Michigan is still at least several months away from launching online casino gambling, but Michiganders do have access to arguably the nation’s most advanced online lottery markets. Michigan has had an online lottery since 2014.
Last week, the Wolverine State’s iLottery, which has been generating money for education and other services throughout the pandemic, launched its latest game, an instant game product called “Medieval Fortunes.” According to the state’s website, it’s the 99th online game.
The state has more than 10,000 retail locations where the lottery can be played, but many closed or have had limited hours due to the virus.
“Good morrow and good tidings,” the Michigan Lottery said in a new ad for Medieval Fortunes. “A new game on the horizons harkens back to days of yore. A time of tomes and tonics…castles, crowns and most of all, coins. Perchance a contest of bow and arrow will award ye with riches! Mayhap a dragon will lead ye to a trail of treasures.”
The Michigan Lottery said it has more than one million registered online players, a huge number for a state with approximately 10 million people.
The offerings are available to anyone 18 years of age and older. Online casino gambling in Michigan will be for 21 and over.
According to the lottery, players can win online prizes as large as $500,000. For Medieval Fortunes, though, the top prize is $20,000.
Outlook for online casino gambling
There have been mixed messages from Michigan when it comes to online casino gambling. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was worried about how online casinos would impact the lottery, didn’t fast-track the new form of gambling on her end, but state regulators are moving as swiftly as possible. There is the possibility of launching iCasino in 2020 instead of in the first quarter of 2021.
The three Detroit casinos remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the plan is to have them reopen in a limited capacity next month.
The properties, which closed in March, are eyeing this upcoming weekend.
Some lawmakers are pitching a new piece of legislation that would further fast-track online casino launches due to the social distancing required even after the properties reopen. Tax revenue from casino gambling accounts for nearly 20% of Detroit’s budget.