The gambling industry certification giant Gaming Laboratories International announced this week that Michigan state regulators have chosen the company to provide testing services for iGaming and mobile sports betting suppliers in the Wolverine State.
The deal means that as Michigan marches toward the long-awaited launch of online gaming, expected to become available by the end of 2020, the state will rely on GLI to test mobile betting platforms like FanDuel, BetRivers, and others for functionality, security, and compliance with Michigan’s 2019 Lawful Internet Gaming Act.
“We are honored that the Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved GLI to test and certify iGaming and mobile sports betting,” said Peter Wolff, GLI’s director of global technical compliance, in a press release. “We have been helping regulators and suppliers navigate the future of iGaming and mobile sports betting for decades, and we are excited to put our worldwide experience to work for Michigan.”
The New Jersey-based firm touts its reach and expertise as the “the only lab that is working with all regulated [gambling] jurisdictions worldwide – both existing and emerging.” Since its founding in 1989, GLI says it has certified more than 2 million terrestrial and online products in more than 475 jurisdictions, from Macau to Mexico to the Mitten.
GLI’s industry standards for event wagering systems and interactive gaming systems have already been adopted in the MGCB’s draft rules for internet sports betting and online casino gaming, forming the backbone of the regulations mobile gambling operators and suppliers must comply with.
The firm has also provided testing services for casinos in Michigan. “The Gun Lake Tribal Gaming Commission has had the privilege of working with GLI since the beginning of our gaming operations,” said Melinda Coffin, the executive director of the commission, which oversees the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Mich., in a testimonial on GLI’s website. “We are proud of the relationship that has flourished through the years with their professional team. Their highly trained experts continue to provide world-class services to our organization.”
Another step toward launch of online gambling
The MGCB’s testing deal with GLI marks the falling of one more domino along Michigan’s path to launching online gaming.
Remaining items on state regulators’ to-do list — before bettors can begin placing mobile bets on Detroit Lions games from anywhere in Michigan — include a public hearing on the draft rules for online gambling, scheduled for Sept. 23; the completion of the subsequent rulemaking review process and formal adoption of final rules; and the approval of licenses for operators, suppliers, and third-party vendors who wish to offer internet wagering.
The state’s Rulemaking Process Summary states that finalizing the rules could take up to 80 days from the date of this month’s public hearing, which suggests that regulated online betting in Michigan could become available by mid-December, but this week a state lawmaker predicted the introduction of mobile gaming could come even sooner.
“Even with the pandemic and ongoing issues, the good news is that the regulators were able to do a lot of this work at home, drafting rules, and now this process has moved on,” said Rep. Brandt Iden (R-Kalamazoo), in an appearance at a gaming industry panel discussion. “We’re shooting for Thanksgiving-ish. I think we’re in a great spot to be able to have us up and running online, assuming companies are there and have platforms set, certainly by the end of the year, and hopefully by Thanksgiving.”