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Michigan Online Sports Betting Goes Live: Can Penn National Lead The Way?

While Michigan officially offered legalized sports betting in March, Friday officially saw the state’s online offering hit the market. Ten licensed operators were given the green light to allow customers to finally lock in their wagers digitally at noon on January, 20th.

Michigan Sportsbooks Now Online

  • Barstool Sportsbook
  • BetMGM
  • BetRivers
  • DraftKings Sportsbook
  • FanDuel Sportsbook
  • Golden Nugget
  • PointsBet
  • TwinSpires, formerly Churchill Downs
  • William Hill
  • WynnBET

What makes Michigan’s launch particularly is that it marks the first time we see so many brands battle it out for market share after sharing the same launch date.

Brands like Penn National’s Barstool Sportsbook  (NYSE:PENN) have fared well, despite a late entrance into the Pennsylvania market, but many would-be bettors had already given their loyalties to DraftKings, Fanduel or another operational book.

Friday’s launch serves as a fair race, where the will Barstool Sportsbook no longer be viewed as a solid second option, rather a players first selection.

As the dust settles, if market share plays in their favor, Penn National and the Barstool Bets brand can proudly tout that their efforts now make them the front runner in this rapidly expanding space.

It remains unclear if FOX Bet will look to go live, as its parent company Flutter also drives FanDuel and would likely opt to avoid competition here that could see a competitor emerge on top.

Michigan’s Long Road To Online Betting

It took eight drafts, but Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer finally gave her signature of approval to the regulated sports betting agenda in December of 2019, but she was clear in asking legislators to refrain from calling on emergency rules to forcefully advance mobile betting.

After playing witness to the issues faced by state lawmakers who failed to do their homework, Michigan legislators advanced with in-house betting but tabled the conversations referencing online offerings for a later date.

The 2019 bill paved the way for three commercial and 23 tribal casinos to offer sports betting, with each location limited to using a single operator for their services.

In her approval, Gov. Whitmer also signed online poker and iGaming into effect, making Michigan the first state to open the floodgates for all three products simultaneously. Only bettors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have access to iGaming products, and while poker players in Jersey, Delaware and Nevada are united in a multistate compact, Michigan residents will only be able to play against others inside the state’s borders.

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