After Michigan finally announced that online casino and sportsbook gambling would be legal in the state, it didn’t take long for NetEnt to seize this opportunity. The deal to join this burgeoning US gambling market was announced on January 26, 2021. So, what should NetEnt’s fans in Michigan expect?
After the deal, players in the Great Lakes State will access blockbuster titles like Starburst, Devine Fortune, and Starburst from NetEnt, which is now part of Evolution Group. Remember that these titles are already fan-favorites in other regulated US iGaming markets like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Interestingly, NetEnt joins a gambling market already afflux with popular online casinos. Notable names include William Hill, FanDuel, BetMGM, Churchill Downs, and DraftKings.
Here is what Evolution’s Commercial Director in North America, Jeff Millar, had to say: “Friday’s successful launch with multiple operators is the result of months of planning for Michigan’s go-live and years of on-the-ground experience in the US,” he said. “America is an absolute priority market for Evolution Group, which is reflected by the scale of NetEnt’s first-day presence in Michigan.” He added.
On a side note, the deal sees NetEnt’s immediate entrance into Michigan’s regulated market cement Evolution’s position as the most popular software supplier in the US. In New Jersey, NetEnt games went live in 2015 before following up with Pennsylvania in 2019. In 2020, West Virginia also got a feel of NetEnt’s entertaining titles.
Michigan’s online gaming market went live on January 22, 2021. As expected, the industry’s watchdog will be the experienced Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB). This industry watchdog had already given the green light to some nine online gambling companies to operate in Michigan during the launch.
Meanwhile, the numbers are impressive in other states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where online gambling is legal. For example, New Jersey casino operators took home a game revenue total of $338 million in October 2020. 43% of this was from online betting. The three Detroit land-based casinos posted $639 million in revenue in 2020, which is down 56% from 2019.
As of now, Michigan charges one of the lowest rates among all legal online gambling US states. After paying out winnings, the respective online casino will pay only 8.4% to the state. For Detroit casinos, at least 30% accrued from internet gambling will be channeled to the city, whereas 65% will go to the state’s Internet Gaming Fund or Sports Betting Fund. The remaining 5% will go to the Michigan Agriculture Equine Industry Development Fund.
In the meantime, Michigan Association on Problem Gambling president Michael Burke warned against gambling addiction. He encouraged players to remain conscious of the money and time they spend gambling. He called on every gambler to seek help from the association if they feel gambling addition is catching up with them. Fortunately, part of the tax collected from online gambling in the state will go to the gaming prevention fund.
After the deal, expect to find most of NetEnt’s gaming content in most online casinos operating in Michigan. To play, punters need to create an account with an online casino and verify their identity. But that’s the easy part! The law in Michigan states that an online gambler must be at least 21 years of age to participate.