Michigan’s online sports betting launch hailed a success, Ohio could follow this year

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The sports gambling rollout in Michigan has been a home run.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation legalizing sports betting in December 2019. In-person betting began on March 11, 2020, days before the pandemic shut down casinos. But at the end of January 2021, the bets went mobile just in time for the super bowl.

“We knew there was going to be a big appetite for sports betting,” said Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Rick Kalm.

He said the state’s sports betting handle in February, or the total amount of money wagered, was $300 million. It resulted in $25 million in revenue for the state during its first full month capitalizing on mobile sports revenue. Online casino-style games make up a majority of the profits.

March’s numbers haven’t been finalized, but Kalm anticipates even higher figures following the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

“We sort of anticipated that we were going to get this kind of response,” Kalm said. “So far, we’ve been really pleased to see the revenue we’ve been generating.”

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