Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge Review

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge is a tribal casino and hotel located on the west shore of Grand Traverse Bay in Peshawbestown, Michigan.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge was originally a bingo palace and is considered one of Michigan’s original casinos. It is owned and operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe.

The tribe also owns and operates the larger Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in nearby Williamsburg, Michigan, just 15 minutes from downtown Traverse City.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge now features a 25,980-square-foot gaming floor with over 350 slots, a bingo hall and eight table games. The gambling age at Leelanau Sands is 18.

There’s also a 50-room hotel, a restaurant, a full-service bar and a 1,000-seat showroom with its own bar as well.

In February 2020, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians signed a deal with leading US sports betting operator William Hill. Once approved, William Hill will become the tribe’s exclusive provider of online sports betting and online casino gaming throughout Michigan.

They also have plans to open a retail William Hill Sports Book at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and a satellite sports betting location at Leelanau Sands Casino in 2020.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge location and hours

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge is located at 2521 N. West Bay Shore Drive in Peshawbestown, Michigan. The casino is open Sunday to Thursday, 8 a.m. – 1 a.m., and Friday to Saturday, 8 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Leelanau Sands in the News

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge online gambling partnerships

In February 2020, Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge’s owner and operator, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, signed a long-term partnership with William Hill. The deal makes William Hill the tribe’s exclusive provider of online sports betting and online casino gaming throughout Michigan, pending regulatory approval.

In addition to launching online casino and online sports betting products, the pair plan to open a retail William Hill Sports Book in the current Onyx Sports Bar at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in nearby Williamsburg in 2020. A satellite sportsbook location will also open inside Leelanau Sands Casino. Both are expected to open at the end of summer or early fall, before the start of the 2020 football season.

William Hill also plans to launch online casino gaming and online sports betting under the tribe’s banner as soon as the state of Michigan will allow it to.

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher says Michigan will be a key state in the company’s US expansion. This is due to Michigan’s large population and sports culture, with so many popular college and pro sports teams in the state.

William Hill came to the US from the UK in 2012. It is now the largest sports betting business in the country, with 114 race and sportsbooks and a mobile sports betting app in Nevada. Plus, various retail and online sports betting operations in New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, New Mexico, Delaware and Rhode Island.

The casino at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge

The 25,980-square-foot casino at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge is open until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on the weekends.

It features as many as 350 slots and eight table games. Plus, there’s bingo running four times a week.

That means a small selection of slots, the most popular table games and some serious bingo action.

The casino at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge runs a variety of promotions, including:

  • Point multipliers
  • Giveaways
  • Special events
  • Euchre tournaments
  • Weekly polka party
  • Lucky Loot: Win a share of $40,000 in cash and prizes
  • Stay & Play Package: Starting at $55
  • Seniors Slot Tournaments: 50 years and older
  • First Responder Appreciation Day: Second Wednesday of every month
  • Casino Birthday Promotion: Swipe at a kiosk and win point multipliers or e-credits
  • Veterans Appreciation Day: First Wednesday of every month
  • Super Seniors Day: Every Tuesday for ages 65 and up
  • Forever Young: Win a share of $3,000 in e-credits

Slots

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge features more than 350 slots and video poker machines.

There’s a good selection of state-of-the-art reels, slot machines with bonus games, keno and video poker.

Top slots at Leelanau Sands include:

  • Crazy Money Deluxe
  • King of Dragons
  • The Walking Dead
  • Lightning Link
  • Cash Wheel
  • Dragon Link
  • Fu Dao Le
  • 3-D Diamonds

Leelanau Sands also features progressive slots with jackpots that grow with every qualifying bet. The Dragon Link, Lightning Link and Lock It Link jackpots were all above $10,000 as of early March 2020.

Table games

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge has just eight table games, but the classics and the latest casino table game trends are represented .

Table games at Leelanau Sands include:

  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Mississippi stud
  • Roulette
  • Three-card poker

There’s even euchre games on Mondays at Leelanau.

Bingo

There’s bingo at Leelanau Sands Casino in the Birch Room. Games run Wednesday through Friday starting at 5 p.m. and Sundays at noon. Midweek bingo packets start at just $15, and it’s only $20 on Sundays.

Leelanau Sands Casino Rewards Card

The Leelanau Sands Casino Rewards Card offers rewards for play and discounts on the property.

Membership is free, and the card is good at Leelanau Sands and the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg.

You can use your card for discounts on accommodations and restaurants at both casino properties. Plus, cards can be used to earn comps redeemable for food and accommodations.

Leelanau Sands Casino offers five levels of membership:

  • Sapphire: Includes birthday promotions and complimentary valet.
  • Ruby: Sapphire benefits plus discounts on gas, hotel rooms, restaurants, retail, golf, spa, concerts. Includes 2x promotion bonus entries.
  • Emerald: Ruby benefits plus 48-hour pre-sale on concert tickets, priority service lanes, invitation-only events. Includes 3x promotion bonus entries.
  • Pinnacle: Emerald benefits plus personal host, complimentary hotel room upgrades and late checkouts, 30-minute slot machine holds. Includes 5x promotion bonus entries.
  • Onyx: Pinnacle benefits plus complimentary VIP experiences and 7x promotion bonus entries.

The card can also be used at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa for golf, spa services and shopping.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge sportsbook

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge is partnering with America’s leading sports betting company, William Hill, to provide retail sports betting at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge and Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.

The William Hill Sports Book will be located in the current Onyx Sports Bar at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in nearby Williamsburg, Michigan. Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge will host a satellite sportsbook location.

Both are expected to open before the 2020 football season kicks off, pending regulatory approval.

Leelanau Sands officials say they look forward to working with William Hill to develop the best live sports betting operations in northern Michigan. William Hill will also be Leelanau Sands’ exclusive provider of online sports betting and online casino gaming throughout Michigan.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge poker room

There is no poker room at Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge.

However, the casino does run a single No-Limit Texas Hold ’em poker table beginning at 4 p.m. every Friday. There are 10 spots available in the game.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge amenities

The Leelanau Sands Lodge

The Lodge is Leelanau Sands Casino’s Leelanau Peninsula hotel. The 50-room hotel near Traverse City features bay views and a variety of modern conveniences adjacent to Leelanau Sands Casino

Hotel room amenities include:

  • 37-inch flat screen LCD TVs with cable TV
  • Complimentary wireless internet
  • In-room coffee makers and hair dryers, microwaves and mini-fridges

Further hotel amenities include:

  • Outdoor deck with bay views
  • Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center
  • Free coffee/tea 24/7 in lobby
  • Free shuttle to casino

Dining and entertainment

The Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge features a restaurant, two bars and a showroom

Here are the details:

  • Big Dex’s Restaurant: Inside Leelanau Sands Casino and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Monthly specials, burgers, soup and salad bar, and grab-and-go items.
  • Seasons: Buffet-style dining in a newly renovated casual restaurant atmosphere.
  • Suttons Bay Bar: The bar on the casino floor at Leelanau Sands Casino serves local beer, spirits and beverages.
  • Showroom Bar: Additional bar right next to the showroom, open during entertainment events.
  • The Leelanau Sands Showroom: 1,000-seat showroom featuring live music, including a schedule of national touring acts and weekly polka classics.

Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge history

The Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge started out as the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians’ bingo palace in Peshawbestown, Michigan, back in 1984.

A 1995 renovation turned it into a casino, and in 2013 a $2.5 million makeover made it the Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge it is today.

The Leelanau Sands Casino’s first major renovation in nearly two decades revamped the interior to reflect the natural beauty of the region and its colors, forests and unique feeling.

The former Bingo Hall and Elements Lounge was converted into the Maple Room, featuring slots and video poker machines. The full-service bar lounge outside the Sands Showroom was updated and The Birch Room on the north end of the casino became the newly designed Bingo Hall. New concessions and a welcome center and cultural showcase for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians was added

Custom chandeliers, tapered columns, fixtures and a stained glass woodland mural were added to the casino’s Cedar Room. Plus, a light structure was extended over a new pit area, with blackjack, three card poker, craps and roulette tables.

Finally, Big Dex’s Restaurant was remodeled, and on the casino floor, older slots were swapped out for new ones.

Of course, while all this was happening, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians was also busy building a Northern Michigan gaming and hospitality empire.

The tribe now owns and operates Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, which encompasses three gaming, entertainment, dining and hotel properties in Northern Michigan.

As mentioned, there’s the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel in Williamsburg, which offers more than 1,100 slots, 25 table games, a hotel, four restaurants and three bars. Then the Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge, with the above-mentioned bingo hall, 350 slots and a selection of eight table games

Finally, there’s the non-gaming Grand Traverse Resort and Spa with 900 acres of year-round entertainment, recreation, relaxation and activities for all.

Up next is a plan to build the William Hill Sports Book at Turtle Creek and a sportsbook satellite location at Leelanau Sands, and launch online casino gaming and online sports betting under the Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos banner as soon as Michigan will allow it.

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