Starting today, Fox Bet Sportsbook will no longer be taking wagers.
The Flutter owned brand announced this weekend it would be closing the sports betting platform and phasing out all operations over the next month.
The move will leave Michigan with just 14 online sportsbooks in operation while potentially opening the door for a new brand to step into the state.
Could Michigan sports bettors have a new option sometime in 2023?
Flutter shuts down Fox Bet
Flutter issued a statement on Sunday that it was closing down Fox Bet.
While it says the closure would take place between July 31 and Aug. 31, visiting Fox Bet this morning reveals the platform is no longer accepting bets effective immediately.
Fox Bet is the online sportsbook for Odawa Casinos. An attempt to contact the casino on its plans following the closure of Fox Bet have not been immediately returned.
Fox Bet is just an online sportsbook. It is part of The Stars Group operation, which runs PokerStars Casino and poker room here in Michigan. Those looking to access their Fox Bet accounts can do so through the PokerStars Casino app.
Flutter, which owns FanDuel, will retain ownership of PokerStars. FOX will retain future use of the Fox bet brands, including FOX Bet Super 6. They intend to launch an all new FOX Super 6 game later this summer.
FOX also will exercise its option to acquire 18.6% of FanDuel while holding a 2.5% stake in Flutter.
What could replace Fox Bet in Michigan?
Fox Bet had amassed $86.2 million in online handle over its lifetime in Michigan. That ranks ninth of the state’s 15 operations. In the first half of 2023, Fox Bet is 10th in online handle with $10.7 million in wagers.
With Fox Bet shutting down operations, it leaves Odawa Casinos without an online sportsbook operation for the time being.
That means there could be a new bidding war for a new online operator to step into the state. A new operator would have to get approved by the Michigan Gaming Control Board before beginning operation.
Among the options to replace Fox Bet include:
While giving no indication, it’s possible that Flutter could opt to revamp the PokerStars brand into a sportsbook. That would be similar to what we saw with SI Sportsbook converting its platform into an online casino earlier this year.
With FanDuel already leading the way here in Michigan, perhaps we could see Odawa Casinos jump on that train? It’s unlikely, as figuring out contracts seems like it would be a real pain. MotorCity Casino likely doesn’t want to see anyone else jump on its brand, while Odawa’s intake from a deal would likely be too small to warrant a deal.
The British online gambling company has a sizable footprint in the United States, including online sportsbooks nearby in Iowa and Ohio. In Ohio, bet365 has been competing for being the third-biggest online sportsbook in terms of handle. It has $193 million in wagers since launch.
Detroit native Derek Stevens has built up the Circa brand and now has been able to bring online sports betting to Nevada, Iowa and Colorado. It also is hopeful to launch in Illinois before the NFL season. Stevens has expressed interest in the past in establishing his brand in his home state.
Tipico has established online sportsbooks in four different states, including Ohio and Iowa. In Ohio, It is eighth in online handle with $40.8 million thus far in Ohio. Tipico is a company based out of Malta.
Another sportsbook established in Ohio is Betfred. It has been establishing a solid presence in the online and retail sportsbook industry, with its footprint in 10 states currently. That includes Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa. Betfred has struggled to get out to much impact in Ohio thus far, with $14.1 million in online handle. Betfred is based out of the United Kingdom.