Scientific Games launches sports betting operations with Firekeepers Casino in Michigan

Scientific Games has launched its sports betting platform in Michigan.

Scientific Games has launched its sports betting product in the state of Michigan via a deal with Firekeepers Casino which is operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP).

The Scientific Games-powered sportsbook

The launch of the land-based sportsbook at Firekeepers Casino is the product of a deal between Scientific Games and the casino operator that was signed in January. This agreement will also see Scientific Games and the venue work together to launch online sports betting and casino gambling in the state.

With the launch of the Scientific Games-powered land-based sportsbook, Firekeepers Casino is the first tribal casino in the state of Michigan to offer sports betting.

Jordan Levin, chief executive of Scientific Games Digital, said: “Retail sports is live via our OpenSports solution and the state of Michigan is preparing for a digital go-live for sports and iGaming – both of which are now key parts of our agreement with FireKeepers – as early as Q4 2020.

“They have a wonderful team and we’re looking forward to building out their full product suite with the launch of OpenGaming once regulations permit.”

Kathy George, chief executive of FireKeepers said: “These are exciting times for FireKeepers Casino and launching our retail sportsbook is the realization of a major strategic objective.

“The team at Scientific Games have been integral to delivering this fantastic new offering for bettors in Michigan. We keenly await the opportunity to take both our sports and our casino online with their player-centric technology and global expertise.”

Another tribal deal for Scientific Games

The launch of the sportsbook at Firekeepers Casino marks the second tribal sports betting deal to go live for Scientific Games.

Last year, Scientific Games launched sports betting operations at the Oneida Indian Nation’s three casinos in upstate New York.

Levin added: “FireKeepers are one of the leading casinos in the state of Michigan and the Midwest, It builds on our strategy to partner with forward-thinking tribes as regulations evolve.

“We were the first to partner with a tribe in New York through our agreement with Oneida and now we’re proud to launch the first tribe in Michigan with FireKeepers.”

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.

Michigan’s sports wagering market went live on March 11 with the opening of sportsbooks at Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino and the MGM Grand Detroit. Online and mobile sports wagering has yet to go live in the state of Michigan.

While online casino and sports betting are 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.

In July, 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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