BetAmerica Coming To Michigan Gaming Market Via Island Casino Partnership

Written By Matt Schoch on July 30, 2020Last Updated on September 13, 2022

The music is about to stop in the game of musical chairs that is the Michigan online gambling market.

Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) found a landing spot before it was too late on Wednesday. The famed horse racing company will launch BetAmerica in Michigan through a partnership with the Hannahville Indian Community.

The Upper Peninsula tribe operates Island Resort & Casino in Harris. BetAmerica will operate a retail sportsbook there to go along with its online sports betting and online casino options, according to a news release announcing the deal.

Hannahville tribe one of the final online skins

The number of partners available for online access in Michigan continues to dwindle.

Some Michigan tribes are also planning on launching their own branded apps.

Meanwhile, at least 11 online companies have struck deals to join a robust online sports betting market, which is expected to launch this fall.

Brand Partner Launch Date Retail Launch
BetMGM Sportsbook MGM Grand Detroit Jan. 22 Opened March 11, 2020
BetRivers Sportsbook Little River Band of the Ottawa Indians Jan. 22 Opened July 17, 2020
DraftKings Sportsbook Bay Mills Indian Community Jan. 22 Expected soon
FanDuel Sportsbook MotorCity Casino Jan. 22 Opened March 12, 2020
PointsBet Sportsbook Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Jan. 22 Expected soon
Caesars Sportsbook Grand Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Jan. 22 Opened Sept. 18, 2020
Barstool Sportsbook Greektown Casino Jan. 22 Opened March 11, 2020
Golden Nugget Sports Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Jan. 22 Expected in early 2021
Wynn Sportsbook Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Jan. 22 Kiosks only, Dec. 14, 2020
TwinSpires Sportsbook Hannahville Indian Community Jan. 22 Opened Sept. 10, 2020
FOX Bet Sportsbook Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians Jan. 29 Opened Sept, 24 2020
Four Winds Sportsbook Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Feb. 15 Opened July 13, 2020
Parx Sportsbook Gun Lake Tribe Expected soon Opened Oct. 3, 2020
TBD/FireKeepers Casino Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians Expected soon Opened June 22, 2020
TBD/Soaring Eagle Casino Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe Expected in 2021 Expected soon

Churchill Downs one of gambling’s biggest brands

CDI launched BetAmerica in 2007. The company owns famed Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville and its Kentucky Derby.

According to Online Poker Report, BetAmerica was just a racebook for 10 years until a partnership with SBTech expanded the brand. The company plans to transition soon to a GAN platform and Kambi sportsbook.

“We are pleased to be able to offer sports fans throughout Michigan our innovative BetAmerica sportsbook and iGaming product,” said Bill Mudd, COO of CDI, in a news release. “Guests of Island Resort & Casino, as well as online players in Michigan, will be able to access sports betting, the best in online casino games and unique promotions through BetAmerica.”

BetAmerica is online in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and operates an online sportsbook in Indiana.

Another tribal sportsbook on deck in Michigan

The retail sportsbook will soon join a growing list of tribal options across the state.

Little River Casino in Manistee became the fifth tribal sportsbook when it opened the River Rock Sportsbook & Grill this month. There are eight in all, including the three Detroit casinos, which will reopen on Aug. 5.

Island Resort could have the first UP sportsbook, though others are also in the works.

“We are incredibly excited about our new partnership with BetAmerica,” said Kenneth Meshigaud, Hannahville Indian Community tribal chairperson, in a statement. “The BetAmerica sportsbook will expand upon our already compelling number of entertainment options. It provides another great reason to come and visit us up here on Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.”

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He’s also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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