Michigan is getting closer to launching online sports betting, and FanDuel is making sure it is first in line to gain customers when it goes live according to sports data firm Lineups.com.  

FanDuel is offering Michigan sports bettors a $50 risk-free bet when they sign-up before online sports betting launches for both its sportsbook and online casino. If someone signs up for FanDuel during the pre-registration period, they will receive a free bet once online sports betting is officially here.

Sam Shefrin, owner of Lineups.com stated: “Being the first sportsbook to launch a pre-registration offer in the Great Lake State will help FanDuel Michigan to capitalize on the new betting market. FanDuel partnered and opened its retail sportsbook with MotorCity Casino in downtown Detroit this past March.”

He added: “Michigan originally legalized online sports betting in December 2019. The state began working on rules and regulations to oversee the new gaming market. On March 11, the first retail sportsbook opened, including FanDuel and two other sportsbooks in Detroit.

“Sports betting lasted five days before COVID-19 shut down sportsbooks for five months before finally reopening in August at limited capacity. Online sports betting saw higher demand as the pandemic kept people from heading to the sportsbooks.”

In September, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) began holding public hearings on the rules and regulations on what the sports betting industry will look like. The launch date was expected to come to fruition at the end of 2020 or early 2021. 

On Wednesday this week, FanDuel began offering pre-registration offers in hopes of attracting customers to the online sportsbook before the Great Lake State officially launches sports betting. This gave hope that online gaming would launch sooner than later.

Shefrin believes that Michigan could become one of the top sports betting markets in the US. “The state has three commercial casinos, and 24 tribal casinos that sports betting operators will want to capitalize on while the Michigan sports betting market is young,” he said. “There are already 10 retail sportsbooks operating in the state, with more waiting for online sports betting to launch, so more sportsbooks can begin operating.”

The Lineups boss added that estimates currently put the Michigan sports betting market between $4bn to $6bn when it fully matures. “Michigan is the 10th most populated state with just under 10 million residents,” he advised. “With five cities with over 120,000 residents, four professional sports teams, and seven Division I universities, there is a lot of potential with online sports betting.” 

The MGCB has set an 8.4% tax on sports betting and an additional 1.25% assessment tax on sportsbooks in Detroit. The application fee will be $50,000 and cost sports betting operators an additional $100,000 for a license to operate. Michigan also has a $50,000 renewal fee. 

FanDuel is the first sportsbook to launch a pre-registration bonus in the Great Lake State in hopes of attracting customers before other sportsbooks begin launching. A pre-registration launch will help the operator as Michigan bettors will look to sign-up for a sports betting account early, so they can start betting on the first day.

“The sportsbook is also in a great location in downtown Detroit,” noted Shefrin. “FanDuel’s retail location at MotorCity Casino is a half-mile away from Comerica Park and Ford Field. The downtown location helps capture retail bettors in the area and will also help get customers to sign-up before the official launch of online sports betting.

“With FanDuel being the first sportsbook promoting a pre-launch bonus in Michigan will help them gain an early share of the betting market and propel them ahead of the competition in the early race to become one of the state’s most successful sportsbooks.”