Sports Betting Coming To Traverse, Leelanau Casinos
By Craig Manning | Feb. 26, 2020
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) announced on Tuesday that it would be bringing sports betting opportunities to both Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and Leelanau Sands Casino. The announcement comes after a 2019 bipartisan legislative push to legalize both sports betting and online gambling through Michigan casinos.
To bring sports betting to its casinos, GTB will partner with William Hill, a London-based bookmaker that operates online casinos, online sports book operations, and betting shops around the world. William Hill will serve as GTB’s exclusive provider for all online sports betting and online casino gaming.
Pending regulatory approvals, GTB plans to open a William Hill Sports Book at Turtle Creek’s Onyx Sports Bar sometime this year. There are also plans for a “satellite” sports book location at Leelanau Sands. GTB expects that both operations will be up and running ahead of the 2020 football season, which kicks off on September 10. In the future, William Hill will also develop GTB-affiliated online sports betting and online casino gaming opportunities for use throughout the state.
The partnership with GTB marks William Hill’s first-ever foray into the Michigan market. In a press release announcing the new sports book operations, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said that Michigan would be “a key state” in the company’s United States expansion, “due to its large population and deep rooted-sports culture with so many popular college and pro sports teams.”
In December, Michigan became the 20th state to legalize sports betting and just the fifth to legalize online casino games. Governor Gretchen Whitmer at the time noted that her decision to sign the bills into law was motivated by the fact that tax dollars from both activities would be going toward the School Aid Fund and the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund. The Michigan Department of Treasury estimates the legalizations will generate $19 million in additional tax revenue for the state, with $4.8 million going to the School Aid Fund and $4 million to the First Responder fund.Comment