What Does It Take To Launch A Sportsbook In Michigan?

Having launched online sports betting in January 2021, Michigan might have inspired you to wonder what it takes to set up a sportsbook. The state has seen some apps successfully get off the ground since the state legislature legalized sports betting. So what does it take? And are you up for the work? Let’s take a look at the steps to take and what to consider to make sure you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. 

The Lawful Sports Betting Act (Act 149 of 2019) allowed for legal online sports betting including the use of mobile betting apps. The law requires licensing of anyone who plans to engage in online sports betting and requires tax and other payments from the operator setting up a sportsbook. 

Sports Betting Or Internet Gaming Operator License

Operators looking to launch a sportsbook in Michigan must request a Sports Betting and/or Internet Gaming Operator license through the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The license will allow a person to conduct sports betting online. 

To start, you can visit the MGCB website and download and fill out the “Supplier Inquiry Form.” The operator applying must partner with a local licensed casino. Options include the three Detroit area casinos, MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity Casino-Hotel, and Greektown Casino Hotel, or one of the 26 tribal casinos in the state. Be prepared to supply the following information, in addition to more logistical details:

  •  A written agreement, letter of intent, or contract with the partnering commercial casino.
  • Jurisdiction(s) and licensing classifications held if you’ve ever been licensed or registered with the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
  • Whether or not your company will supply security services or surveillance systems.

See the Supplier Inquiry Form for more details. 

Obtaining A License

To obtain the license, you need to provide some important information that tells the state you are ready to operate and adhere to the law. Here are a few things on the checklist you’ll need to supply:

  • Whether or not you have the financial ability to create and manage the online sports betting app.
  • Whether or not you have the finances to maintain all necessary insurance, including liability and casualty insurance.
  • Whether or not you have a history of non-compliance with casinos.
  • Whether or not you have been charged, convicted, or arrested for a crime (this is not necessarily a deal-breaker).

Specific details on the rules for applying for a license can be found in section 6 of the Lawful Sports Betting Act. You’ll need to supply information on a personal disclosure form regarding cash and accounts, business investments, real estate appraisals on all properties owned, and additional assets.

Online Sports Betting Rules & Regulations

Setting up a sportsbook means adhering to existing rules in responsible gaming and understanding technical standards. You can see all the important details and fine print in section 10 of the Lawful Sports Betting Act. It includes important steps you’ll implement such as administering the requirements to ensure responsible gaming, adhering to the required method of recording, and understanding the types of records that must be kept. 

Visit the Michigan Gaming Control Board for more details on proper filing and application information. 

About the Author

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews is a writer and editor for Michigan Casino Review Bank, based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked as a professional writer for several years and was Public Affairs Director for the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce in Southern California. She roots for the Boston Red Sox and Vegas Golden Knights.