The Kalamazoo Wings have become the first ECHL franchise to partner with an online sportsbook, announcing a deal with FireKeepers Casino Hotel.
While Michigan residents cannot wager on ECHL games — at least not yet — the deal puts the Wings at the forefront of legal betting action.
“The K-Wings are proud to partner with FireKeepers Casino Hotel for the first official and exclusive iCasino & sportsbook partnership in the ECHL,” Toni Will, the Wings’ general manager and governor, said in a press release announcing the deal. “While our partnership with FireKeepers is longstanding, expanding into the iCasino & sportsbook business is new, forward-thinking and cutting edge.”
Kalamazoo taps longtime partner FireKeepers to thrive in Sportsbook landscape. https://t.co/Bo1hUStxNf
— Kalamazoo Wings (@KalamazooWings) February 23, 2022
As a result of the partnership, fans attending games at the Wings Event Center will have access inside the stadium to the latest game scores and betting odds on high-definition televisions. Additionally, fans can engage in in-game competitions to earn Red Hot FireKeepers credits for their entire section. The partnership also features FireKeepers signage and advertising throughout the Wings Event Center.
“The K-Wings bring the heat every game, creating crowd-pleasing performances for our region’s hockey fans,” Jim Wise, the vice president of marketing and iGaming for FireKeepers Casino Hotel, said in the release. “This unique partnership allows fans to experience FireKeepers iGaming from their seats in the arena without missing a minute of the action.”
Finding a niche after late entry
FireKeepers online sportsbook opened for business in July 2021, becoming the 13th online sportsbook in Michigan. Its online casino, the 14th in the state, debuted at the same time.
And while FireKeepers was late to the party — online sportsbooks and casinos first went live on Jan. 22, 2021 — it has managed to carve out a niche in the online sportsbook world. In fact, for January — the last month numbers were available — FireKeepers Sportsbook handled over $2 million in online sports wagers, beating out WynnBet, TwinSpires, Golden Nugget, and Four Winds.