Churchill Downs inks deal to launch BetAmerica in Michigan

Churchill Downs has secured access into Michigan’s betting and online gambling market with its latest deal.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) is poised to launch its BetAmerica brand in Michigan after entering a new partnership with the Hannahville Indian Community.

This news comes after Golden Nugget inked an online casino deal with Ojibwa Casino in Michigan earlier this month.

The deal

Under the deal, CDI plans to open a land-based BetAmerica-branded sportsbook at the Island Resort and Casino in Harris, Michigan. CDI also plans to launch its online BetAmerica sportsbook and igaming platform in Michigan.

The launch of CDI’s online and land-based products is subject to the operator receiving the necessary regulatory approvals and licenses in the state.

Bill Mudd, COO of CDI, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer sports fans throughout Michigan our innovative BetAmerica sportsbook and iGaming product. 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.”

Kenneth Meshigaud, Hannahville Indian Community Tribal Chairperson for the Island Resort & Casino, said: “We are incredibly excited about our new partnership with BetAmerica. The BetAmerica sportsbook will expand upon our already compelling number of entertainment options, and provides another great reason for people to come and visit us up here on Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.”

Operators gearing up for Michigan launch

CDI is the latest online gambling operator to ink a deal for gambling in the state of Michigan.

Earlier this month, Golden Nugget Online Gaming, the online arm of the Golden Nugget casino chain, secured entry into Michigan’s online casino market after entering a partnership with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, operator of Ojibwa Casino. The deal will allow Golden Nugget to launch and offer its online casino and sportsbook products in Michigan once it receives regulatory approval.

Last month, Rush Street Interactive (RSI) announced a deal to offer land-based and online sports wagering in partnership with the Little River Casino Resort in Michigan which is owned and operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

DraftKings also announced a deal with the Bay Mills Indian Community in June, which will see the fantasy sports provider turned multi-vertical gambling operator offer online, mobile, and land-based sports betting in Michigan. The operator plans to open a DraftKings-branded land-based sportsbook at the Bay Mills Casino in Brimley, Michigan.

Still no clear timeline for online gambling launch in Michigan

On 20 December 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed three pieces of legislation into law that would legalise mobile and online casino gambling; online, mobile and land-based sports betting; and daily fantasy sports contests in the state.

While online casino and sports betting is now legal in the state of Michigan, there is still no timeline for launch in the state. Although the state initially planned to launch the activities in early 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged lawmakers in the state to work quicker.

Earlier this month, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) began accepting online betting and online gaming license applications.

In the announcement Richard S. Kalm, MGCB executive director said: “We expect to launch internet gaming and online sports betting by late 2020 or early 2021.”

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