Michigan iGambling Licenses

‘Michigan Awards 15 Online Gambling Licenses but No Evolution!’ (Image Source: images.unsplash.com)

It is official—the third US state to allow online casinos is now open for casino table games with 15 brands approved for provisional licenses but it does not yet include Evolution on the list which for now is undoubtedly just a technicality.

Known as the Wolverine State, we have another state with a cool nickname to follow the progress of live casino gaming. After Michigan officials fought hard to bypass standard waiting period for legislation to test and approve licenses this month, the state moved quickly into the ‘approval’ of provisional licenses phase of its licensing regime. The move is largely thanks to the sports betting industry, where operators are fearful that they could miss out on the biggest sports betting event of the year—the Superbowl.

However, this is just the ‘approval’ phase, as it will take 4-to-6 weeks for the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to issue the licenses. This put an end to the theory that sports betting and online gambling would hit the state before the end of 2020. That said, it means the 15 operators with official approval notices will go live hopefully by mid-January. During this waiting period operators will need to add the final touches to their platforms, gain occupational licenses for their employees, and then show proof that their sportsbook and online casino platforms meet certain regulatory requirements which the operators are already of aware from the application phase.

For the time being, operators have permission to allow Michigan state citizens to register an account while the sites will not offer any real money wagering until full approval from the MGCB.

Online casinos likely to come after sports betting

Although the approval of licenses is great news for those wanting to play online casinos games, there is also good news despite the current focus for the MGCB is to get the sportsbooks up and running in time for major sporting events such as Superbowl as well as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament—2 events that will create much-needed tax dollars.

Aggregators such a Pragmatic Play and Evolution who are already operating in the USA have not yet officially passed the license approval stage. While other aggregators in the online video slots and virtual table gaming arena are already on the list to have their licenses issued. NYX Digital Gaming which is well known for its online slots collection is among the first online casino aggregators on the list.

Live casinos require more time to go live

With Evolution’s intentions of entering the Michigan market made clear via multiple press release statements that confirm its US partnership deals include the Wolverine state, a license will need issuing but there is no mention of the firm at this time, That said, as the MGCB already has 15 brands to push through so sportsbooks can open in time for the expected mobile and desktop betting frenzy, online casino aggregators are no doubt at the back the queue.

Online casinos will probably become available in Michigan early January with a small number of games and expand their game portfolios throughout the year as more aggregators gain approval and license issuance. Meanwhile, live dealer games may not be available for quite some time. As soon as Evolution gains license approval, the next step is to build the firm’s third live casino studio in the US, which could take anything up to 6 months.

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