Canada News Agency

Michigan legalizes online sports betting

Michigan residents and visitors will be able place online sports wagers beginning Friday at noon ET.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board gave its approval Tuesday for nine gambling operators to open for online sports business this week, with more operators expected to be given the green light in the coming days.

The move comes days before the NFL conference championship games and weeks before sports betting's annual zenith, the Super Bowl.

The approved online operators and their local partners are:

--BetMGM/Roar Digital, MGM Grand Detroit

--DraftKings, Bay Mills Indian Community

--FanDuel, MotorCity Casino

--Golden Nugget Online Gaming, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

--Penn Sports Interactive/Barstool Sportsbook, Greektown Casino

--TwinSpires, Hannahville Indian Community

--Rush Street, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

--William Hill, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

--Wynn, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Richard Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board, said in a statement, "Michigan residents love sports and, judging by inquiries we've received, eagerly anticipate using mobile devices to place bets through the commercial and tribal casinos. Online gaming and sports betting will provide the casinos with new ways to engage with customers while the state and local communities will benefit from taxes and payments on wagering revenue."

MotorCity Casino Hotel president Bruce Dall said in a statement that local fans can look forward to betting on the Detroit sports teams.

FanDuel chief marketing officer Mike Raffensperger told the Detroit Free Press that Michigan made the right choice in approving sports wagering.

"Frankly speaking, (sports betting) is a marketplace that existed prior to us launching legally," he said. "It just happened in (the) black market and the gray market with offshore accounts where maybe you'll get your money out, maybe you won't."