On December 19, 2019, a few simple strokes of the Governor’s pen signaled the end of Michigan’s multi-year pursuit of online gambling legislation, and the start of a blooming industry. Online casino games, sports betting, and poker are on their way to the Great Lakes State – and sooner than you might think. Recent estimates point towards an official rollout in late 2020 or early 2021.
Below we detail all known MI online gambling partnerships and give our best estimate of when each site will launch.
Michigan Online Sportsbook and Casino Launch Dates
Per the newly minted laws, Michigan’s three commercial casinos and twelve federally recognized tribes are all permitted to form licensing partnerships for online gaming. That’s 15 total, with each being allowed a separate partner (skin) for casino, sports betting, and poker. New agreements have been coming in left, right, and center, which can be a lot to keep track of… so we’ve done it for you.
These are the current arrangements in the state, along with their anticipated online launch date. While there are twelve tribes that are active in the state of Michigan, some have more than one casino property… so we’ve listed them all. We will be sure to update accordingly as the landscape continues to unfold.
|Michigan Casino||Retail Launch||Sports Betting Partner||Online Casino||Online Launch|
|Greektown Casino||Mar. 11, 2020||Barstool (estimated)||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|MGM Grand Detroit||Mar. 11, 2020||BetMGM||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Motor City Casino||Mar. 12, 2020||FanDuel||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|FireKeepers Casino||June 22, 2020||Scientific Games (tech)||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Four Winds Dowagiac||July 13, 2020||Kambi (tech)||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Four Winds Hartford||July 13, 2020||Kambi (tech)||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Four Winds New Buffalo||July 13, 2020||Kambi (tech)||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Little River Casino||July 17, 2020||BetRivers||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Bay Mills Resort Casino||TBA||DraftKings||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Gun Lake Casino||TBA||Parx||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Island Resort & Casino||TBA||BetAmerica||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Kewadin Christmas||TBA||GAN||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Kewadin Hessel||TBA||GAN||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Kewadin Manistique||TBA||GAN||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Kewadin Sault Ste. Marie||TBA||GAN||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Kewadin Ste. Ignace||TBA||GAN||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Leelanau Sands Casino||TBA||William Hill||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Northern Waters Casino||TBA||PointsBet||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Odawa Casino||TBA||FOX Bet||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Odawa Casino Mackinaw City||TBA||FOX Bet||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Ojibwa Casino Baraga||TBA||Golden Nugget||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Ojibwa Casino Marquette||TBA||Golden Nugget||Yes||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Saganing Eagles Landing Casino||TBA||TBA||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Soaring Eagle Casino||TBA||TBA||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
|Turtle Creek Casino||TBA||William Hill||TBA||Late '20 / Early '21|
MI Online Poker Launch Dates
While every eligible tribe and commercial casino is moving towards online sports betting, and many towards casino, we can expect that the field will narrow substantially for poker. In the New Jersey market, the most developed thus far in the U.S., there’s still only a handful of options despite being live since 2013. Poker just doesn’t bring in the same level of revenue as its rival products… yet.
In July 2018 New Jersey joined Nevada and Delaware in a multi-state compact, officially combining player pools. Should new states with online poker, like Michigan, also join the action, revenue and interest will rise.
Current online poker rooms on the way to Michigan include:
|Online Poker Room||Michigan Partner||Estimated Launch|
|PokerStars||Odawa Casino, Odawa Casino Mackinaw City||Late '20 / Early '21|
|PartyPoker||MGM Grand Detroit||Late '20 / Early '21|
More sites will eventually join the fray. WSOP.com has dominated in Nevada and New Jersey, but its parent company, Caesars, has yet to secure access in Michigan. BetRivers, Parx, and Penn National, all of whom are bringing sports and casino to MI, have also secured poker licenses in Pennsylvania… though they haven’t dealt any cards yet. Their poker plans for MI remain up in the air.
Online Gambling Operators Coming to Michigan
Governor Whitmer’s pen stroke was like the starter’s pistol for Michigan’s iGaming industry. Some operators came out of the gate fast, quickly announcing their in-state partners, while others have taken their time to find a fit in the state. Before long, Michiganders will have a wealth of options at their disposal. Here are the brands we know will be active in the state.
- Michigan Partner: Greektown Casino
With an eye on online operations in the state of Michigan, Penn National Gaming finalized the purchase of the Greektown Casino in May 2019 for a reported fee of around $300 million. Just a few months later PNG shelled out an additional $163 million to acquire a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, with the intention of using it as the company’s flagship sports betting and iGaming brand.
The Detroit-based casino opened its retail sports betting facility, currently known as ‘The Sportsbook at Greektown Casino-Hotel‘, on March 11, 2020, the first day of operation in the state. A Barstool rebranding to coincide with its online launch looms on the horizon.
- Michigan Partner: Island Resort & Casino
BetAmerica and its parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., announced a partnership in July 2020 with the Island Resort & Casino in Harris, MI. BetAmerica will operate its online sportsbook and casino in the state via the Island Resort’s license, in addition to setting up a brick-and-mortar sports betting experience at the casino. They hope to be accepting retail bets by the start of the 2020 football season.
The Island Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, and is located in the Upper Peninsula of the state. It’s close to the Wisconsin border, and only a couple of hours from Green Bay – home of the Packers.
- Michigan Partner: MGM Grand Detroit
BetMGM will use its own property, the MGM Grand Detroit, for its iGaming license. MGM is expected to be a heavy hitter in Michigan due to its prominent retail presence and its ability to offer online sports betting, casino games, and poker – all in one place. Though, it is possible that MGM will cede poker duties in MI to its GVC compatriot, PartyPoker.
The MGM Grand has been a fixture in downtown Detroit since it opened in 1999. The on-site BetMGM Sports Lounge was joint-first to open in the state, accepting its first bets on March 11, 2020. Online action is just around the corner for this household name.
- Michigan Partner: Little River Casino
Despite lacking a Rivers Casino property of its own in the state, Rush Street Interactive has secured online access in Michigan. The company announced its partnership with the appropriately named Little River Casino Resort in June 2020. Rush Street will offer both online sports betting and casino games via its premium BetRivers brand.
Little River is run by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, one of Michigan’s federally recognized tribes. The casino is located in Manistee, close to the waters of Lake Michigan. It is just up the lakeshore from the Rush Street HQ in Illinois.
- Michigan Partner: Bay Mills Resort & Casino
No state iGaming market would be complete without DraftKings, right? The worldwide leader in DFS, turned sportsbook, turned casino, will be launching soon in Michigan through a deal with the Bay Mills Resort & Casino. Finalized in June ’20, Bay Mills will host DK for both sports betting, and likely casino, too.
Bay Mills Casino is the property of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and is located in Brimley, MI. The casino offers picturesque views of the Waiska Bay, and is just a stones throw from the Canadian border.
- Michigan Partner: Motor City Casino
In March 2020 FanDuel announced that it had reached an agreement with the Motor City Casino for licensing rights in the Michigan market. FanDuel will offer both online sports betting and casino options in the state, in addition to its regularly scheduled DFS operations.
Motor City, one of three commercial casinos located in the Detroit area, cut the ribbon on its FanDuel themed retail sportsbook on March 12th, 2020, just a day after the market opened.
FOX Bet / PokerStars
- Michigan Partner(s): Odawa Casino, Odawa Casino Mackinaw City
After Michigan iGaming got the go-ahead in late December, The Stars Group (now under the Flutter Entertainment umbrella) wasted little time. The company confirmed its partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Gaming Authority in early January – the first skin market access deal in the state. The tribe owns two MI casinos, the Odawa Casino (Petoskey) and Odawa Casino Mackinaw City.
Michigan legalized it all, and The Stars Group can do it all. FOX Bet (sports betting), casino (Stars Casino), and poker (PokerStars) are all expected to be major factors once the online switch is flipped.
- Michigan Partner(s): Ojibwa Casino Baraga, Ojibwa Casino Marquette
New Jersey’s iGaming pace setter is coming to Michigan. In July ’20 Golden Nugget made public its MI deal with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. Golden Nugget will cover all of the tribes online casino and sportsbook needs.
Both Ojibwa casino properties are located in the U.P., but you won’t need to plan a voyage north to enjoy all of what Golden Nugget has to offer. Online sports betting and casino games will be available throughout the state.
Accepting online wagers since 2013, Golden Nugget is the largest online casino operator in New Jersey. Its game selection, software, and support consistently rank near the top of a competitive group of operators. Will it replicate its success in Michigan? We wouldn’t bet against them.
- Michigan Partner: Gun Lake Casino
In March ’20 Parx announced that it would be making Michigan its third state of operation, and the first outside of its northeast base of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Parx will run online sportsbook and casino in MI in conjunction with the Gun Lake Casino, using its permitted license.
The Gun Lake Casino is located in Wayland, MI, which is just between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. The casino is run by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe.
- Michigan Partner: Northern Waters Casino
Aussie-based PointsBet is coming to Michigan. The company announced its market access agreement in early January ’20, making it one of the first official partnerships in the state. They will be joining forces with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, who run the Northern Waters Casino in Watersmeet.
PointsBet plans to bring its state of the art sports betting mobile app, in addition to casino gaming, to Michigan bettors. A PointsBet sponsored retail betting facility is also expected to take shape at Northern Waters.
PointsBet made industry headlines in July, becoming the first online sportsbook to agree to an official partnership with a Major League Baseball team: The Detroit Tigers. This exciting local connection will undoubtedly give PointsBet a leg-up in attracting local bettors.
- Michigan Partner(s): Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, Leelanau Sands Casino
William Hill, a renowned bookmaker from the UK with roots dating back to 1934, has found a landing pad in Michigan. In February ’20 the company announced it was linking up with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, who control two casino properties in the state. This license agreement will award William Hill the ability to offer its successful online sportsbook and mobile app throughout Michigan.
Will Hill will run its primary retail sportsbook from the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg, Michigan. In addition, there will be a satellite betting facility at the Leelanau Sands Casino Lodge in Peshawbestown.
Other In-State Agreements
A few of Michigan’s eligible tribes have elected to set up their own, in-house sports betting operations, as opposed to outsourcing through license agreements with established brands. The following tribes have linked up with noteworthy sports and casino tech providers, but are expected to self-brand their eventual mobile products.
Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians
The FireKeepers Casino, property of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians, joined forces with the Vegas-based tech provider Scientific Games in January ’20. The agreement covers all forms of online gambling, including both sports betting and casino operation. It is anticipated that FireKeepers will launch its own, self-branded online casino and sportsbook.
FireKeepers opened its retail sports betting facility, known as Dacey’s Sportsbook, on June 1, 2020. Following the state’s three commercial casinos which opened books in March, FireKeepers was the first of more than 20 tribal casinos to get in the game. Dacey’s offers a number of betting kiosks in addition to a traditional window.
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians own three casinos in the state of Michigan, in addition to a property in South Bend, IN. They struck a deal with Kambi, the prominent sports betting technology provider, in July 2020 to power their in-person and online sports betting platform. The three Four Winds properties located in Dowagiac, Hartford, and New Buffalo, each began accepting on-site wagers on July 13, 2020. They have numerous odds boards and betting kiosks available.
Four Winds’ Kambi-powered online sportsbook and mobile app will also hit the market in the near future, likely with a unique theme to put their brand on full display.
Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Kewadin Casinos are amongst the most prevalent in the state with five separate properties spread out across the Upper Peninsula. The popular chain of casinos is owned and operated by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians, who agreed to a market access agreement with another A-list tech provider, GAN, in April 2020. Retail betting options are on the way to all Kewadin properties: Christmas, Hessel, Manistique, Sault Ste. Marie, and Ste. Ignace.
GAN will power the tribe’s online sports and casino interests moving forward, with sights set on being ready for day-1 of online action. The name of its mobile sportsbook and casino has yet to be revealed.
Playing it Slow
So who are we still waiting on? There’s just one tribe, which owns two casinos, that hasn’t announced its intended partner:
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation
The Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation, owners of the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant and the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in Standish, are the last of the state’s twelve eligible tribes to announce an iGaming partner. All indications are that the tribe will be moving forward with retail and online betting, but have elected to keep its partnership agreement card close to its vest – at least for the time being. We will update accordingly once they make their plans public.