Will Domestic Online Gambling Help Wolverine State Casinos Claw Back?

In December 2019, embattled Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer singed the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, allowing gambling operators in the state to offer both online casino gaming and online sports betting.

While it’s taken nearly a year, it looks like the table is set and the cards are finally being dealt, with the first casinos expected to launch their Internet-based gambling operations sometime next month.

To that end, Wynn Resorts, one of the biggest names in gambling, has partnered with the Game Account Network (GAN) to develop the software platform for its RNG – or “random number generation” – casino gaming and sports betting backend.

Per Jeffrey Berman, CCO of GAN:

“We look forward to powering the Wynn brand in Michigan with our highly optimized technology platform and enabling Wynn to efficiently invest their marketing capital to attract loyal sports betting and iGaming players.

We are pleased to onboard Wynn, with its national casino brand and substantial Michigan-region patron base, as a major operator client and are excited at the opportunity presented by potential roll-outs in multiple additional states in the future.”

The Wynn-GAN deal is for 10 years, and while the terms have not been publicly disclosed, it will allow Wynn to get a head start in MI by being the first major operator out of the gate for online gambling in the state.

While it’s long been possible for MI residents to use legitimate online casinos operating outside of US jurisdiction, this holiday season will be the first time that the Wolverine State will have domestically accessible online gambling for its residents.

Of course, that option isn’t necessarily great for everyone.

The most significant issue facing those wishing to enjoy Michigan online gambling domestically is simply this:

You must physically be within the state’s borders while you play.

Naturally, that means that all the state’s snowbirds will probably want to stick with their offshore options, especially when betting on the NFL and other fall/winter leagues.

Further, to wager with local Michigan casinos and sportsbooks, you must be at least 21 years of age. Overseas casinos and bookmakers only require their MI members to be 18 or older.

Still, these developments are a big step in the right direction, and not just for Michigan but for the US in general. Michigan will be just the fifth US state to offer online casino gambling, joining New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Meanwhile, fewer than 20 states currently offer legal online sports betting via domestic sportsbooks, so MI is credibly within the second wave of states to take the fullest advantage of the 2018 Supreme Court overturn of the PASPA federal gambling law.

While it clearly would have been better to have these online casinos and sports betting sites up and running earlier in the year to help offset Gov. Whitmer’s draconian, industry-stifling, and illegal COVID-19 lockdowns, this is definitely a case of better late than never. More options are always a good thing.

For our part, we’re looking forward to comparing Michigan’s online betting selection and mobile gambling apps to those available from long-established offshore operators with whom they’ll be competing.

We suspect many MI players will want to stay with their existing international service providers, but the convenience of being able to fund their gambling with traditional banking methods – and receive same-day payouts via direct deposit – will be enough to entice a not-insignificant percentage of gamblers back into the Wolverine den.

Of course, we gamble with Bitcoin, and that’s not something Michigan is likely to embrace. As a result, we’re sticking with sites like Bovada, Slots LV, Café Casino, Ignition Casino, Roaring 21, Spinfinity, and several others that have already established themselves in the international gambling community.

Sources: Yahoo, Mackinac.org