Bay Mills Resort and Casino has partnered with a major sports betting website to bring retail, online and mobile wagering to Michigan.
Michigan is the seventh state to announce a DraftKings-branded retail sportsbook, joining Colorado, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.
“We are excited about our new partnership with DraftKings,” said Bryan Newland, Tribal Chairman for the Bay Mills Indian Community. “Expanding on what entertainment options we can offer at Michigan’s longest operating gaming facility is always our goal. Our new on-site DraftKings Sportsbook will be one more great reason for Michiganders to vacation with us in the Upper Peninsula.”
Onsite sports betting debuted March 11th in Michigan with the goal of going live ahead of March Madness, which was slated to begin March 17. But the NCAA basketball tournament, like sporting seasons nationwide, was cancelled due to COVID-19. Still, DraftKings, a publicly traded company as of April 24, has seen its stock price continue to rise in spite of a pause on many professional sports.
Currently, just a handful of the 24 Tribal casinos throughout Michigan have entered sports betting partnerships, including:
The Star Group + Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians
On January 6, 2020, just a few weeks after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put her signature on the state’s bill regulating sports betting and Internet gaming, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority announced its partnership with global iGaming leader The Stars Group, Inc. (TSG) to introduce online betting and gaming.
“The Tribe’s partnership with The Stars Group extends beyond our reservation and places the thrill of world class sports betting and online gaming under every finger-tip sliding across a touch screen in the State of Michigan,” said Fred Harrington Jr., a member of the Tribal Council for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.
One of three federally recognized Tribes of Odawa people in Michigan, the Little Traverse Bay Bands operate two properties in Michigan, anchored by Odawa Casino Resort near Petoskey, on the northwestern shores of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The gaming authority will receive a cut of TSG’s online revenues in return for providing market access.
William Hill + The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
William Hill will operate sports betting at the Onyx Sports Bar at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino. The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) inked a long-term partnership with London-based bookmaker William Hill to bring sports betting to its Northern Michigan gaming attractions. Both venues are expected to start taking bets by the start of the 2020 football season that kicks off September 10.
“It was important for us to find a partner with a great sports betting and gaming brand that has proven experience throughout the U.S. market,” said Michael Schrader, CEO of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos.
William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher underscored that Michigan is “a key state” in the company’s United States expansion, “due to its large population and deep rooted-sports culture with so many popular college and pro sports teams.”
PointsBet + The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
The Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians has inked a 20-year agreement with PointsBet, with the option for a five-year extension, to offer an online and mobile PointsBet-branded sportsbook through LVD. The agreement entails online casino gambling.
PointsBet and LVD may also open a retail sportsbook at the Tribally owned Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet, Michigan.
PointsBet CEO Sam Swanell expressed enthusiasm about partnering with “such a forward-thinking Tribe” as they look forward to “many years of great success working together in Michigan.”