The Michigan Gaming News Letter

MGCB Authorizes Additional Operators for iGaming and Sports Betting

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) first authorized online gaming and sports betting to begin on January 22. Since the initial announcement, several additional operators have been given the green light to begin offering online gaming and sports betting, including:

  • Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians & Poker Stars – Internet Gaming on Jan. 29
  • Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians & FoxBet – Internet Sports Betting on Jan. 29
  • Greektown Casino & Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook & Casino – Internet Gaming on Feb. 1. Greektown was previously approved for Internet Sports Betting to launch on Jan. 22

“We welcome the addition of Odawa Casino, Poker Stars, Fox Bet, and Barstool Casino to Michigan’s growing online gaming and sports wagering market,” said MGCB Executive Director Rick Kalm in a press release. “Their participation will generate revenue to support education, tribal communities and the city of Detroit.”

Online gaming and sports betting are now operational with the operations above, in addition to the following previously authorized operations:

  • Bay Mills Indian Community & DraftKings – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians & William Hill – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • Greektown Casino & Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook – Internet Sports Betting
  • Hannahville Indian Community & TwinSpires – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • Keweenaw Bay Indian Community & Golden Nugget Online Gaming – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians & PointsBet – Internet Sports Betting
  • Little River Band of Ottawa Indians & Rush Street – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • MGM Grand Detroit & BetMGM/Roar Digital – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • MotorCity Casino & FanDuel – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting
  • Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians & Wynn – Internet Casino Games, Internet Sports Betting

For more information on Michigan internet gaming and sports betting, read the MGCB’s FAQs or visit the website of each operator listed above.


This week, the Michigan Gaming Control Board issued “Minimum Requirements” for the “Resumption for Millionaire Party Events” which will allow qualified charitable organizations to resume Millionaire Party operations throughout the state of Michigan.

The Minimum Requirements require charities to: (1) have a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan in place; (2) provide COVID-19 training to employees, agents and contractors; (3) assure proper social distancing in compliance with other state orders; (4) require all employees, agents, contractors, charity members and patrons to wear face masks; (5) post proper signage informing patrons not to enter if they have been sick and instructing patrons of the need to wear face masks; (6) comply with all Health and Human Services Orders, or other state, federal or local law orders with regard to food and beverage matters; (7) conduct self-screening daily; (8)  comply with cleaning and disinfecting protocols set forth in the guidance; and  (9) establish a case monitoring response plan for dealing with confirmed infections at the location.

Although the MGCB issued this specific guidance for the charities, their suppliers, and locations, it specifically noted that qualified organizations will also have to comply with all applicable local, state, and federal statutes, rules, orders, guidelines, and standards in connection with any potential resumption.

“COVID-19 continues to pose challenges for charities who want to hold millionaire party events,” said Richard S. Kalm, MGCB Executive Director. “We continue to work closely with public health experts and look forward to resuming the events when it’s feasible under all applicable health and safety orders and requirements.”


The International Association of Gaming Attorneys (“IAGA”) hosted a webinar on Wednesday, February 3, entitled “Post-Pandemic Gaming Policy: How Will It Impact Markets, Technology and Delivery Channels?” In a panel hosted by Kevin Mullally, Vice-President of Government Relations and General Counsel for Gaming Laboratories International (“GLI”), the webinar delved into the hardships that 2020 brought to the industry, as well as new opportunities that are on the horizon for gaming nationwide.

The panelists included the following experts:

  • Edward R. Bedrosian, Jr. – former Executive Director of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, current Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Howard B. Glaser – Global Head of Government Affairs and Special Initiatives for Scientific Games
  • Ayesha Molino – Senior Vice President of · Government Affairs for MGM Resorts International
  • Eric Schippers – Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Penn National Gaming

The panel’s discussion was guided by key legislative issues on the agenda for 2021, including:

  • Significant opportunities for suppliers
  • Possibility of land-based casinos in Georgia and Texas
  • Concerns about industry cannibalization
  • Growth of sports betting authorization
  • Continued migration to online delivery channels
  • Future route operations

Howard Glaser started the discussion by noting that the pandemic has been a catalyst for trends that the gaming industry was already seeing pre-pandemic, including the rising trend of iGaming. He continued that iGaming has been a predictable, stable, and growing source of revenue for many states during the pandemic, which will be persuasive in changing the minds of legislators in states that are considering iGaming authorization in 2021.

Eric Schippers discussed some of the concerns of industry cannibalization with the introduction of iGaming and sports betting across the country. He explained that iGaming has been additive and incremental to Penn National’s traditional casino customers. Instead of cannibalizing, iGaming has brought new customers, who are then drawn to the brick-and-mortar casinos through incentives and other benefits. Mr. Schippers noted that this is a matter of education for legislators to understand that iGaming and brick-and-mortar casinos can go hand in hand.

Ayesha Molino commented on the possibility of gaming legislation in several closely watched states, including Texas, Georgia, Alabama, and Hawaii. Ms. Molino thinks that the markets in Texas and Georgia are ready for gaming and have a heightened interest in 2021 due to pandemic-related budget crunches and shifting demographics. She noted that gaming discussions in Alabama are “very real”.

Ed Bedrosian discussed some of the biggest problems for states looking to increase revenue in 2021, including: 1) the legislative process, and 2) the regulatory process. He noted that the regulatory process for iGaming and sports betting can be accelerated by looking to other states’ models. Mr. Bedrosian spoke favorably of the vast technological advancements that have been introduced in the industry in 2020. He thinks that the changes are long overdue, noting that cashless wagering will appeal to a younger demographic and the post-pandemic world.

To watch or revisit the webinar, please click here.


New research by the American Gaming Association (“AGA”) shows that 23.2 million Americans plan to bet a total of $4.3 billion on Super Bowl LV pitting the Kansas City Chiefs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. This year, a record 7.6 million bettors will bet with an online sportsbook, an increase of 63% from last year.

“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”

36 million more American adults have gained the opportunity to bet in legal markets since last year’s Super Bowl with seven new markets now live, including: Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

There is an expected drop in overall Super Bowl betting, caused almost entirely by pandemic restrictions. Retail sportsbooks and casual bets are expected to see the largest declines this year.

The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, shows dramatically shifting betting patterns among the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • 1.4 million Americans plan to bet in-person at a sportsbook, down 61% from 2020.
  • 1.8 million bettors plan to place a bet with a bookie, down 21%.
  • 4.5 million Americans plan to place a pool, squares, or similar bet, down 19%.
  • 11.9 million Americans plan to bet casually with friends, down 18%.
  • 56% of bettors plan to bet on the Chiefs while 44% plan to bet on the Buccaneers.

This year, 65% of expected Super Bowl bettors feel that it is important for themselves to use a legal, regulated sportsbook for their bets. 34% of Americans remember seeing responsible gaming messaging in the past year, which is an increase of 5 points from 2020, while 53% of Super Bowl bettors remember seeing responsible gaming messaging in the last year.

“This data is an encouraging sign that our efforts to ground the expansion of sports betting in responsible gaming is taking hold,” said Mr. Miller. “Responsible gaming is core to legal sports betting’s long-term success, and this is borne out by continued demand for consumer protections only available in the legal market.”