William Hill found an entry point into the state of Michigan for online/mobile sports betting Monday, reaching a long-term agreement with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. William Hill will also operate a retail sportsbook at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg.
William Hill will also operate a satellite sportsbook at Leelanau Sands Casino, which is approximately 35 miles northwest of Turtle Creek and in the far northwest part of the state. Pending regulatory approval, both books will open prior to the start of the 2020 college and pro football season. Sports betting was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in December as part of a package that also legalized online casino gambling.
“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,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “Michigan will be a key state in William Hill’s U.S. expansion due to its large population and deep rooted-sports culture with so many popular college and pro sports teams.”
GTB latest tribe to reach agreement with sportsbook operator
Grand Traverse Band is the third Indian tribe to publicly announce an agreement with a sportsbook operator in Michigan. The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potowatomi, which runs Firekeepers Casino in Battle Creek, has an agreement in place with SG Digital to run its sportsbook, and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians operating Odawa Casino in Petoskey has teamed with The Stars Group.
“It was important for us to find a partner with a great sports betting and gaming brand that has proven experience throughout the US market,” said Michael Schrader, CEO of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos. “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. We look forward to working with William Hill to develop the best sportsbook in northern Michigan at Turtle Creek Casino.”
Gun Lake Casino, which is run by the Match-E-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potowatomi Indians in Wayland, declined comment on its progress regarding a sportsbook. In July, it reached an agreement with Rush Street Interactive to become the first tribal casino to offer the CASINO4FUN gambling and sports betting app in Michigan.