Sports betting in the state of Michigan became legal at the end of 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic hindered the plans for many casinos around the state.
Hopes of opening sportsbooks in March of 2020 were put on hold for most. However, FireKeepers Casino Hotel opened the state’s first tribal casino sportsbook last month. Dacey’s Sportsbook cut the ribbon for its grand opening on June 22 and has been operational for nearly a month now.
What bettors can expect at Dacey’s Sportsbook
Located within Dacey’s Taphouse, Dacey’s Sportsbook provides guests with an opportunity to bet on all major sporting events.
The non-smoking venue provides restaurant seating for 125, along with a mezzanine section with seating for 36 guests.
Multiple video screens have been installed to provide bettors with plenty of viewing options from various sporting events around the country.
Interested bettors can wager at Dacey’s during operating hours at one of three live wagering windows or one of four self-service kiosks.
Hours of operation for sports betting at Dacey’s are:
- Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Saturday-Sunday: 9 a.m. – midnight
- Kiosks: 7 a.m. – 5 a.m.
Wagers are by cash only and winning tickets can be redeemed at one of the live wagering windows. Winning tickets are good for 365 days from the date of the sporting event.
Gradual return to sports playing out well for FireKeepers
A four-month delay in sports betting within the state because of COVID-19 had gamblers eager to get things started once the green flag waved in June at Dacey’s.
“Response has been very favorable,” said Jim Wise, vice president of marketing and sports and online gaming at FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “Guests love the blending of sports wagering, huge high digital screens everywhere you look, and the great food that Dacey’s has presented for over two years.”
The gradual reopening of casinos and sports could be helpful in the months to come for a place like Dacey’s.
With original plans calling for an opening in March, with the NCAA Tournament a prime focus, sportsbooks would have been overwhelmed by a popular event right away. The new reality has provided a bit of a dress rehearsal for Michigan casino sportsbooks.
“COVID-19 has impacted every element of life and sports wagering is not an exception. But, facing challenges is something we do well. So, we are taking advantage of this time to best train and prepare our staff for the busier days to come,” Wise said. “This ramping up will pay dividends in August and September. I am so proud of our team, headed up by Dustin Ploehn, and all the work they have done to train and be prepared every day to present the best product.”
Dacey’s ready as major sports set to return
In recent weeks, sports such as soccer, golf, MMA and NASCAR have returned to provide sports betting options.
Last Saturday, UFC 251 was a heavily-marketed MMA event with three championship bouts. NASCAR has been running consistently for two months. The FireKeepers Casino 400 runs at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 8.
“UFC 251 was very busy and gave us our first glimpse at what an NFL Sunday or a major NBA playoff game will look like,” Wise said. “NASCAR has generated activity and the Aug. 8 FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway should draw extensive action. Lastly, we have seen smaller pockets of activity for everything from KBO to golf to soccer.”
Increases in sports betting should continue in the upcoming weeks. MLB gets things started for the major sports when it opens its 2020 season on July 23. The NBA and NHL reopen their seasons a week later on July 30. Wise said Dacey’s has high hopes for those events:
“August will be an exciting month with baseball, basketball and hockey. Plus you have the continued interest in UFC and NFL futures. The growth trajectory could be quite steep and we are ready for it.”
Commercial casino sportsbooks opened briefly in Detroit in March. Opening on March 11 before being forced to close on March 16, those casinos generated over $105,000 in sports wagering revenue.