Michigan Online Gambling Scores Its First Partnerships. Who Will Follow?

Written By Grant Lucas on January 13, 2020 - Last Updated on October 20, 2020

Michigan got its first pair of sports betting partnership deals just over a week into the new year.

On Jan. 6, both PointsBet and The Stars Group announced partnerships. They will create entries into the Michigan sports betting and general gaming market.

With the two heavy hitters breaking the mold, the race for the remaining 24 land-based partners has begun. And as a result, it would appear as though Michigan bettors will have no shortage of retail and online sports betting options.

Brand names set for Michigan sports betting

The holiday celebration in Michigan included a signature from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The bill legalized retail and online sports betting, online casinos and online poker in Michigan. As such, it joined DelawareNew Jersey and Pennsylvania as the only states to offer all three verticals.

Quick to get in on the ground floor, PointsBet announced a 20-year access deal with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.

Per the release, PointsBet will work alongside the tribe to create a betting app as well as an online casino. To boot, the two parties remain in negotiations to bring in PointsBet to power the retail sportsbook at the tribe’s Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet.

The Stars Group, meanwhile, teamed with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. It is providing the operator an avenue into another state for its Fox Bet sports betting brand.

With “first skin market access,” The Stars Group will have the right to operate and brand online betting, casino and poker in Michigan.

PointsBet and Fox Bet both already operate in New Jersey. In addition, PointsBet has expanded into Iowa, while Fox Bet has done the same to Pennsylvania.

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Michigan online gaming deals have only just begun

These two partnerships serve as the starting gun. Surely many more similar deals will come across the wire in short order. That means only good things for Michigan bettors, as the state will likely boast a plethora of brands.

After all, consider how many land-based properties remain. Whitmer’s signature in late 2019 allowed for Michigan’s three commercial and 23 tribal casinos to incorporate sports betting, online casinos and online poker. There will be one skin for each vertical.

Indeed, gambling real estate abounds. As for which brands one might see, that is a picture without a clear image at this point.

That said, MGM Resorts operates out of Detroit, creating an opportunity for Roar Digital to step into the gaming environs. Penn National, meanwhile, recently acquired a Detroit casino that could become part of Penn’s aggressive gaming expansion.

No doubt, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook in Michigan will work toward market access in the state. Where one goes, the other seems to follow.

Michigan boasts fertile ground, which is why the state will assuredly see ample interest from an array of operators. And soon.

Grant Lucas Avatar
Written by
Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sports writer who has covered the high school, collegiate and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield and Oregon State athletics, the Portland Trail Blazers and golf throughout his career.

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