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Michigan Online Casinos Licenses
How companies can get a license to operate online
Any of the three Detroit casinos or the 12 tribal groups that own casinos in Michigan are eligible to obtain a license for an online gaming site. Most casinos will use the assistance of an online operator to run their online poker, online casino, or online sports betting services. Michigan Online Casinos must pay an application fee, licensing fee, and annual operating fee to gain and hold onto the five-year license. Licensing runs through the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
The LIGA allows only two classes of applicants for a license. The first class is for those who already hold a casino license under the Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act. These are commercial casinos already operating retail casinos in Michigan. The second class is a tribal casino conducting Class III gaming through an ordinance approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission. Each party in a class is eligible for only one internet gaming license.
The MGCB may request specific information from applicants for licenses. This includes financial information to determine whether the applicant has sufficient ability to operate an internet gaming platform. This will be used by the MGCB to determine if the applicant has enough capital to pay its secured and unsecured debts, provide a surety bond, and maintain adequate liability and casualty insurance. The MGCB can further request information on whether the applicant has any sort of criminal history.
Partnering with land-based casinos
All online gaming licenses granted in Michigan must be tied to a casino or online gaming provider. For example, DraftKings recently partnered with Bay Mills Resort & Casino to run their in-house casino sportsbook. The agreement also gives DraftKings the freedom to operate an online sportsbook under the Bay Mills license.
There are many different routes; BetMGM Casino launched in Michigan in January 2021, offering players a trusted brand and a full range of slots, table games and video poker, in addition to its online sportsbook and upcoming online poker platform. The BetMGM name is particularly well known in Michigan, their licensing partner MGM Grand Detroit was the first commercial casino to open in the state, and is the state’s top-performing online casino in total revenue.
BetMGM, a joint venture of industry giant MGM Resorts, continues to expand its national digital footprint as more states legalize online gambling.
Options to exercise once license is acquired
Things to observe for an operator granted license in Michigan is the ability to partner with two different brands. As mentioned before, operators can partner with a casino, but they can also enter into an agreement with an exclusive online gaming company. The only exception to the casino rule in Michigan concerns daily fantasy sports.
Providers of DFS games do not have to partner with a casino to offer their products.
A DFS powerhouse such as BETMGM provides both online sportsbooks and online casinos in Michigan, but only the sports betting and casino products are required to operate in partnership with land-based casinos.
Michigan joins New Jersey and Pennsylvania as the only three states to offer DFS, online sports betting, online casino and online poker. As Michigan steadily builds up to widespread gaming expansion, the other two states have enjoyed the large revenue source from all four gaming options.
Through following the blueprint of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Michigan becomes the only state in the Midwest to offer all four online gaming categories.
What your costs will look like to obtain a license
The state of Michigan launched online casinos in January 2021. If you are a casino in Michigan looking to expand into online gaming for customers, you will be required to pay a fee to obtain the license, as well as an annual fee to keep the license.
For a Michigan online gambling license, operators pay $50,000 for an application fee, $100,000 for the five-year license, and another $50,000 for the annual operating fee.
Legal iGaming products in the state include mobile casino apps from e FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and several other brands. For DFS sites, the fees remain relatively low.
The license to operate a daily fantasy site costs $20,000 for the license and $5,000 for the annual fee.
For sports betting operators, Michigan does not command the money that Illinois’ betting law demands. In Illinois, operators pay a percentage of their yearly gross revenue as the fee, up to $10 million in total.
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If you're interested in betting on sports too - compare our list of legal betting sites in Michigan.