Sports Betting in Michigan Declined Due to Coronavirus

Sports Betting in Michigan Declined Due to Coronavirus

As the coronavirus pandemic is gaining ground in the US, Michigan’s sports betting industry has also started to take a hit.

Newly legalized industry takes a backstep

Sports betting in Michigan was legalized only in December 2019 when Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law. The state’s target was to get its sports betting offering ready for March Madness which set to begin in mid-March. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is considered one of the biggest annual sporting events for sportsbooks, at par with the Super Bowl. During last year’s tournament, Vegas sportsbooks grossed more than $600 million.

Sports Betting in Michigan Declined Due to Coronavirus

For Michigan, things went downhill with the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. The state witnessed three Detroit casinos going live with their sportsbook, hoping to cash in the March Madness betting opportunity. Unfortunately, they had to crush their hopes as national sporting events were shut down. As there weren’t any games that were left to bet on, the sector faced losses.

No games leave people stranded

The games were suspended just 24 hours after the three casinos opened which was quite a shocker for the early adopters of sports betting in the state. Sports Lawyer at Mika Meyers PLC Mike Huff said,

“All of a sudden, when we’re expecting big revenue, and the Detroit casinos especially being able to capture sports betting revenue with March Madness, all of that has grounded to a halt.”

The sudden standstill in the gaming industry will not just affect punters and the casinos but would also be equally detrimental to the educational programs of the state which were to be funded by sports betting taxes. The state will not be able to get any taxes until sporting events take place and punters get a chance to bet. The state’s projected revenues are now in a drain and this would have a massive impact on the educational sector.

A bounce-back is likely

Huff suggests that the initial shutdowns in sporting events because of the coronavirus has trampled the hopes of the industry. However, he expects things to eventually be back on track when sporting activities resume. He said that sports bettors will be eager to bet on their favorite teams as soon as the events return. Now, it is only a matter of time when the US government and other sporting authorities decide that the virus spread has been contained and life could go back to normal.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.