Hannahville Indian Community owns and operates The Island Resort & Casino in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
A BetAmerica-branded sportsbook is coming to the Hannahville Indian Community’s casino and its online platforms across Michigan through a partnership with Churchill Downs Inc. Churchill Downs purchased advance-deposit wagering website BetAmerica in April 2017.
The retail sportsbook, which still requires regulatory approval, will be located in the Tribe’s Island Resort & Casino in Harris, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
BetAmerica currently operates in Indiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, so the partnership with the Hannahville Indian Community marks the company’s first foray into Michigan.
When BetAmerica launches, it will join a highly competitive market. Michigan’s commercial casinos — Motor City Casino, Greektown Casino and MGM Grand, all based in Detroit — debuted sporstbooks shortly after Governor Gretchen Whitmer legalized sports betting and online gaming through Michigan’s casinos in December 2019.
On June 22nd, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi-owned FireKeepers Casino Hotel became the first of 24 Tribally owned gaming establishments in Michigan to open a sportsbook. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians followed, opening Kambi sportsbooks at the Tribe’s three Four Winds casinos in southwest Michigan.
Throughout 2020, several of the 12 federally recognized Tribes in Michigan — which own and operate the state’s 23 Tribal casinos — announced partnerships with sports betting providers to operate retail sportsbooks and online wagering.
For instance, the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians selected GAN. Bay Mills Resort and Casino has partnered with DraftKings to bring retail, online and mobile wagering to Michigan. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians teamed up with Rush Street Interactive (RSI) for its casino sportsbook, forecasted to open at its Northern Michigan casino resort in third quarter 2020, and forthcoming co-branded online sports betting and casino statewide (the latter once Michigan regulations allow).
Additionally, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority teamed up with The Stars Group (TSG); the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians entered into a long-term partnership with London-based bookmaker William Hill; and Michigan’s Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians inked a 20-year agreement with PointsBet.