Why Barstool, MGM Could Be Big Winners With Michigan Online Sports Betting
A year after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation legalizing sports betting and iGaming, operators will soon be able to offer these services through online and mobile platforms.
What Happened: The bipartisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules waived the 15-day waiting period requirement on Tuesday morning, according to MIBiz.
The move allows the Michigan Gaming Control Board to file paperwork and grant final approval for operators in the state. This could happen by the end of December and is expected to happen no later than January 2021.
Why It's Important: Michigan is the tenth most populous state in the U.S. and is considered to be a large player in the growing online sports betting and iGaming markets. The launch of online sports betting in Michigan could provide upside to companies that will have operations in the state.
Two companies set to go public via SPACs could also benefit. Golden Nugget Online, which is merging with Lancadia Holdings II (NASDAQ:LCA) and Rush Street Interactive, merging with dMY Technology Group (NYSE:DMYT) both have access to the Michigan online market.
Who Could Win Big: Matias Dorta of Roundhill Investments provided some commentary on who could be the winners in Michigan.
“I definitely believe Barstool will have success in Michigan for a few reasons," Dorta told Benzinga. "One, Barstool has a large base in Michigan. Two, Penn National Gaming owns one of the most popular casinos in the state, Greektown.”
Roundhill Investments runs the Roundhill Sports Betting & IGaming ETF (NYSE:BETZ).
Dorta said the Barstool-branded retail sportsbook inside Detroit's Greektown Casino will give the company the ability to host interactive in-person events with their fans such as Michigan versus Michigan State games.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy went to the University of Michigan and there's a strong presence of “stoolies” around Ann Arbor, according to Dorta.
Dorta also said MGM is well positioned to succeed in Michigan: "MGM has a large database of Michigan gamblers because they own the biggest casino in the state, the MGM Grand Detroit."
Dorta also said BetMGM is the official betting partner of the Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings, which allows them to "tap into the fanbases of both teams."
“I believe BetMGM will outperform in states with MGM Resorts, due to the built-in audience and the ability to cross-promote loyalty points to the hotel, casino, restaurants, etc," he said.
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