Next year is expected to be another big year for the US sports betting industry, and the first month of the year could be one of the biggest. Both Michigan and Virginia have things in place to launch sports betting at some point in January, or February at the latest.
Michigan already has a retail sports betting industry available, but online sportsbooks will be available for the very first time. Online casino gambling is also set to launch at some point in 2021, but getting the online sports betting industry up and running is the top priority.
Virginia legalized sports betting just eight months ago, and that state has worked quickly to get things in place for an early 2021 launch. The state has taken a progressive approach to legalize sports betting as gambling of any form has been largely prohibited in the state.
As the United States continues to see massive growth in the sports betting industry, adding two new states will continue that trend.
Michigan Aiming For Mid-January
There was a small chance that Michigan was going to launch online betting in December 2020, but the Michigan Gaming Control Board simply ran out of time. Several operators are already ready to launch, and they are finishing up the final touches before they go live.
Retail sports betting has been live in Michigan since March, but that portion of the industry has been slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also just three commercial casinos in the state, although tribal casinos can offer sports betting as well.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board has yet to announce plans about how it will roll out new sportsbooks. Some states roll out sportsbooks all at once, while others do so on a rolling basis.
Virginia Launching Before Super Bowl
Virginia is expected to take a bit longer to get things up and running, and the launch date could eventually end up being February 2021. The ultimate goal is to allow sportsbooks to offer betting on the upcoming Super Bowl scheduled for February 7.
Sports betting has been legal in Virginia since April 22, but there weren’t any casinos or gambling properties in the state at that time. Five cities in Virginia are allowed to build new casino properties, and construction is expected to occur next year.
Online sports betting will be huge in Virginia when the industry finally launches, and some of the top names in the industry are expected to open a sportsbook.
Entire US Market Growing
The addition of two new online sports betting markets should provide another massive boost to the US sports betting industry. In October, the total sports betting handle in the US went over $3.25 billion for the first time.
New Jersey is now the leader in the US, posting a November sports betting handle of more than $930 million. Michigan and Virginia are expected to be strong sports betting markets, but they won’t be able to crack the top-five in the US.