DraftKings, Barstool and BetRivers document Michigan online intentions

After the Michigan Gaming Control Board confirmed that the region’s online gaming and sports betting market will launch on Friday 22 January, a number of industry incumbents have been quick off the mark to outline their strategies amid a multitude of impending debuts.

With the tax and payment rate for online sports betting standing at 8.4 percent and igaming ranging from 20 per cent to 28 per cent, the state regulator has issued authorisation to nine operators to begin operations this week.

DraftKings is one such example, teaming up with Bay Mills Indian Community, which counts the Bay Mills Resort & Casino as part of its stable, to launch online sports betting and igaming, which will include blackjack, roulette and slots.

The launch of DraftKings Sportsbook in Michigan follows an expansive year for the firm, which will be live with mobile sports betting in 11 states following this week’s moves.

“Foremost, we would like to thank Bay Mills for their tremendous support in bringing DraftKings to the great state of Michigan,” said Jason Robins, DraftKings co-founder, chairman and CEO

“We are confident that our mutual commitment to product innovation and customer experience will serve as a solid foundation as we soon introduce Michiganders to the signature DraftKings experience.”

Another firm to detail its impending launch is Penn National Gaming, which is partnering with Detroit’s Greektown Casino Hotel to debut online sports betting at the time of market launch.

Making its manoeuvre via its Barstool brand, the group intends to add online casino to its Michigan offering “shortly thereafter,” subject to final regulatory approvals.

This latest development follows the opening of the company’s retail Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino Hotel on December 23, 2020.

During the opening weekend of the online offering, PNG will be partnering with Barstool Sports on a fundraiser to support Michigan small businesses impacted by COVID-19

“This is an exciting time to be launching our online Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan,” said Jay Snowden, president and CEO of PNG. “We have been incredibly pleased with the success of the mobile app since launching in Pennsylvania in September. 

“Our customers have thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Dave Portnoy, Dan ‘Big Cat’ Katz and other Barstool fan favourites, and we expect more of the same in Michigan. 

“As the only gaming operator with a fully integrated sports media and entertainment partner, Penn can provide our customers the opportunity to interact with Barstool personalities online and also in-person at our new Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown.”

Furthermore, Rush Street Interactive is to begin accepting wagers via its BetRivers portal in Michigan this week, with the online gaming and sports betting offering debuting in partnership with the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

Michigan residents can also continue to place sports bets in-person at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, where RSI provides its land-based retail sportsbook wagering services.

“We are excited to continue the successful expansion of our online casino and sportsbook and bring greater ease and convenience to Michiganders with the debut of BetRivers.com,” said Richard Schwartz, president of RSI

“Since launching our award winning online gaming platform in 2016, RSI has become a leading US online casino and sports betting operator due to our unwavering commitment to earning and retaining player trust, and constantly innovating and creating player-friendly features that are unique to the industry.”