Thursday marked the announcement of TwinSpires stepping away from the online sports betting and casino game.
On one hand, that marks one less option for Michigan bettors. On the other hand, it opens the door for a new betting app to step into the state.
Following a strong opening year in the online market, will this opening attract a better opportunity for Island Resort & Casino?
Just how valuable is an online partnership opportunity in Michigan?
TwinSpires first to step away in Michigan
Since the launch of legal online gambling in January of last year, TwinSpires is the first to announce plans to end operation.
Formerly BetAmerica, TwinSpires attempted to build off its horse racing app by jumping into online gaming. However, its time in Michigan led to just over $1.4 million in gross revenue after more than a year in operation.
However, if last year’s online sports betting and casino revenue numbers show us anything, it’s that it’s a profitable market if done right.
A timeline for TwinSpires’ exit from Michigan isn’t clear as of yet. Island Resort & Casino had no comment when asked about the ending partnership.
Efforts to reach the Hannahville Indian Community have not immediately been returned.
Who can step in?
Full details of the license agreement between TwinSpires and Island Resort & Casino aren’t entirely clear as of now. Operator and supplier licenses in Michigan are granted by the state for five years.
According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board, platform licenses can be acquired or change ownership, and operators may sign contracts with another platform.
Each operator can grant licenses to one online sports betting brand, one online casino brand and online poker brand.
One possibility is that the Hannahville Indian Community may want to brand its own sports betting app. Both FireKeepers Casino and Four Winds Casinos are operating their own online sportsbook and casino.
With TwinSpires stepping out, here’s a look at some potential new suitors that could be looking to get into the Michigan market.
We have talked about Detroit native Derek Stevens and the casino empire he has built in Las Vegas with Circa Sports.
Operating online in Nevada and Colorado, Stevens bringing his product to his home state certainly makes sense. Plus, he’s interested in doing just that.
Stevens confirmed as much when we reached out to him on the potential opening in Michigan.
“Circa Sports has always been interested in Michigan, our original home state,” he said. “Let’s see what happens.”
The Bally’s name has become recognizable in Michigan thanks to Bally Sports Detroit.
Starting small, Bally’s Corporation acquired Gamesys Group, a leading global igaming operator in the UK, in October to help its expansion plans.
An iconic hotel brand in Las Vegas, Bally Bets already exists in Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, Indiana and Virginia.
Only available in New Jersey as of now, bet365 Casino is on of Europe’s biggest gambling brands.
It’s a large global brand could be looking to continue to tap into the growing American market.
Betway has made a strong push into the United States after gaining popularity in the UK and Ireland.
Currently available in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Betway provides an expanded sports lineup, including many European leagues.
The popular TV service has transitioned into the sports betting game. Using a dynamic integration between the streaming platform, users can view live betting data based on the content they are streaming.
Fubo Sportsbook is currently available in Iowa and Arizona. However, it recently struck a marketing partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers to promote Fubo’s Gaming brand throughout the arena.
With a partnership in a neighboring state, could Fubo have its sights set on Michigan next?
Rebranded from SportsBetting.com after a partnership with the Maxim media brand, MaximBet currently is in operation in Colorado. It currently has market access agreements with four other states.
The Maxim brand certainly appeals to a younger audience, which could pair nicely with the new generation of bettor that is diving into the online market.
Sports Illustrated has jumped into the online gaming world with SI Sportsbook, partnering with 888Sport, a well-known brand in European sports betting markets.
Colorado is currently its only available location right now, but 888Sport is already legal in New Jersey. SI Sportsbook is also targeting Iowa and Indiana.
Sports Illustrated is still a popular name in the American sports media industry, but not quite what it once was.
Available in Colorado, Nevada and New Jersey, the Westgate SuperBook has made some attempts to break into Michigan before.
Representatives have been on Michigan sports radio for years, but SuperBook is still not a betting option in the mitten.
Known for the SuperContest, a handicapping event throughout the NFL season, SuperBook could be a natural fit in Michigan.
Last summer, Gannett struck a deal with Tipico to become the exclusive US sports betting and igaming provider for USA Today.
The Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal and Port Huron Times Herald fit under the Gannett umbrella, providing a connection between Tipico and Michigan.
Currently operating in New Jersey and Colorado, more states are expected to be added soon. Could Michigan be one?
Despite being one of the newest online sports betting options in the country, Unibet has quickly established itself.
Already running in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, Arizona and Indiana, Unibet has its sights set on further expansion in the coming months.
Started in 1997 in Europe, Unibet has released its sports betting platform in more than 100 countries.