You better watch out, you better not cry.
You better not pout, I’m telling you why …
Sportsbooks are coming to town, sportsbooks are coming to town
On-line-sports-books are comingggggg to town!!!
Horrible re-worded renditions of Christmas songs aside, it is true: With the Joint Committee on Legislative Rules giving its blessing to the online gaming regulations put forth by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, we are nearing launch for online gaming and wagering. Will it happen by the end of 2020? Seems entirely possible, based on statements from the MGCB.
One of the big things we’ll be watching in the months ahead is which online products separate themselves from the pack. Michigan’s online gambling laws and set-up look very similar to New Jersey’s, with numerous operators, casinos, and sportsbooks coming out together, and populations that are within a million people of each other. In New Jersey, FanDuel is the clear market leader, with DraftKings a distant second and everyone else fighting for scraps. Will the same dynamic play out in Michigan, or will some of the upstarts take a bigger slice of the pie? Big questions abound.
Michigan online sportsbooks coming soon
So with all this in mind, here’s a snapshot look at the 15 different online platforms that are expected to be part of the all-of-a-sudden wide open online gambling scene here in Michigan.
One of the two big guns in the space, FanDuel seamlessly entered the sports betting space and, with its corporate brother Betfair, the online gaming arena. FanDuel offers big welcoming bonuses and offers its fair share of “money back” guarantee bets, mainly through parlays. They are partnered with MotorCity Casino in Detroit, and they have also signed on with the Detroit Pistons as a sports betting partner. Also notable: Your sportsbook wallet is shared with your FanDuel daily fantasy sports wallet.
The other huge operator in the online sportsbook world, DraftKings was first to market in New Jersey, making it the first sportsbook to open up online post-PASPA. Partnered with the Bay Mills Resort and Casino, DraftKings offers daily odds boosts as well as daily promos in its casino which almost always equate to free money. They also have a partnership with the Pistons.
PointsBet is the odd bird in the sportsbook world. They offer the same menu of regular bets, but they also offer “pointsbetting,” in which you can take a side and based on how much your side exceeds — or fails — the number you bet on, your winnings (or losses) get multiplied. For instance: Let’s say D’Andre Swift’s pointsbetting rushing yards prop is over 63 and under 58. If you bet the over for $1, every yard over 63 nets you an additional $1. So if he ran for 100 yards and you bet the $1, you’d win $37. But if he rushed for 10 yards? You’d lose $48. Limits can be set on both ends of the spectrum. Additionally, PointsBet, an Australian company, is using Michigan to launch their casino product. They are partnering with Northern Waters Casino Resort and have a partnership with the Tigers.
Partnered with Detroit’s top casino, the MGM Grand Detroit, BetMGM comes to Michigan with big name recognition. They already have partnerships in place with the Lions and Red Wings. In addition to a good welcome bonus, BetMGM also offers a daily “Lion’s Boost,” which gives exceedingly good odds on a game or prop of the day.
Here’s a challenger to the big boys in sportsbook land. Partnered with Greektown Casino, which is owned by Penn National Gaming, the whole corporate set-up is under one roof. Of course, Barstool Sportsbook may as well be named Portnoy’s Sportsbook, as Barstool’s face and founder Dave Portnoy is all over the app. Additionally, Portnoy is a University of Michigan grad, so there’s probably some more ego added into the mix than usual. With a huge built-in fan base and getting to start at the same time as everyone else, Barstool is well-positioned to jump to the head of the line in Michigan.
Partnered with both casinos operating under the Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, William Hill, the longtime British bookmaker, has had a rocky start stateside, not getting the market share it enjoys across the pond. But a company with such a rich history knows a thing or two about this space, and perhaps slow-playing is all part of the strategy.
Now part of the FanDuel corporate family, the FOX Bet sportsbook — which gets plenty of free press via FOX Sports and associated properties — is partnering with Odawa casinos. FOX — then under the “Stars” banner — was one of the first sportsbooks to open in New Jersey.
Keeping the water theme at the forefront, the BetRivers sportsbook is partnered with Little River Casino and Resort. They also have one of the better welcome offers in the business, with up to $250 in matched bonus money with a 1X rollover requirement. It’s as close to free money as there is in this world.
More options for sports, casino
Teaming up with the Gun Lake Casino, Parx’s Michigan opening is big news for the sportsbook, as this will mark only the second state they will be live in. They are a Pennsylvania-based operation.
The Ojibwa casinos are the partner here, and Golden Nugget, while operating a sportsbook, pride themselves on their online casino experience. Currently only available in New Jersey, this will certainly be a big test for the big name.
Firekeepers, Soaring Eagle, Four Winds
This trio of tribes are going it alone. They will be issuing their own apps, and thus far, only Firekeepers have announced who their tech partner will be — in this case, Scientific Games. Going up against the big players could cut any number of ways, so time will tell on these solo operations.
Partnered with the five Kewadin casinos, the Wynn name is one of the biggest in the casino industry. But in the sportsbook industry? Not so much. Also, not so much in the online world, as their app just recently launched in New Jersey.
Up and running in three states thus far, BetAmerica also offers horse racing directly through its app — and that’s little surprise, as the company is part of Churchill Downs Inc., owners of a certain Kentucky racetrack. Partnered with the Island Resort Casino.
And there you have it. The 15 platforms known to be coming to Michigan, with the hope that at least a few will be up and running before the calendar flips to 2021. Stay tuned …