Greektown’s Barstool Sportsbook Busy But Exclusive During NFL Playoffs

Posted By Matt Schoch on January 11, 2021

The first playoff football weekend for the new Barstool Sportsbook at Greektown Casino came and went with sports bettors across the metro Detroit region getting in on the action.

A 32-foot video wall, 29 televisions, and 40 betting kiosks were some of the relevant statistics for bettors who came to wager on six NFL playoff games over two days.

For most though, the lounge area of the sportsbook remains a shiny new toy they still can’t get their hands on.

But with the launch of online gambling not yet off the ground, it also might be one of the only choices to wager on this weekend’s divisional playoffs. To that end, we visited Greektown’s Barstool Sportsbook during NFL’s Wild Card Weekend.

Barstool Sportsbook lounge has a few restrictions

The Barstool Sportsbook lounge has the look of a fun sports bar. There are recliners fashioned in front of the giant video board with high-tops and seating for six behind those. There’s a merch counter and Barstool branding throughout. (Click on a photo below to view the image.)

Several beer taps and a digital food menu also tease what’s to come there, though no food and drink service is allowed at Detroit casinos given current COVID-19 restrictions.

Plus, only big bettors and exclusive tier casino members can get into the lounge while the casino is under those pandemic restrictions. An attendant on Sunday night said clarifed that players who have wagered at least $2,000 or have at least mychoice Elite status are allowed into the lounge. Elite is the second-highest of the five mychoice tiers at Greektown Casino.

After restrictions are waved, those requirements will loosen up, according to Marvin Beatty, vice president of community and public relations at Greektown.

Still, with the numerous kiosks outside of the lounge (about 40), dozens lined up to bet before Saturday’s NFL playoff kickoff of Buffalo and Indianapolis. Only a few exclusive guests were allowed in the lounge.

Bets were still trickling in during the waning moments of Cleveland toppling Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Only one customer watched from the lounge during much of the second half with nearly an entire sportsbook to himself.

What about Greektown’s temporary sportsbook?

The new sportsbook is in the middle of the main casino on the second floor, adjacent to the table games. Hours for the new sportsbook’s wagering windows are from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to midnight on weekends.

It opened on Dec. 23, replacing the temporary sportsbook that launched in an old poker room on March 11, 2020, the first day of Michigan sports betting.

That room still has TVs and small tables up. Some fans used the old space to sit down and watch Baker Mayfield and the Browns win on Sunday. There’s also a block of kiosks outside that facility, too.

The casino is restricted to a 100-person maximum per each 10,000 square-foot area. At Greektown, they’ve divided the gaming space into at least 12 zones to accommodate the MGCB order.

Barstool Sportsbook ‘well-received’ so far

December sports betting numbers are expected this week for the Detroit casinos, capturing about a week of action after the trio reopened following a second extended COVID-19 shutdown.

The unveiling of the permanent Barstool Sportsbook should boost Greektown’s numbers. The Penn National Gaming casino was third in Detroit leading up to the unveiling, accepting 20.6% of the city’s sports wagers in 2020. MGM Grand Detroit (44.8%) and MotorCity Casino (34.6%), respectively, led the way.

Down the road, we can measure the impact of the new Barstool book on the market. Did Stoolies from far and wide make it a point to hit Greektown for brand allegiance?

“It seems to be well-received,” Beatty said. “Once we can get the operation up to where it belongs, to where it’s producing what it’s designed for… When that happens, we’ll see.”

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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 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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