Announcement expected ‘very soon’ for online gambling

Michigan

A man plays a slot machine at the MGM Grand Detroit casino in Detroit, Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Get ready to place your bets. The Michigan Gaming Control Board is set to roll out their timeline for online gaming in a matter of days.

Rick Kalm, the executive director of the board, confirmed that with News 8 on Wednesday. Kalm says he hopes to have an announcement ready by Friday.

Late last month, the board refused to give a firm timetable, saying they were aiming for mid-January. The Gaming Control Board has been working quickly to get provisional licenses approved for Michigan casinos and their platforms.

Gambling was legalized by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December 2019, but online gaming required its own new set of rules and licenses. Those were approved by the legislature last month.

Experts forecast online gambling will generate more than $90 million in revenue in its first year. The commercial casinos — MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City and Greektown — will pay an 8.4% tax on online gambling revenues. Of that, 4.62% goes to their local jurisdiction (Detroit) and 3.78% goes to the state, which is allocated to the School Aid Fund.

So far, 15 casinos and their vendors have been granted their provisional licenses. The Board continues to work with the other ones, but some casinos will still likely be waiting for their licenses on opening day.

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