PointsBet and FOX Bet Parent Company Announce Plans to Enter Michigan

It didn’t take long for the first gaming companies to stake their claims in Michigan. PointsBet and the parent company of FOX Bet have both announced plans to enter the Michigan sports betting and online gaming markets.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed numerous bills into law on December 20th authorizing online sports betting, casino games and poker.

PointsBet to Offer Online Sports Betting and Gaming in Michigan

Australian sports betting firm PointsBet plans to bring its unique form of per-point wagering to Michigan.

PointsBet announced this morning it has reached a partnership with the Lac Vieux Desert Public Enterprise and Finance Commission (LVD), an arm of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. LVD operates the Northern Waters Casino Resort in Watersmeet, Michigan.

A PointsBet press release notes the deal includes online sports betting and casino gaming for an initial term of 20 years, subject to an additional five-year term. PointsBet will pay LVD an undisclosed sum in market access fees plus a portion of net revenues from its online sports betting and gambling operations.

PointsBet and LVD are also negotiating terms to launch a retail sportsbook at Northern Waters Casino Resort.

Here’s PointsBet Group CEO Sam Swanell on the deal:

PointsBet is pleased to have reached [an] agreement for both online sportsbook and online casino operations with such a forward-thinking Tribe, and we look forward to many years of great success working together in Michigan.

The potential launch of PointsBet (pending regulatory approval and licensing) will make Michigan the third state in which the company has operations. PointsBet launched mobile betting in New Jersey in December 2018 and in Iowa this past November.

PointsBet will add some flavor to the Michigan market with a type of betting not offered by other sportsbooks. In addition to offering traditional pre-game and in-game betting, PointsBet accepts per-point wagers in which wins and losses are magnified by how right or wrong the customer’s prediction is.

For example, PointsBet customers can wager $1 per point on the total in an NBA or NFL game and earn a payout of $1 for every point above the total the game goes. This also works in reverse, and customers can lose $1 for every point by which their predictions come up short (up to predetermined win/loss limits).

You can read more about how it works in our in-depth PointsBet review here.

Path Opens for FOX Bet in Michigan

The Stars Group (TSG) announced this morning it has reached an agreement with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians for mobile sports betting and online gambling in Michigan.

The Odawa tribe operates two casinos in Michigan:

  • Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey
  • Odawa Casino Mackinaw in Mackinaw City

A TSG press release explains the agreements grants The Stars Group first skin market access to operate online sports betting, poker and casino games in partnership with the Odawa tribe. The reference to “skins” refers to MI gaming law, which allows each land-based casino to launch up to two online casinos and one online sports betting platform – also known as skins.

This agreement opens a clear path to Michigan for FOX Bet. The Stars Group and FOX Sports joined forces last year to launch FOX Bet with a focus on offering mobile sports betting in regulated US markets.

Here’s FOX Bet CEO Robin Chhabra on FOX Bet in Michigan:

We are excited to announce this agreement with the Odawa tribe, which further strengthens our market access as we work to continue to build our FOX Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market.

The Stars Group also operates famed international poker site PokerStars, which will have access to the Michigan market thanks to the wide-ranging gambling expansion bill approved last month.

This announcement may also have implications for FanDuel in Michigan. Last year, TSG and FanDuel parent company Flutter Entertainment announced a merger to form the world’s largest online gaming company. According to a press release, TSG and Flutter will seek the approval of their respective shareholders in the second quarter of 2020.

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