William Hill secures entry into Michigan with tribal deal

William Hill will have access to another sports betting market thanks to its latest deal.

The sports betting giant William Hill has announced a partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) granting the operator access to Michigan’s sports betting market.

The tribe operates the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge in the state of Michigan.

What’s covered under the deal?

Under the deal, William Hill will serve as the GTB’s exclusive provider of online sports betting and casino gaming in the state of Michigan.  The agreement also details plans to open a new land-based William Hill-branded sportsbook at the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel later on this year. The new facility will be located inside the venue’s Onyx Sports Bar along with a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino.

The deal between the tribe and operator is still subject to regulatory approval in the state of Michigan and William Hill must still secure the relevant licenses to operate in the state. William Hill also said that it plans to launch its online casino games and sports betting platform once state regulations allow it.

William Hill US chief executive Joe Asher said: “Michigan will be a key state in William Hill’s US expansion due to its large population and deep rooted-sports culture with so many popular college and pro sports teams.”

Michael Schrader, chief executive of the Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, said: “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.”

Sports betting in Michigan

On 20 December 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4311 into law, creating the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Under this law, mobile and online casino gambling is now legal in the state of Michigan. Under the law, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) will be granted the power to issue licenses for online and mobile casino gambling.

The state’s governor also approved HB 916, creating the Lawful Sports Betting Act. Under this law, commercial and tribal casinos can offer land-based and online sports betting in Michigan. Governor Whitmer also signed HB 4308 into law, legalizing fantasy sports contests in the state of Michigan.

Last month, The Stars Group secured entry into the Michigan sports betting market through a partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, which will allow the operator to launch the Fox Bet and PokerStars platforms in the state.

PointsBet has also partnered with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians for online gambling in Michigan.

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