FireKeepers Casino Opens First Tribal Sportsbook In Michigan

Written By Matt Schoch on June 22, 2020 - Last Updated on September 25, 2020
first tribal sportsbook

FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek became the first Michigan tribal casino to open a sportsbook on Monday.

With Detroit’s trio of casinos closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dacey’s Sportsbook at FireKeepers is the only place to make a legal sports bet this week in the Great Lakes State.

The Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi signed with Scientific Games to operate Dacey’s retail sportsbook, along with the forthcoming online sports betting and casino games.

Four kiosks for now at Dacey’s Sportsbook

The sportsbook opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday morning at FireKeepers, which reopened on June 1.

Jim Wise, the vice president of sports/online gaming for FireKeepers, told TV station WWMT that players can bet in person or at four self-serve kiosks.

Wise said FireKeepers plans to have about a dozen kiosks by Labor Day.

FireKeepers sportsbook is fourth in state

Michigan already has three retail sportsbooks in Detroit.

On March 11, MGM Grand Detroit opened BetMGM Sportsbook and Greektown Casino-Hotel launched its temporary sportsbook.

The following day, MotorCity Casino launched FanDuel Online Sportsbook as sports around the globe started to shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time, FireKeepers was planning a spring launch for Dacey’s, but pushed it back because of the pandemic.

No other launch dates planned for Michigan sportsbooks

The state’s largest tribal casino — Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant — has not yet announced its sports betting partnership or launch plans.

But several other of Michigan’s tribal casinos have announced partnerships for sportsbooks but have not announced launch dates.

They include:

Online gambling coming later this year to Michigan

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed expanded gambling laws in December, an early 2021 launch was expected.

However, Executive Director Richard Kalm of the Michigan Gaming Control Board said this month that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about launching this year.

In addition, Sen. Adam Hollier introduced a bill in the Michigan Senate last week to issue temporary licenses to online casino operators during the pandemic, provided they were licensed in other states.

The bill does not impact the launch of online sports betting.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the former host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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