Michigan Lottery ‘Business As Normal’ Amid Coronavirus Situation

Gamblers in Michigan still play lottery games via the internet, as the Lottery tries to maintain a sense of normalcy with casinos closed.

Tribal and commercial casinos have shuttered in Michigan, just days after the state kicked off retail sports wagering. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday informed the public that the Michigan Gaming Control Board would move to temporarily close the Detroit facilities.

That happened Monday, with many tribal casinos, which are not under the regulatory authority of the MGCB, following suit. As of Tuesday, not all of the properties sprinkled around the state were closed. While tribal gaming is regulated by the federal government, the Michigan tribal casinos were put under MGCB regulation for online betting, which is expected to kick off in early 2021. That timeline, however, existed before the coronavirus crisis. Michigan gambling regulators can continue working on crafting the regulations remotely. Michigan, like many states, is having employees work from home.

That situation also applies to the Michigan Lottery.

A spokesperson for the Lottery told MI Bets Tuesday that it’s “business as normal” right now. While bars and restaurants were ordered closed by Whitmer, lottery tickets can also be purchased at gas stations and grocery stores, for example. Additionally, Michigan has an online lottery.

The Lottery spokesperson said he wasn’t aware of any uptick in online gambling yet. The Wolverine State’s online lottery offers instant win games, draw games, keno, and multi-state games.

The Michigan Lottery hasn’t closed brick-and-mortar claims centers. As of Wednesday morning, Illinois, South Carolina, and Kansas had temporarily closed their respective locations. Players can mail in their claims, as well as claim small prizes of $600 or less at lottery retail locations that are still open.

Mega Millions, Powerball

Michigan is in the minority of states where you can buy tickets to the multi-state jackpots via the internet. Residents of Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania can buy Mega Millions tickets online. Michigan is also among a small number of states where you can play Powerball via a smartphone or web browser.

On Tuesday evening, there was a $90 million Mega Millions drawing, which was not hit. Someone in Rhode Island won $1 million. The new estimated jackpot is $96 million.

Powerball was set to have a $130 million drawing on Wednesday night as well.



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