It’s finally happened. On June 4, DraftKings announced a partnership with Bay Mills Resort & Casino. That means DraftKings is finally coming to Michigan.
Why Does The Casino Partnership Matter?
Michigan maintains tight control of its new sports betting industry. (It’s probably one of the reasons it took almost five years to pass Michigan’s sports betting bill.) Per Michigan law, sports betting may only in partnership with a licensed Michigan casino. DraftKings couldn’t just apply for a license and open its online sportsbook in Michigan. They had to partner with a Michigan retail casino first.
DraftKings have benefited from making sure they complied with the Michigan Gaming Control Board as since the state has legalized online gaming they’ve become a popular figure in the Michigan online casino community, as well as a sportsbook offering.
What Will DraftKings Sportsbook Look Like In Michigan?
Although internet sports betting is legal, Michigan’s regulatory body didn’t write and approve the rules for online sports betting operators. They still have to write those rules, and that probably won’t be done until early 2021.
With no online sports betting options, Michiganders will have to wait until DraftKings opens its retail location at Bay Mills Resort & Casino. Bettors may be surprised to find an in-person location for an online sportsbook. However, DraftKings has been opening a few retail locations across the country. It’s a good way for DraftKings to put on a professional face, and an even better way to score a state sports betting license.
Wasn’t DraftKings Already In Michigan?
DraftKings Fantasy Sports was already in Michigan. However, the sports betting legislation passed in December 2019 allowed daily fantasy sports contests, which gave DraftKings new options to offer. With expanded fantasy sports options and sports betting available, Michigan set itself up to be a refuge for sportsbooks like DraftKings.
Where Does DraftKings Fit In Michigan’s Sports Betting Scene?
There are a few sportsbooks that bettors may recognize in Michigan, including:
- William Hill
These are companies whose core business is running sportsbooks.
However, there are other companies that offer sportsbooks as one of many casino products, such as:
- Roar Digital
- Penn National Gaming, Inc
- Scientific Games
- Rush Street Interactive
- GAN plc
- The Stars Group
These companies make money by creating and selling casino games, sportsbooks, and slot and video machines. While bettors wouldn’t go to a Stars Group casino, they would play their games and machines at Michigan’s casinos.
How Bright Is DraftKings’ Future In Michigan?
As one of the premier sportsbooks in the state, it’ll probably do well. Like FanDuel, DraftKings has had a fantasy sports presence in Michigan for a few years before its sportsbook became available. Once online sports betting is allowed, DraftKings will reach an even wider fan base.
In the meantime, DraftKings has to open its retail sportsbook location at Bay Mills. The opening will be a challenge during the coronavirus pandemic, but if DraftKings can hold strong, they’ll entrench themselves in Michigan as one of the state’s most popular sportsbooks.