FanDuel has reportedly forged a sports betting partnership with MotorCity Casino in Detroit, known to be one of Michigan’s three commercial casinos, as the state looks to mark the start of legal athletic gambling ahead of this year’s March Madness basketball tourney.
Sports betting-focused news outlet Legal Sports Report reported Thursday citing sources that the partnership between FanDuel and MotorCity Casino would likely involve the opening of a retail sportsbook onsite as well as the operation of a digital sportsbook and the provision of online gaming when Michigan regulations permit such products.
Michigan legalized retail and digital sports betting and online casino-style gaming late last year when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a set of bills authorizing the practices.
The Michigan Gaming Control Board is working to approve license applications for the provision of retail sports betting services at the state’s three commercial casinos in Detroit. Hopes are that first sportsbooks will be up and running by the start of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on March 17.
As mentioned earlier, the state legalized online sports betting, as well. However, digital wagering products are likely to be rolled out at some point in 2021 as Michigan regulators are still drafting the rules that would regulate the online sector.
Michigan’s All Three Commercial Casinos Now Have Betting Partners
FanDuel’s reported partnership with MotorCity Casino means that all of Michigan’s three commercial casinos have now secured sports betting partners.
Las Vegas casino giant MGM Resorts International operates the MGM Grand Detroit casino. That gambling venue will provide sports betting services through MGM’s wagering joint venture with European gambling operator GVC Holdings – Roar Digital.
Pennsylvania casino operator Penn National Gaming completed last spring the acquisition of Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit. It also recently purchased a 36% interest in digital sports media company Barstool Sports, Inc. and would almost certainly look to bring the Barstool Bets brand to as many states as possible, including Michigan.
The fact that Michigan’s all three commercial casinos have secured sports betting partnerships means that FanDuel’s biggest digital sports betting rival, DraftKings, will need to partner a tribal casino in order to be able to enter Michigan’s sports betting market.
Under the state’s recently enforced sports betting law, the Michigan-based tribes with casinos can, too, tap into the nascent wagering market. However, tribes have their own regulators and only those can decide when tribal casinos can launch sports betting services.
Major players in the US sports betting field have already secured partnerships with several Michigan tribes. Australian bookmaker PointsBet announced in January a long-term wagering agreement with Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. William Hill and FOX Bet have too recently penned betting deals with local tribes in order to expand in Michigan.
According to recent reports from local news outlets, some of the state’s tribes could, too, launch sports betting in time for March Madness.