Sports betting continues to become more commonplace around the US, and Emagine Entertainment wants to push it forward. The movie theater company is thinking outside the box and plans on opening a sports lounge at one of its Michigan venues. If it succeeds, the idea will likely be mirrored across the country, wherever legal.
Sports Betting, Coming Soon to a Theater Near You
According to local media outlet WXYZ, Michigan-based Emagine will open a Vegas-style sports bar inside the Royal Oak Emagine. It will allow guests to watch live sports and participate in sports betting. The lounge will have a screen that is two stories high and 40 feet wide and will show multiple sporting events simultaneously.
Sports fans are welcome to attend on a first-come, first-served basis. Just in time for college football’s Peach Bowl, the Emagine Sports Lounge will open in Royal Oak on December 30
Anthony LaVerde, the CEO of Emagine Entertainment, told the media outlet COVID-19 has hit the company hard the past two years, but the new lounge should give the company a boost. “This initiative was actually thought about pre-COVID. It’s nice to see it come to fruition, and give people a communal experience without having to get on a plane and fly to Vegas,” he added.
The Continued Expansion of Sports Betting
Each seat in the theater is equipped with a table, perfect for supporting a laptop or other device. The theater also offers high-speed Internet access for sports bettors.
LaVerde stated, “The bet is, people want to have communal experiences again. Emagine is always [at] the forefront of innovation. We thought this was another use of our world-class facilities.”
Michigan is one of only a few states to have legalized iGaming in conjunction with online sports betting. The two are proving to be very successful and continue to set new records. Because online sports betting is legal in the state, Emagine doesn’t need a sports betting license – it is only offering a venue where bettors can watch the games while betting through their own online accounts.
Last month, Michigan set a new online sports betting handle record when the state took in $473.8 million in online wagers. That was around $10 million higher than the month before, which had also been a record. The total adjusted sports betting gross gaming revenue for November reached $38.8 million, of which $34.5 million was attributable to online wagers, a month-over-month increase of 429%.