FanDuel And MotorCity Casino Join Forces In Deal That Should Set The Pace For Michigan Sports Betting

Written By Matt Burke on March 5, 2020
FanDuel Motor City

The dominant force in legal online sports betting in the US will soon be coming to Michigan.

Playinmichigan has learned that FanDuel, which is the sportsbook leader in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, will partner with MotorCity Casino in Detroit when Michigan operators receive the green light to begin legal sports betting.

Legal sports wagering is expected to begin at retail sportsbooks in Michigan this month, ahead of the 2020 NCAA men’s division 1 basketball tournament.

The deal is expected to include a FanDuel-branded brick-and-mortar sportsbook at the Detroit casino, according to Legal Sports Report.

Michigan slow to market with mobile betting

The majority of FanDuel’s success in other states has come online.

That will be an issue for the New York-based company in Michigan, at first. Mobile sports betting is not expected to be allowed in the Wolverine State until late 2020 or early 2021.

“We’re estimating it will take about a year to complete the rule-making process for mobile sports wagering and internet casino gambling,” said Michigan Gaming Control Board representative Mary Kay Bean. “This estimate is based on a review of the timelines for other rule sets and for rules we’ve developed in the past.”

This delay is not out of the ordinary for a US states’ maiden voyage into legal sports betting.

At this point last year, for instance, Pennsylvania had had several brick-and-mortar locations taking sports wagers for months. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019, however, that books began taking online bets.

FanDuel quickly became the market leader in Pennsylvania due, in large part, to its mobile offerings. Within a month of launch, it had soared past traditional casinos like SugarHouse, Rivers and Parx in terms of handle.


MI casino-provider partnerships

The FanDuel-MotorCity marriage is not the first provider-casino partnership in Michigan.

William Hill and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians announced last month that they would be joining forces.

“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, in a press release.

“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.”

Michael Schrader, CEO of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, looks forward to the opportunity that this partnership will provide for bettors in the Wolverine state.

“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 Schrader in a press release.

“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.”

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Matt Burke

Matt Burke is the Site Runner for PlayCA, PlayColorado, PlayIllinois, PlayIA, PlayMaineOnline, Play MA, Playinmichigan, PlayNHOnline and PlayNY. Matt was the Founder and previously served as the Editor in Chief of MetroBet – a digital and print sports betting platform – and was the Executive Sports Editor at Metro US Newspapers (NY, Boston, Philadelphia). Matt has covered Super Bowls, Final Fours and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut.

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