William Hill Seals Michigan Access

Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel

William Hill has sealed Michigan market access through a tribal gaming partner.

The British-based operator announced on Monday that it plans to launch its sportsbook and casino apps in partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB), subject to regulatory approval by legislators in the state.

The deal will also allow the operator to have a branded retail sportsbook at the tribe’s Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel located in Williamsburg. The venue will be turning the Onyx Sports Bar into a betting facility.

A second satellite sportsbook is planned for another property owned by the tribe, the Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbestown, which is about 25 miles from Turtle Creek.

Both retail sportsbooks are expected to be up and running sometime over the summer and in time for the new football season.

Mobile/online sports betting operations will follow, along with an online casino, which would be the first for William Hill in the U.S.

In a press release, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher described Michigan as a key state in William Hill’s US expansion due to its large population and deep-rooted sports culture.

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About William Hill

William Hill is a British bookmaker with a long standing tradition of providing sports betting services at a high level.

Now one of the world’s largest gambling operators, with global annual revenues of $1.6 billion, it has been gradually expanding its US business since launching in 2012 with three Nevada-based retail sportsbooks.

That has since grown to over 100 sports betting locations and a recent purchase of the assets of CG Technology means its brand will soon debut in some of the more luxurious casinos on The Strip. Its popular mobile sports betting app is available across the Silver State.

The app is now live in both New Jersey and Iowa, where it also operates retail sportsbooks, while the company powers retail operations in six further states: Indiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

In Florida, a William Hill Race Book is operating at the Casino Miami, while a deal with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to allow the company to build and operate a sportsbook inside the Capital One Arena, the home of three Washington D.C. professional sports franchises, is subject to sports betting being legalized in the nation’s capital.

About GTB

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians are one of 12 federally recognized tribes in the state of Michigan.

They own and operate two casinos in the northern part of the lower peninsular and Turtle Creek is the larger of those with 56,000 feet of gaming space and 1,200 slot machines, albeit it’s significantly smaller than the state’s largest casinos.

MI gambling rules

The deal between the tribe and William Hill US puts the Wolverine State one step closer to launching its online sports betting and casino operations, made possible after Governor Gretchen Whitmer put her name to three house bills in late 2019.

In doing so, Michigan became the the ninth U.S. state to legalize sports betting in 2019 and the 20th (plus Washington D.C.) overall. It’s also the fifth to legalize online casinos and the sixth to legitimize online poker, with the following key components:

  • Three commercial casinos and 23 tribal-owned casinos authorized for retail and online sports betting.
  • Each casino permitted to pursue separate licenses for both online casinos and online poker.
  • Sportsbook operators to pay a tax of 8.4% on adjusted gross gaming revenues; iGaming to incur higher taxes ranging between 20% to 28%.
  • License fees to cost $50,00 per application and $100,000 per license, with an annual renewal fee of $50,000.
  • In-play wagers settled using official league data.

When will online gambling launch?

As regards a possible launch date, hopes of a retail operations beginning in Detroit’s three commercial casinos in time for March Madness appear optimistic, and the Michigan Gaming Control Board has stated it could take a whole year for the rules and regulations for mobile sports betting and internet casino gambling to be determined.

In the meantime, operators will continue to partner up with casinos and William Hill are not alone in that respect, with both PointsBet and The Stars Group, which brings two brands to the table in PokerStars and Fox Bet, recently announcing tribal deals to gain market access.

It’s also widely expected that MGM Resorts, owners of the Grand Detroit, will launch it’s betting brand, BetMGM, in the state at the earliest opportunity, having also signed an agreement with Buffalo Wild Wings to bring the betting experience to the restaurant chain.

Come and follow us over on Twitter @Gamble_usa for more legal sports betting news across the US.

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