Sports betting fans in Michigan may have to wait until 2021 before they can bet on their favourite sports, according to reports in the local media.

Michigan’s gambling regulators have estimated that developing and passing rules for online casino games, fantasy sports and sports betting could take around a year to finalise. That estimate is based largely on the length of time that other states took to develop their own gambling sector.

According to Mary Kay Bean, a spokesperson at the Michigan Gaming Control Board they are hoping that land-based sports betting will be launched at casinos in the state this spring, although that estimate will depend on a number of factors, including applications, review processes and licensing.

But the online sports betting timeline is based on the experiences of other states that have taken the step of legalizing online gambling. State representative, Brandt Iden, who has led the sports betting campaign, said that a similar regulated industry set up in Indiana took up to eight months to bring into being. He said that Michigan was probably facing the same sort of timeline for online betting, which is what he expects to be the main driver of new revenue, although he welcomed the potential arrival of in-person betting this spring:

““Until we’re fully integrated online, I don’t think we’ll be able to capitalize on revenue. But from a consumer protection standpoint, from getting players interested, certainly getting up and going in person is helpful.”

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill authorising online betting last month following protracted negotiations. The delay was caused mainly by arguments over the threat of online betting to the state lottery and to land-based casinos, which contribute $117.8 million in gaming tax revenue to the state. But many of those casinos have long been in preparation to provide sports betting. MGM has already opened a sports lounge, while Penn National has signed up with online provider The Stars Group and the mobile operator TheScore.Inc.

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