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Sports Gambling in Illinois and Michigan is Ready to Go

March 12, 2020

With the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament only a week away, sports bettors in Illinois and Michigan have been making plans to drive to states like Indiana and Iowa. These are states that already have sports betting live and online operations underway.

Good news for sports bettors in Illinois and Michigan. The deadline has been met. Yes, sports bettors in both states will be able to start betting on sports events right away.

In Illinois, the action will be limited to the Betrivers Sportsbook in the Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The betting will be limited to the physical sportsbook with an eye on offering online sports and casino gambling later this year.

Clearly excited to give gamblers what they want, Corey Wise, senior vice president and general manager of Rivers Casino to the press: “The BetRivers Sportsbook will take March Madness out of the office pool and into an exciting, elevated live sports wagering experience. We are grateful to the Illinois Gaming Board staff for their work approving our sportsbook in time for the college basketball tournament—one of the greatest sports events of the year.”

And Michigan Joins the Fray

Not to be outdone, the sportsbooks in neighboring Michigan are also ready to roll for March Madness. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has announced that three licensed sportsbooks will start taking sports bets in the week leading up to the start of the NCAA tournament.

The three aforementioned sportsbooks include the Greektown Casino + Penn National, the MGM Grand + Roar Digital and MotorCity Casino + FanDuel Sportsbook. As is the case with Illinois, this group of sports betting operators are looking to put mobile sports and casino gambling in place by the end of this year or perhaps, sometime next year before the 2021 Super Bowl.

Aside from the World Cup Soccer Tournament, March Madness represents the most lucrative sports betting tournament in the world. That provided both states with ample motivation to get sports betting access in place before the start of the tournament.

It will be interesting to see how Indiana's thriving sports betting business will be affected by these two neighboring states stepping forward and offering some real competition. With mobile sports betting already in place, Indiana sportsbooks should still be able to pull gambling dollars from sports bettor in Illinois and Michigan, sports bettors that don't live in close proximity to the four aforementioned casinos.


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