ambitions.”

Meanwhile, Four Winds Casinos’ Senior Vice President Frank Kennedy had the below to say.

“We are excited to partner with Kambi to bring sports betting to Four Winds Casinos and take the gaming experience we offer guests to the next level.”

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