William Hill becomes the next sports betting operator to ensure entry into the forthcoming Michigan market by signing a long-term agreement with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians /GTB/.
Only two months have passed since in December 2019 State Governor Gretchen Whitmer approved HB 4311, creating the Lawful Internet Gaming Act to legalize mobile and casino gambling in the state and empower the state regulator, the Michigan Gaming Control Board /MGCB/, to start developing the regulatory framework and issue licenses accordingly.
Approval of HB916 created the Lawful Sports Betting Act to allow all 3 commercial and 24 tribal casinos, the latter operated by the 12 recognized tribes in the state, to offer retail and online sports betting, and HB4308 created the law to legalize fantasy sports betting contests in Michigan.
Michigan Potential Lures Operators
Michigan is really important in terms of its size of population and links with sports and the act of legalization spurred a flurry of activities from tier 1 gambling operators entering into partnership deals to make sure they gain access to the market at the point when regulation rules are clear.
First, PokerStars secured its presence in the market by signing a deal with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and they were followed by the Australian operator, PointsBet, after it entered a partnership with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
Retail And Mobile Operations
The deal William Hill has in place with the GTB makes them the exclusive provider of online sports betting and casino gaming for the tribe, with the necessary regulatory approvals for the operations secured by the UK- based gambling and sports betting operator.
“We are pleased to have found a great partner in the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and look forward to working with the Tribe to bring a leading retail and online sports betting experience to sports fans in Michigan”, Joe Asher, CEO, William Hill US.
The long-term partnership involves plans to open a new William Hill retail sports book at the Onyx Sports Bar in the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, with a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino for mobile operations, as both facilities are currently operated by the tribe, with expectations running high that both locations will be live prior to the start of the 2020 football season.
“William Hill’s expertise in sports betting operations and marketing and strategic media partnerships will ensure that we are able to attract customers from throughout the State of Michigan to the online products while offering another great amenity to attract guests to our casinos”, Michael Schrader, CEO, Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos
William Hill also confirms that as soon as Michigan regulator approves the final rules it will launch online casino gaming and online sports betting.