Gun Lake Casino in Wayland has found its mobile and retail sportsbook partner, announcing a partnership with Parx Casino that will bring the Pennsylvania-based company into the state of Michigan.
The two groups reached an agreement Friday as casinos in the Wolverine State have been lining up partnerships with sportsbooks ahead of launching retail and mobile operations. Sports betting became legal in Michigan in December when Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a package of iGaming bills that included HB4916.
“We are motivated to offer our casino guests and all Michigan residents the ultimate first time experience with these new entertainment offerings,” said Jose Flores, vice president and general manager of Gun Lake Casino. “We have strategically crafted our partnership with Parx Casino to allow a flawless and unsurpassed plan for our guests interested in sports betting and online gaming.
The Gun Lake Casino’s sportsbook, the Stage 131 Sportsbook & Lounge, will have both manual tellers and self-serve kiosks for sports betting. Stage 131 is tied into a $100 million expansion announced in October that included doubling the size of the venue in addition to adding 450 slot machines and 12 new table games.
Gun Lake Casino is located between Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids in western Michigan.
MGM Grand in Detroit will open its sportsbook on Wednesday and become the first to take wagers in Michigan. It is uncertain if Gun Lake or any other casino will open their sportsbooks in time ahead of the March Madness college basketball tournament, which begins next Tuesday with the First Four. Bettors, who will be able to place wagers on in-state colleges, must make their bets in person since mobile sports betting will likely not be available until 2021 at the earliest.
Michigan makes third market for Parx Casino
With Friday’s announcement, Parx Casino is entering its third state as a sportsbook operator, with the Greenwood Racing ownership based in Pennsylvania and also operating online in neighboring New Jersey under Ocean Casino’s license. Parx and Parx East, which also includes Parx Racing, have more than a half-million square feet of space just outside Center City Philadelphia.
“Parx Casino is thrilled to partner with Gun Lake Casino to power their online and retail sports betting business as well as online casino products,” said Matthew Cullen, senior vice president of interactive gaming and sports for Parx. “We’re excited to bring our expertise in effective, profitable customer acquisition and online product operation to the vast Michigan customer base.”