The first sports betting license shuffle has occurred in Michigan, as the Hannahville Indian Community has entered an agreement with 888 Holdings to provide a sportsbook platform.
Previously, the Hannahville Indian Community was partnered with TwinSpires, but that company exited the market earlier this month. Since Sept. 7, 888 Holdings has been operating a sportsbook under the Hannahville license branded with the Sports Illustrated name, as “SI Sportsbook.”
Michigan is the third state where the Sports Illustrated app from 888 Holdings is available, following Colorado in 2021, and Virginia, where it launched in May of 2022.
Hannahville Indian Community Footprint
By law, sports betting licenses are limited to commercial casinos or federally recognized tribes in Michigan. The Hannahville Indian Community is a Potawatomi tribe located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula just west of Escanaba, spread across parts of Menominee County, and Delta County. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Hannahville Indian Community had a resident population of 720 persons. The tribe owns and operates Island Resort and Casino, located in Harris, Mich.
Initially, Hannahville’s license will be used for online sports betting through the SI Sportsbook app only. It’s expected that the tribe will request a retail sports betting license later in 2022.
Shortly after Michigan launched legal sports betting in early 2021, TwinSpires acquired an operating agreement with Hannahville Indian Community to provide the technology for accepting and processing sports bets. But last April, TwinSpires announced its decision to halt online sports betting and casino services.
“The Hannahville tribe is the first operator in Michigan to change platform providers since internet gaming and sports betting began here in January 2021,” Henry Williams, MGCB executive director said in a statement on the Michigan.gov website. “The tribe has found another experienced partner, and I wish them continued success.”
More About 888 Holdings and SI Sportsbook
The Michigan Gaming Control Board took the steps to approve 888 Holdings’ VHL, Michigan LLC as the platform provider replacing TwinSpires for the Hannahville Indian Community for online sports betting. Based in Gibraltar, 888 Holdings has a slew of betting properties in its portfolio, including 888sport, 888casino, and 888poker. The company has a strong presence in online poker and is the owner of the All-American Poker Network. In 2019, the company purchased the rights to the Sports Illustrated name for use with a sports betting app and branded website.
The SI Sports Illustrated Sportsbook is operational in Michigan. It offers odds in dozens of sports, including the NFL, College Football, MLB, tennis, golf, UFC, MMA, motor racing, and more. Bettors can place moneyline wagers as well as parlays and watch game results in real-time in a boxscore format. SI Sports Illustrated sportsbook also has a free-to-play sweepstakes contest called “Perfect 10,” with prizes as large as $10,000.
Michigan now has granted 15 licenses for sports betting online or at retail locations at commercial casinos or within tribal-owned lands. Since going live in January 2021, more than $6.8 billion has been wagered legally on sports in Michigan, resulting in more than 530 million in revenue, and $24.8 million in state and local taxes.